Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Housing Supply Challenge: Round 4 - Building for the Future

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What is the Building for the Future Round?

Building for the Future: Innovative Construction for Housing Affordability is Round 4 of the Housing Supply Challenge.

This challenge is about finding ways to make it easier to build houses. It addresses construction-related barriers to housing supply. This can be done by funding activities that support the adoption and preparation for replication and scaling, and to accelerate the use of:

  • construction processes
  • techniques
  • systems
  • materials

The challenge prioritizes solutions that accelerate the creation and preservation of housing that is affordable, climate compatible and meets people’s needs.

Round 4 consists of 3 stages:

  • Stage 1: concept development and initial application
  • Stage 2: design and feasibility plan and final application
  • Stage 3: implementation

Housing construction and renovation in Canada face many barriers including high costs, lengthy processes and project complexities. The construction, maintenance, retrofitting and renewal of the housing supply involves numerous stakeholders and experts – and considerable investments.

There are numerous disincentivizing barriers to construction innovation that create major systemic impacts on the construction industry. These barriers include, but are not limited to:

  • access to materials and resources
  • complexities in retrofitting existing housing supply
  • the complexity of project delivery
  • high costs and sunk costs
  • knowledge management and sharing

There are many innovative construction processes, techniques, systems and materials that have been explored. Some have been demonstrated, others adopted in limited capacities but neither have been broadly replicated or scaled to their potential.

The reasons for this were often specific to the type of innovation and the broader context.

This round of the challenge supports activities that bridge the gap between the early stages of testing an innovative solution and its broad use. It does so by supporting the preparation required for replication and scaling. The solution and surrounding contextual requirements will be well positioned for widespread adoption by the end of the challenge.

Numbers of units

The number of housing units created in the Challenge time frame isn’t part of the evaluation.

A building (or multiple units) may be created or renovated as part of the challenge. This is only if the purpose is to test refinements, adaptations, or new ways of applying a process, technique, system, or material solution so that it can be replicated or scaled. For processes, techniques, systems, or material solutions that are being newly adopted, units may be built as part of the testing for replication and scaling activities during the implementation phase.

Affordable housing

In the context of this challenge, “affordable housing” can include housing provided by the private, public and non-profit sectors (that is, it does not exclusively relate to government-subsidized housing). It also includes all forms of housing tenure:

  • rental
  • ownership
  • co-operative ownership
  • temporary and permanent housing

There are multiple measures that you can use to describe how your solution will make an impact on affordability. This includes options to:

  • explain how the solution will make a long-term impact on affordability for the resident (for example, through energy efficiencies)
  • describe affordability in relation to median market rent or measures of deep affordability that address core housing needs for vulnerable populations

This challenge emphasizes the importance of the long-term operations of any units built. This relates to ensuring that the units have enough quality to last

Readiness level

Processes, techniques, systems, or materials supported in this round are expected to have already completed some prototyping and testing and may be in use in a limited capacity.

The Stage 2 incubation phase supports can be used to explore potential applications for the solution. Examples include:

  • consulting with vulnerable population housing providers for to explore how a solution like adaptations for new climatic regions or user groups could be adapted in order to be adopted
  • seeking regulatory permissions to scale to new communities
  • researching and developing business and marketing plans to support further adoption in the market

Learnings about impacts, improvements, and challenges may be shared and outcomes documented.

See the Applicant Guide for more details.

Evaluation Criteria

The Evaluation Criteria has been broken out into the following key sections and weightings.

  • Solution Description – 65%: You’ll provide a description of your solution and its expected impacts on housing supply.
  • Feasibility of the Solution and Applicant Capacity – 20%: You’re asked to:
    • describe the technical feasibility of your solution o provide information regarding their work plan, budget, team members
    • outline what you have done (or plan do to) to engage those who will be use, benefit and/or be impacted by the solution
  • Long-term Viability of the solution – 15%: In this section, you’ll provide details on:
    • long-term operational sustainability of the solution o how the solution will be scaled/replicated
    • risks and mitigation strategies

The Applicant Guide provides all of the application form questions and evaluation criteria grid.


Stage 1: concept development and initial application

  • Application phase: Applicants can submit applications from December 1, 2022, to April 13, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Evaluation and shortlist: The panel will shortlist applicants eligible for funding after evaluating all submissions. This phase runs from April 13, 2023 to July 2023.

Stage 2: design and feasibility project development

  • Shortlisted projects will receive up to $150,000 of Incubation Funding to:
    • further develop their solution, this can include:
      • prototyping, testing and researching solution adaptations and adjustments
      • operational activities to prepare for solution adoption
      • engagement activities
    • work towards replication and scaling plans, this can include business and marketing plans
  • Shortlisted applicants will document these plans and developments to include in their final submission. This takes place from July 2023 to December 2023.
  • Final evaluation: The panel will evaluate the projects and select the successful submissions for implementation. This happens between December 2023 and March 2024

Stage 3: Implementation

Successful solutions share the remaining funds from the pool of $40M for implementation. This takes place from March 2024 to March 2025 March.

*See list of eligible activities in the Applicant Guide.

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Challenge details

Key Dates

  • Launch: December 1, 2022
  • Initial Submissions: April 13, 2023 at 2pm EST
  • Shortlisted: July 2023
  • Stage 2 Final Submissions: December 2023
  • Funded Solutions Announced: March 2024

Funding Allocation

  • Stage 1 – Incubation Funding for prototyping: Up to 25 Shortlisted Applications will receive $150k
  • Stage 2 – Implementation Funding: Selected solutions will share a pool of $38.5M

Who can Apply?

Lead Applicant must be a legal entity:

  • For-profit (ex: housing developers, builders, construction professionals, general contractors, technology companies, start-ups, architects etc.)
  • Not-for-profit organizations (ex: housing providers)
  • Indigenous organizations, governments, groups, housing agencies and authorities
  • Canadian post-secondary institutions
  • Governments (provincial, territorial, Indigenous, municipal, local and regional)
  • Teams composed of a variety of participants

* All participants must be affiliated with a legally incorporated organization