In 2002, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) launched the Harbour Solutions Project to build waste water treatment plants in various locations in HRM. As part of the project, HRM allocated $1 million dollars to the community adjacent to the plant at the corner of Barrington and Upper Water Streets. The allotment was called a ‘community integration fund’ and was intended to provide broad community benefits over the long term. The use of the $1 million was to be determined by a community-based, volunteer group, called the ‘Community Liaison Committee’ (CLC). The Halifax-based CLC, after many community consultations, decided to set up a community investment fund using the $1 million.

Those consulted include the following:

Community Foundation of Nova Scotia
Centre Entrepreneurship, Education and Development
Black Business Initiative
United Way of Halifax
Students from St. Patrick’s, Oxford, Queen Elizabeth, St. Patrick’s Alexandra School
St. George’s Youth Net
St. George’s Church
Cornwallis Street Baptist Church
Black Educator’s Association
Black Community Advocacy
Association Community Action on Homelessness
Community Youth and G.E. M. Program

In July 2007, the CLC recruited and formed a new 12 member volunteer Board of Directors to create and administer the fund. 75% of the board lives or works in the community. The Halifax Community Investment Fund Board is guided by what the community told the CLC during the many consultations.

The HCIF Society is formally registered with the Government of Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies (Registry ID 3226762).

The society was granted charitable status in 2012.