We’ve compiled answers to the questions we hear most often and grouped them by subject matter. If you don’t see your question answered here, we’d love to hear from you at admin@bcnpha.ca!

The Basics

1. What is the role of BCNPHA?

BC Non-Profit Housing Association helps members in creating and supporting a high standard of affordable housing throughout British Columbia. When our members formed BCNPHA nearly 30 years ago, it was with two goals in mind:

  • Deliver evidence-based advocacy for increased investments into affordable housing, at a time when the federal government was withdrawing; and,
  • Provide education to non-profit housing providers.

Today, we run major advocacy campaigns that build the case for affordable housing, provide a range of professional services to the sector, and deliver high-quality education through in-person conferences and workshops and online learning events.

2. What is non-profit housing?

Non-profit housing is rental housing that is owned and operated by community-based non-profit societies. The mandates of these societies are to provide safe and secure affordable homes to individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. Most non-profit housing societies receive some form of financial assistance from government to enable them to offer affordable rents. Non-profit housing providers own/operate a broad range of housing types in BC, which include shelters, supportive, transitional, and independent housing.

People who live in non-profit housing include seniors, families, people with disabilities and/or health challenges, women and children leaving violent relationships, and working professionals.

Each society operates independently under the direction of a volunteer board of directors. Most employ staff to manage the day-to-day operations, though volunteers run some smaller societies. Non-profit housing is not public housing.

3. How do I apply for non-profit housing?

BCNPHA does not provide housing services; however, there are several other ways to apply for housing. Contact BC Housing (the provincial housing authority) to begin the process by applying through the Housing Registry, a centralized database of applicant information for housing providers and a single application point for households. The Housing Registry makes it possible for applicants to apply for housing with multiple housing providers by contacting one agency and completing one application form.

Not all non-profit housing providers belong to the Housing Registry, and they manage their own waitlists. Information Services Vancouver also publishes The Red Book, which has a housing section.

4. What is the difference between non-profit housing and co-op housing?

The primary difference between non-profit and co-op housing developments is their governance model.  Non-profit housing providers are typically professionally managed by paid staff, and are governed by a volunteer board of directors from the broader community.

Co-op housing is typically managed by a volunteer board drawn from the members of the housing co-op, who are also volunteer governors of the co-op. Some co-ops hire professional property managers, and others do not.

Together non-profit and co-op housing form the community housing sector in British Columbia, with the shared mission of safe and secure housing that everyone can afford.

5. Where do I get information about rental housing data?

The Canadian Rental Housing Index provides a solid, data-driven foundation for policy-making decisions at all levels of government. The Index uses the latest supply and affordability data from the census to measure the health of rental housing across Canada.

BCNPHA also holds an extensive database of non-profit assets. This information can be made available in aggregate form upon request for the purpose of research and housing needs studies.

For more information or guidance on using RHI data or to access our non-profit asset database, please contact research@bcnpha.ca.


1. Why should I become a member?

BCNPHA membership provides education, support, and services for non-profit housing providers and stakeholders in the community housing sector. Members receive preferential pricing for events like the annual Housing Central Conference and the Regional Education, Networking & Tradeshow (RENT) event, as well as education and professional development opportunities and asset management services. BCNPHA also delivers a growing roster of Member Programs that help non-profit housing societies save money on a range of programs and services. For more information, including a detailed list of membership benefits, and to submit your membership application, please visit our membership page or email membership@bcnpha.ca.

2. How do I become a member?

Non-profit housing providers in BC can visit the “Become a Member” page for information on eligibility, benefits, and fees for BCNPHA membership. If you are not a non-profit-housing provider we have a membership category for government, non-profit organizations and the private sector. For more information please contact membership@bcnpha.ca.

3. What category does my organization fit into?

BCNPHA offers two main types of membership:

  • Non-profit Housing Providers (voting members)
  • Associate Members (non-voting members) including non-profit organizations, government, and the private sector

View a full breakdown of our membership categories here. Otherwise, please email us at membership@bcnpha.ca and we would be happy to help you determine which category best fits your organization.

4. How do I report changes to the status of my organization?

If there are any changes to your point of contact, membership status, or other information associated with your BCNPHA membership, please contact membership@bcnpha.ca.

5. How do I pay my fees/invoices?

You can pay your fees online with a credit card through our member portal, or through mailed cheque to:

BC Non-Profit Housing Association
1651 Commercial Drive, Suite 220
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5L 3Y3

6. Why am I unable to login to the Member Portal?

Your login is connected to your BCNPHA account. If you are unable to log in, please visit our Account Assistance Page.

7. How long is a membership?

The BCNPHA fiscal membership year is from September 1 to August 31 annually.

8. I can’t find where to renew my BCNPHA membership online. What should I do?

Your BCNPHA membership can be renewed in the member portal by the company administrator. If there is no one tagged as a company administrator in your staff list, please use this form to identify an administrator. The administrator can then log into the member portal and:

  • Click on the Membership Renewal tab
  • Click the large green “Renew Now” button on the side of the page
  • Review the membership fees in your cart
  • Enter your credit card details to submit payment
  • Review the confirmation email sent to the company administrator and forward to others in your organization if necessary

Member Programs

1. What are BCNPHA Member Programs?

BCNPHA offers a variety of programs and services to non-profit housing societies to support and strengthen the capacity of the sector. From group insurance and property management, to energy efficiency and capital planning, we are committed to providing our members with programs and services that save money and make them more energy efficient. BCNPHA Member Programs are programs that partner with industry leaders to provide you with access to our preferred suppliers for best deals and exclusive rates.

Participation allows you to save money and increase revenue while your association and partners do the work.

For more information, please visit our Member Programs page.

2. Do I have to be a member to access Member Programs?

Our Member Programs are designed to save money or increase revenue for members of BCNPHA. The variety of programs and services are offered to support and strengthen the capacity of the sector. Membership is required for access to most of our Member Programs.

3. How do I become a partner offering a Member Program?

Becoming a BCNPHA Member Program must yield demonstrable benefits by reducing costs and improving access to resources for the non-profit housing sector. It is a lengthy process that includes rigid vetting and cost-benefit analysis. To get started, please contact us at programs@bcnpha.ca.

Events and BCNPHA Awards

1. How do I find out about events in the non-profit housing sector?

BCNPHA hosts the Regional Education, Networking, and Tradeshow (RENT) events every year, and we cap off the year with our annual Housing Central Conference – the largest housing conference in Canada. Visit our calendar to learn about our wide range of additional learning and networking events (both in-person and online) throughout the year.

2. How has COVID-19 impacted BCNPHA events?

When the global pandemic restricted in-person gatherings, BCNPHA re-imagined our learning and networking events to online experiences. The four RENT events typically held throughout the province became one virtual event in 2020 and 2021 with regional-focused content. The Housing Central Conference was also delivered virtually in 2020 and will be again in 2021 to ensure the health and safety of our staff and delegates. We look forward to returning to in-person events in 2022, pending provincial health regulations.

3. I’d like to speak at the Housing Central Conference! How do I submit a proposal?

We usually open our call for proposals from late January through early spring. For more information please contact our education team at learn@bcnpha.ca.

4. As a prospective speaker, how do I maximize a proposal’s chance for success?

We favour proposals that provide clear session learning objectives, focus on a topic that is highly relevant to the non-profit housing sector, and incorporate practical applicability to housing stakeholders. Potential presenters should have facilitation experience and be comfortable delivering an informative and engaging session.

5. What is an exhibitor tradeshow? And how do I become an exhibitor?

RENT and Housing Central Conference tradeshow booths provide a fantastic opportunity for vendors to demonstrate their latest products and services, share expertise, and market your organization to senior executives, property managers, government representatives and frontline staff.

Tradeshow call-outs are typically posted two to three months prior to an event, depending on site capacity. Please contact events@bcnpha.ca for more information.

Tradeshow bookings are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and we cannot guarantee capacity. To secure a guaranteed tradeshow booth space at a RENT event or the Housing Central Conference, please contact sponsorship@bcnpha.ca to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

6. What is the nomination process for BCNPHA awards?

BCNPHA awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations who are championing the cause of affordable housing and working to end homelessness. We present four awards each year for both members and non-members, and welcome nominations for the Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award and the Housing Provider of the Year Award. Nomination forms can be found on the applicable award pages.


1. What kind of education services does BCNPHA offer?

BCNPHA provides a broad range of training, education and professional development opportunities to assist non-profits in developing and delivering high quality affordable housing. Whether you’re a new board volunteer in the non-profit housing sector or an established professional, we have a variety of educational offerings to support your career path or skills. Our educational offerings are easy to access and designed to be flexible to your needs:

  • Education offerings at our regular events – RENTs and the annual Housing Central Conference
  • A comprehensive webinar program, including workshops, panel discussions and more
  • Various courses offered through Housing U, our online learning platform

2. How do I access educational resources at the BCNPHA?

The education page on our website provides detailed information and registration instructions for our wide range of learning opportunities.

If you have any further questions about education programs, reach out to learn@bcnpha.ca and we can help connect you with a professional development opportunity that best meets your needs.

3. How do I know if my course gives accreditation?

As of now, HousingU courses are not accredited. Some of our partner education programs offer accreditation in the field, such as the CIH Canada (Chartered Institute of Housing Canada) program and courses offered through Langara College. More information can be found on our Partner Education Program page.

4. Are there discounted rates for members for education offerings?

We design our education content to be applicable to both our membership and the wider community housing sector. For the majority of the education services that we offer, there is a discounted rate for BCNPHA members.

Building Management

1. What kind of asset management services does BCNPHA offer?

BCNPHA’s asset management department offers a number of services to both our members and other non-profit housing providers in the community. Our team provides energy efficiency retrofit and coaching that connects your projects with available rebates and incentives, benchmarking, energy audits, building condition assessments, and capital planning services.

2. Our organization needs support putting together a capital plan – what resources are available for us? How can BCNPHA help?

BCNPHA provides a range of capital planning options: we can coach you through creating your own plan or we can complete the plan on your behalf. For those who wish to create their own capital plan, we offer courses to help you understand the process. Free one-on-one coaching is available by phone or in person (fee-based). If you’d like us to create your capital plan we offer a low-fee capital planning service.