Stands for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The CMHC is government operated, and is most widely known for offering insurance on mortgage amounts in excess of 75% of the value of the property, up to a maximum of 95%. This means you can purchase a residence with a downpayment as low as 5%, if you are approved. The real purpose of the insurance is of course to protect lenders against the risk of default. The CMHC also provides assistance programs to prospective homebuyers, and compiles, analyzes, and sells detailed housing statistics for all of Canada.