Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Housing Supply Challenge: Round 2 - Getting Started

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How did we get here?

  • 167 solutions submitted.
  • 29 Solutions Shortlisted, receiving $75,000 each to prototype their solution.
  • 14 prototypes were selected for funding and will share a pool of up to $38 million to start implementing their solutions today!

It’s time to break down the barriers to the pre-construction process.

Learn more about the 14 solutions that are bringing their funding ideas to life to break down pre-construction barriers and create more affordable housing.

Digital tools for housing developers and municipal staff to streamline pre-development process

Ratio.City Inc

Ratio.City plans to streamline the housing pre-development process so that developers can get more housing into the market faster.

Web-based data analysis and collaboration tools will provide housing developers with the data, notification and analysis tools they need to accelerate their applications — from the initial feasibility studies to entitlement approval.

This will allow developers to incorporate housing affordability by:

  • reducing carrying costs and saving time to make it easier for developers to incorporate housing affordability into their portfolios
  • removing inefficiencies for municipalities by promoting information equity across the industry
  • creating higher quality submissions from housing developers with project relevant data, reducing the amount of time needed to amend and approve applications

Learnings would be cycled back into the solution so all parties can see the outcomes of a project. This allows municipalities to better gauge the efficacy of approved projects so they can prioritize similar initiatives.

First steps

  1. Upload housing data into our platform through a combination of municipal partnerships and data scrapers.
  2. Work with developers and municipalities to build tools for collaboration.

While we intend to test this solution in Toronto, our vision is to increase transparency and collaboration in all Canadian cities affected by a low housing supply and high demand.

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The Affordable Housing Development Toolbox


Cahdco’s Affordable Housing Development Toolbox coaches and mentors housing organizations to increase their development capacity. The Toolbox has 20 learning and capacity building modules.

Cahdco encourages housing providers to create development corporations. Cahdco has recruited:

  • 30+ housing organizations across Canada to participate in the Toolbox
  • 14 affordable housing developers to be knowledge experts and mentors with Cahdco

Participants will learn the skills to conduct pre-development activities through an intensive 10-month program. These organizations will assist with the delivery of the Toolbox and offer mentorship to participants.

Through people-centered design, Cahdco co-designed the Toolbox with participants and mentors. Based on feedback, Cahdco will offer 2 programs:

  • Blueprint: participants are focused on gaining knowledge of development activities
  • Foundations: participants have experience with development and will build upon these skills to increase their in-house capacity and sell development services to others

The Toolbox initiative will continue indefinitely. During the Housing Supply Challenge’s timeline, Cahdco will offer 2 iterations of the Foundations program and 4 iterations of the Blueprint program.

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Overcoming Zoning Challenges in Land Use Planning

Town of Stratford, PEI

Stratford has encountered resistance to increased density. The perception is that preserving the character of the town is an impediment to affordable housing.

This project addresses this resistance through:

  • education and awareness of the implications of planning and development decisions over the longer term
  • building more collaborative processes that could be adopted by other municipalities in future

Zoning barriers have been established that discourage diversification of housing stock. Considerable resistance to change exists, yet the town is facing an anticipated shortfall of housing to meet population growth over the next 20 years.

The town will carry out a comprehensive public education and social media campaign to engage and educate community members and decision-makers on:

  • housing needs
  • development trends
  • land use planning

The goal is to deconstruct the stigma around higher density and diversified housing needs.

This will be supported by:

  1. An online platform – grounded in best practices for online design – that gamifies development over time. It will be based on:
    • land use planning, incorporating data and insights
    • providing information planning processes
    • offering an interactive community engagement space
  2. A consultative process with developers and community to reduce zoning barriers to affordable housing development.
  3. A collaboration with other municipalities to ensure solutions have applicability beyond the town and region.

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Pre-development Process Streamlining and Modernization in Support of Housing Affordability in Simcoe County: a scalable Proof of Concept solution for all regional governments in Canada.

AECO Innovation Lab Inc.

AECO is proposing a technology solution to streamline pre-construction processes in Simcoe County as a scalable pilot. This solution includes:

  • a one-window front-end portal for submission
  • data exchange platform to facilitate the transfer of information between groups
  • application tracking capabilities
  • a workflow engine to develop a seamless process that will improve efficiency and reduce errors and miscommunications

There is a well validated need for a regional government solution to facilitate certainty, transparency, and fairness in pre-construction processes. Processes today are lengthy and complex, resulting in delays and increased costs that lead to higher housing prices, lower supply, and fewer affordable housing units.

Simcoe is an ideal candidate for this proof of concept, with a mix of urban, rural, and Indigenous perspectives.

We have collaborated with a variety of partners to build a requirements blueprint to inform implementation. We partnered with regulatory organizations like:

  • the county
  • municipalities
  • conservation authorities
  • key agencies

This technology solution:

  • addresses key housing supply and affordable housing challenges
  • improves communication between municipalities, Indigenous communities, and others

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Community Led Designs for Specialized Housing in the North

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Corporate Services

The solution creates an alternative pre-construction process of housing designs with populations experiencing inequitable housing outcomes in Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory. Ultimately, this challenge synthesizes lived experience with technical expertise to create shovel-ready housing designs.

This process is co-created. CLDHN engaged:

  • community members
  • local technical professionals
  • architects

Existing policies, programs and funding mechanisms support the reproduction of a suburban-style family home across northern reserves. This doesn’t work. In fact, it results in inadequate and inappropriate housing for many Nishnawbe Aski Nation members.

To further facilitate housing development, an implementation toolkit will be produced in collaboration with community housing professionals and regional technical experts.

Shovel-ready housing designs and implementation toolkits will equip each member First Nation with the necessary tools to address their identified challenges with specialized models of affordable housing. These toolkits respond to the unique cultures, climates and geographies of northern Ontario.

CLDSHN is creating resources that reduce pre-construction barriers and support the development of new housing for community members experiencing the greatest need. These resources are rooted in the experiences and desires of members – and ultimately directly to the ongoing housing emergency in Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory.

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Renovate the Public Hearing: Pre-Development Public Engagement & Legal Reforms to Support Housing Supply

Simon Fraser University Morris J.Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Providing solutions to the challenges created by legislated local government public hearings in British Columbia will reduce barriers and improve housing supply. SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, the BC Law Institute, and partners will do just that.

Improved laws and procedures can result in more housing that is affordable by reducing pre-development risk and removing barriers to housing for equity-seeking populations and Indigenous peoples. Currently, public hearings requirements result in increased costs, wasted time, low satisfaction and sometimes trauma for those involved.

The BC Law Institute will convene a committee of lawyers and others with direct experience to:

  • develop formal recommendations to revise sections 464-470 of BC's Local Government Act
  • consider implications for related statutes, as appropriate

Demonstration projects and engagement with diverse local governments and populations in BC will increase comfort with alternatives and identify good practices to spread.

This program will fulfill calls by the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability for the “consideration of alternative options for more meaningful, earlier public input...”

Outcomes will improve the efficiency and quality of decisions, support meaningful democratic engagement, strengthen communities and further principles of equity and Reconciliation.

Recommendations for legal reform will support systems change in BC and provide a model for national reform.

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Gentle Density Housing Accelerator

Small Housing BC

Small Housing BC seeks to accelerate the uptake of gentle density housing in numerous cities throughout British Columbia.

Single family neighbourhoods typically represent 80% of housing in any given city. This represents most of the land mass and offers a significant opportunity for the build out of increased (gentle) density and affordability.

Yet, there are significant barriers to gentle density housing, including a lack of:

  • public understanding of gentle density leading to community resistance and correlative political hesitancy
  • municipal planning capacity and knowledge of gentle density typologies and affordability models
  • shared knowledge and experience

Achieving increased gentle density housing requires a different approach with shifts in policies, knowledge and perceptions. We will achieve this through the following activities:

  • developing a community of practice amongst municipal planners
  • creating and fostering Municipal partnerships with three representational cities and the B.C. government, including Nelson, Gibsons and Coquitlam, with the intention of expanding
  • developing a dynamic Webtool to support collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst municipal planners and related government staff
  • increasing opportunities for interjurisdictional dialogue amongst planners and elected officials
  • building industry capacity by developing training for homebuilders
  • gaining insights into public perceptions of gentle density housing to strengthen public support for it

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Financing Affordable Housing with the Power of Community

Toronto Renewable Co-operative legally operating as "Tapestry Community Capital "

Community bonds are a social finance tool used by non-profits, charities and co-ops to finance capital projects with impact. Like traditional bonds, they are interest bearing loans. The key difference is that they provide investors with both a financial and social return.

Tapestry Community Capital is Canada’s leading service provider for structuring, raising and managing community bonds.

To date, we have helped unlock over $90 million in community capital. We believe community bonds can become a mainstream tool for affordable housing providers to overcome 2 key barriers:

  • lack of flexible project financing
  • community resistance to affordable housing developments

Community bonds allow organizations to set their own financing terms and raise funds on a predictable timeline. While unlocking private capital, they also build a powerful sense of community ownership.

Residents, local businesses, and institutions can all invest to improve their community, while earning a fair return. Working with those who will use and be impacted by our solution, Tapestry has designed a plan to:

  1. Build confidence in the community bond model through 12 demonstration projects with a diverse group of housing providers in Ontario and British Columbia.
  2. Build public awareness and education across Canada.
  3. Improve accessibility and sustainability of the model.
  4. Develop an online platform that will connect community investors with issuer.

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Empowering Faith Based Organizations to Build Affordable Housing

Co:Here Foundation

Metro Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis continues to see rising rental rates and very low vacancies. Faith-based organizations inhabit over $7 billion of property in the region and most properties have underutilized land and aging buildings.

Their dream of developing affordable housing often gets stuck at a very early stage because they are unable to organize a vision, business plan and the basic technical information. Without this, they can not obtain even the earliest funding or advance their plans.

Co:Here’s solution offers early stage consulting services in the Metro Vancouver area designed specifically to address these barriers. They have developed a 6-phase process that responds to faith-based organizations’ request for customized support and a clear development process that aligns with their values.

During the implementation period, Co:Here staff will guide 6 faith-based organizations:

  • helping them to develop a clear vision for the property
  • developing a preliminary business plan
  • creating a functioning governance model

This will allow Co:Here to build internal capacity and a sustainable business model to serve the remaining 850 faith-based organization landowners in the region.

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Carrefour de solutions pour accélérer la réalisation de logement étudiant abordable au Québec


Despite the need, little to no affordable student housing being built in Canada. It isn’t for a lack of resources – there are financial and land resources available in education networks. The issue is that these resources are held by several players who, for whatever reason, haven’t collaborated to build affordable student housing.

In addition, the Quebec regulatory framework is not very favourable to affordable housing projects for female students.

L’Unité de travail pour l’implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE) is a not-for-profit organization specializing in the construction and operation of affordable student housing. They propose to solve this problem by establishing the Carrefours d’excellence pour la réalisation concertée de logement étudiant (CERCLEs).

These are consultation spaces where stakeholders from housing, higher education and the various levels of government meet periodically, locally or in Quebec.

The purpose of the CERCLEs is to bring these stakeholders together. Here they can work toward:

  • removing policies and regulatory barriers impeding the development of affordable student housing projects in the social economy
  • pooling resources to enable the UTILE or others qualified promoters for student projects

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Raven House- Youth Housing

Victoria Native Friendship Centre

In British Columbia, 66% of children in foster care are Indigenous. In Victoria approximately 150 youth “age” out of care every year without adequate supports in place to meet their basic needs, including housing.

The critical shortage of available, affordable, and culturally appropriate housing in conjunction with the disproportionately high number of Indigenous children experiencing state care is an emergency. We have a responsibility to break this cycle and provide continued support to our children and youth as they mature into young adults.

The Victoria Native Friendship Centre is in the process of purchasing a new parcel of land to build a 6-story apartment building which will house both Indigenous youths aging out of care and Elders. This culturally based housing community will provide a sustainable and mutually supportive housing model for years to come.

As part of our housing solution, we will bring together a together a peer network of other housing providers, operators and support staff who have direct experience with:

  • housing youth
  • youth aging out of care or intergenerational housing who can work to share lessons learned
  • identifying solutions to common challenges and work to support VNFC in this project

Through a series of workshops and feedback sessions we will synthesize the support and advice received into a succinct housing toolkit and make it easily available to other providers.

The Victoria Native Friendship Centre will also host a nation-wide peer network to connect other providers for future projects.

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Location Analysis Framework for Non-Market and Multi-Unit Housing in Beaumont, AB

City of Beaumont

Offering a more diverse and affordable housing options in City of Beaumont, suburban municipality has been a challenge. Uncertainty about the best locations for non-market and multi-unit housing has been a pre-development barrier for various parties, including developers, the public and the city itself.

Through the Housing Supply Challenge, Beaumont and its partners propose to develop a location identification framework for non-market and multi-unit development. The solution has 2 parts:

  1. Online mapping tool
    The mapping tool is planned as a public, open-source resource that maps various development suitability and feasibility indicators, including distances to amenities, transportation resources, topography and more. Users could search by location, by client group, or with a custom set of indicators.
  2. Integration framework
    The integration framework will set out a transparent process for how Beaumont will consider tool data during the non-market and multi-unit housing development approval process.

To complete our solution, funding from the Housing Supply Challenge will enable us to continue engaging with community members, experts, equity-seeking groups and other interested parties on:

  • the design of our solution
  • acquiring data and creating the online mapping tool
  • developing the implementation framework
  • creating a model for scaling our solution to other municipalities

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Creating Affordable Community-led Housing Through CLH Ecosystem Support Network

Coho NL Community Development Inc.

Community-Led Housing (CLH) is a model of place-based, self-determined housing. It shifts the power dynamic of development (especially affordable housing) from top-down to grassroots decision-making and prioritization by those most impacted by what is built: future residents.

We empower community-led housing groups to successfully implement locally sourced, innovative, affordable housing solutions. This unlocks a new group of developers who are perfectly situated to:

  • understand the unique needs and culture of a place
  • embed in their community ecosystems
  • attract new partnerships
  • increase affordable stock across Canada in small but collectively impactful ways

Based on successes in the UK, we propose a community-led housing ecosystem support network that include:

  • a knowledge-sharing platform to collectivize the breadth of knowledge and experience existing and currently developing in the community-led housing sector
  • enabling peer-to-peer support and connection with CLH experts
  • consulting services to help groups as needed
  • a comprehensive community-led housing toolkit connected to the support system, facilitating its usefulness and long-term continuance of the project (beyond the Housing Supply Challenge).

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Roadmap for Redevelopment Plans to Confront Systemic Racism (Roadmap)

CP Planning

A systemic exclusion of BIPOC results in the mass displacement of Black, Indigenous, and diverse Peoples of Colour (BIPOC) from areas adjacent to major transit stations (MTSAs:GO-train/subway/LRT/BRT).

This Roadmap will result in a long-term increase in affordable housing supply for Black, Indigenous, and diverse Peoples of Colour (BIPOC); achieved through its people centred approach of addressing systemic racism limiting the economic inclusion of BIPOC in the planning, development, and construction of housing (housing industry).

While government has invested billions of dollars into transit infrastructure, they did little to produce the social, tech, or affordable housing infrastructure required to ensure existing residents may continue to stay, or that future lower income households may call these neighbourhoods home.

In response, the Roadmap builds relationships and leadership skills across all levels of the housing industry as to confront systemic racism via the economic inclusion of BIPOC, consistent collaboration, and the design and deployment of innovative technology that builds affordable housing as to realize the Right to Return (ability to return to a unit after renovation/redevelopment), and the Right to Remain (ability to stay in a neighbourhood during renovation/redevelopment) in all Ontario municipalities with an LRT (Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Ottawa).

This Roadmap serves to meet National Housing Strategy commitments to a human rights-based approach to housing.

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Stage 1 Funding Recipients

For Stage 1 of this Round, we have shortlisted 29 applicants. They will receive up to $75,000 each to prototype their solution. Of the 29 shortlisted applicants, selected solutions will share a pool of $38 million in funding to implement their solutions.

Stage 1 Funding Recipients

City of Beaumont


Location Identification Framework for Non-Market Housing in Beaumont, Alberta

Non-market housing is currently under-supplied in our fast-growing suburban municipality of Beaumont, Alberta.

As such, our proposed solution is to develop a framework for identifying suitable locations for non-market housing in the City of Beaumont, Alberta.

 The goal of the framework is to reduce uncertainty for stakeholders (about the desired location and form of non-market housing. Reducing locational uncertainty will encourage new non-market development proposals and partnerships, simplify approval processes, facilitate access to financing, and reduce community opposition.

The proposed framework builds on examples from other communities and will include measurable data on factors influencing the success of non-market housing (e.g., access to transit and community amenities, income mix), and a clear, robust process for stakeholder engagement. It will include materials to be used by the City, proponents, and the public, to provide transparency on how location decisions will be made.

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Rural Development Network


Rural and Remote Communities - Housing Data for Pre-Development Progression

Housing data is a key part of addressing housing need in any community. To accurately understand and address need in communities, there needs to be an understanding of who is in need; what units are required; how many units are required; and what the future needs look like..

Unfortunately, for many rural and remote communities, housing data is severely lacking. Sometimes only minimal information about housing is available, and often the data is dated. This in turn causes issues with proving need to those backing or funding the project..

We propose to create a framework that will allow communities to generate quality-housing data independently.  This will allow communities to understand the need that exists in their communities as well as to work to address it. Rural communities across Canada will be able to utilize this framework.

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Tawaw Architecture Collective Inc.


Changing Horses NFP Society Supportive Housing Complex

This solution addresses two affordable housing barriers: the mismatch between policy and implementation; and inflexible processes limiting innovation in First Nations housing.

For the solution, we are implementing lessons from the Indigenous Housing Innovation Initiative that offered seed grants to 24 First Nations across Canada. In particular, we are taking the lessons from the design and construction of a Tiny Home Supportive housing complex project and using the grant to document our process in a user-friendly format for distribution.

The goal is to offer a model for the future: community-led initiatives; energy efficient and culturally responsive designs; integrated project delivery; and the integration of traditional planning concepts.

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The Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC)


Co-Creating Housing Affordability with Neighbourhoods

Research suggests opposition to affordable housing in the public participation process tends to arise from uncertainty and miscommunication from a minority of residents.   Therefore, the solution to this challenge is to engage a broad swath of the community at the outset in a practical, bottom-up approach.

Experiences from a variety of jurisdictions suggest that when communities have the opportunity to envision the future of their neighbourhoods prior to development, barriers are reduced.  

The proposed solution intends to create an evolved public participation process that directly reduces systemic barriers and creates an informed neighbourhood engagement framework. 

The proposed solution will create a formalized process across decision-makers in the housing development approval process to integrate their efforts and to co-create affordable housing in all Edmonton neighbourhoods with consistent communication and processes.  It will also provide new avenues for participation for groups who are typically under-represented in the process of development. 

The solution will broaden the formative participation of indigenous, vulnerable groups, newcomers, LGBTQ+ and other potential users of affordable housing.  It will also create practical tools for regulators to re-think policies and practices.

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Co: Here Foundation

Empowering Faith-Based Organizations to Create Affordable Housing

British Columbia

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) are uniquely positioned to create affordable housing because they have a community-focused mission and often own underutilized land.

Unfortunately, FBOs often encounter unique barriers getting projects started.

Co: Here Foundation is developing and piloting not-for-profit consulting services in the Lower Mainland of BC that will specifically address FBO barriers and, expedite their pre-development process.

These services will build FBO capacity, assisting them to develop a business plan that demonstrates preliminary financial and development feasibility, a clear housing vision, and an effective internal decision-making structure, which will enable FBO’s to access the financial and technical expertise that is readily available.

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El-Marashly Housing Inc

British Columbia

Leverage-Free Housing Finance Model

Financing is a considerable barrier in the housing development process, starting from the pre-development phase to making affordable houses available to first-time home-buyers.

The ultimate aim of the solution is to convert tenants into first-time homebuyers through an innovative program that offers financial flexibility.  The proposed solution will offer first-time homebuyers the opportunity to start with a minimal ownership stake and allow them to increase it at their own discretion and pace.

The solution will directly match ‘investors’ with ‘homebuyers’ in a risk-return sharing model without putting any burden on government resources. The model will develop a ‘trading platform’ where funds are raised and house-shares are traded, providing the necessary liquidity and flexibility.

The solution will be implemented in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley and is scalable to be a country-wide solution.

The solution will be a leverage-free model that eliminates financial intermediation from the housing system, starting from the pre-development phase, saving all the related costs along the way, leading to more affordable homes.

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Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre For Dialogue

British Columbia

Renovate the Public Hearing: Pre-Development Public Engagement Reforms to Support Housing Supply

SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (the Centre) and partners will reduce barriers and improve housing supply by providing solutions to the challenges created by legislated local government public hearings in British Columbia (BC).

Current public hearing requirements add time, money and sometimes trauma to pre-development processes for all involved. Solutions that improve public hearing requirements and procedures will lower housing costs by creating predictability and reducing risk in pre-development. Solutions will also improve diverse access, equity, and democratic competencies in legislated local government public engagement activities.

International scans and deliberative innovations, legal reviews, advisory groups, and community dialogues will inform solution options. Pilot tests in four municipalities and regional districts in BC, including the city of New Westminster, will undergo a mixed-method evaluation to identify how changes work, for whom and in what context. 

Outcomes will support systems change for updating public hearings, revising Section 464-470 of the provincial Local Government Act, and provide a model for national reform.

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Small Housing BC

British Columbia

Gentle Density Housing (GDH) Accelerator

Small Housing BC (SHBC) seeks to promote the uptake of gentle density housing in numerous cities throughout British Columbia. 

Single family neighbourhoods typically represent 80% of housing in a given city, representing the vast majority of the land mass and offer a significant opportunity for build out of increased (gentle) density and affordability.  Yet, there are significant barriers to gentle density housing, lack of public understanding of gentle density leading to community resistance and correlative political hesitancy; lack of municipal planning capacity and knowledge of gentle density typologies and affordability models; and lack of shared knowledge and experience. 

SHBC proposes to overcome these barriers through two related processes: development of an interactive web tool that address these issues and a comprehensive consultative engagement process with BC municipalities and their key stakeholders.

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Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society

Tools for Affordable Workforce Housing in the Southern Gulf Islands

British Columbia

The Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society (SGITPS) has a mandate to address workforce housing with support from the Municipal and Regional District Taxes (MRDT) collected from Online Travel Agents (OTAs).

The proposed solution aligns the SGITPS with local non-profit housing societies to facilitate collaboration among Southern Gulf Islands’ (SGIs’) shared objective of achieving needed affordable housing and establishing a dedicated Southern Gulf Islands (SGI) Housing Navigator role.

The SGI Housing Navigator will work with local agencies to strategically align local government pre-development processes of the Islands Trust and the Capital Regional District, developing standardized tools and templates, such as housing agreements.

Workforce housing units will be dedicated to support staffing for local hospitality businesses using MRDT-OTA. Coordination of individual island and non-profit society efforts will better serve the overall affordable housing needs of island communities and increase access to needed resources including financing from BC Housing and support from the BC Non-Profit Housing Association. Public, non-profit, and private resources will be invested more efficiently and effectively.

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Urban Matters CCC

British Columbia

Co-Creating Housing Solutions: Early Engagement Interventions in Housing Development

This solution proposes the development of a publicly accessible toolkit that outlines tools for engaging with neighbours and residents around affordable housing projects.   The solution will go beyond conventional and required engagement processes (e.g., a developer's open house or the Public Hearing model).

By developing more inclusive, accessible, and equitable forms of engagement intended to be implemented early in the development process, this toolkit will empower non-profit and private sector housing developers, local government staff, and the public to work together to co-create housing solutions and ensure a broader representation of perspectives early in the development process. This in turn will provide decision-makers greater confidence about public sentiment toward a project, allowing them to know their decisions are based on an engagement approach that strives to improve upon existing tools and methods.

We anticipate that the digital toolkit will include a number of components, such as tools for running a Co-Creation Workshop or design charrette; online and digital engagement tools; a guide to the legal requirements for rezoning in BC; and more.

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Victoria Native Friendship Centre- Raven House

British Columbia

Raven House- a model for urban Indigenous youth culturally-based affordable housing

In British Columbia, there are approximately 5,271 children and youth in foster care. 3,499, or 66%, of those 5,271 children are Indigenous.  46% of those children are over the age of 12 and are considered youth.

Every year in British Columbia,  800 youth age out-of-care at age 19,and their eligible funding is terminated. In Victoria, approximately 150 youth “age” out-of-care every year without adequate supports in place to meet their basic needs, such as housing. Victoria is one of the least affordable  cities in Canada.

The Victoria Native Friendship Centre provides 48-units of low-income, culturally-based housing to students, single parent families, and youth aging out-of-care. However, it has over 100 families on the waiting list.

Due to the pandemic, many office buildings in cities are now empty. These offices can pivot with supportive zoning to transform into small, self-contained suites with common spaces. This type of culturally-based supportive housing is ideal for youth transitioning out-of-care and the common spaces can be used for workshops, training, staff supports such as social workers, youth mental health and addictions workers and a property manager.

At Raven House, urban Indigenous youth can develop skills and self-confidence before moving on independently.

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Rent Seeker

Lengthy community needs assessments create a lag in processes for affordable housing and create an over reliance on the private sector to inform what the affordable housing needs are.

Through this proposed solution, Rent Seeker will help to eliminate the need for a lengthy community needs assessments for funding applications for affordable housing projects.

To address the issue of community needs assessments, Rent Seeker will address the need for consumer driven data to lead affordable housing building projects based on current and specific market demands that we are not currently able to capture in a meaningful way.

Using the HelpSeeker Technologies model, we will partner with sector service transformation companies to bring transparency, accuracy, and sustainability to the rental market, including the affordable rental housing market. This will also help to clarify the state of  affordable housing in Brandon by adding availability to real-time consumer data for safe, appropriate, and affordable housing.

This project will be piloted in Brandon, Manitoba, and can include other similar sized cities with similar affordability challenges.

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Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA)


Indigenous Housing Inspection Program - Barrenlands First Nation

The Indigenous Housing Inspection Program (IHIP) will help Barrenlands First Nations (BFN) upgrade substandard homes on its reserves.

In order to upgrade substandard homes, Barrenlands needs support in terms of home inspections and training to address the critical need of increasing energy efficiency.

Unfortunately, capacity in Home Inspection and Energy Efficiency improvements are limited in First Nation communities. The difficulty is that local capacity is often not developed when homes are upgraded or completed.

IHIP will build this capacity (as well as potentially other skills in future) by building local skills and abilities with the training provided on-reserve. Training will combine in-house and in-class teaching resulting in certified skills.

Barrenland First Nations has invited the IHIP to implement its pilot project in its community, and has expressed keen interest in building its capacity through this program.

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Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission

New Brunswick

The Housing Hub: Southwest New Brunswick Housing Information Portal

Southwest New Brunswick’s (SwNB) municipalities are in an extreme housing shortage due to limited local developer capacity and a lack of interest from ‘urban’ developers to build in rural areas. 

Across the region’s municipalities, at least 500-1,000 + new or converted affordable and market rate rental units are needed in the next 5 years.  Unfortunately,  there is a lack of interest to build this type of housing amongst local developers.

However, lowering costs, project time, and overall development effort for developers would be a key factor in lowering rental costs and ultimately lowering barriers for entry for new developers.  This can be accomplished through access to data - access to data and information is one of the major barriers preventing local private and non-profit developers from accessing funding and developing affordable.  Easy access to all regulatory information and key contacts lowers time and effort. 

The solution is a one-stop-shop online Hub that will have information relevant for all stages of pre-development.  The Hub will highlight how it can help developers expedite their project.

The Hub would have a real impact on streamlining the process for developers, leading to lower development costs to allow for many more affordable units.

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Coho NL Community Development Inc.


Creating Affordable Cohousing Through Knowledge-Sharing

Cohousing is a community-led, community-funded housing model with social and environmental benefits.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of cohousing-specific expertise in Canada to expand this housing model.

Our solution is to compile knowledge from the experts and other cohousing groups to create legal, financial, and pre-design documents and processes to support cohousing in St. John’s.  Then, we would convert this knowledge into templates, workshop guides, and example reports that would form a toolkit for cohousing consultants to support more accessible and affordable cohousing across Canada.

This solution will become the foundation of a cohousing knowledge commons that collectivizes the experience, skills, and resources of the geographically dispersed grassroots cohousing initiatives.

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AECO Innovation Lab Inc.


Pre-development Process Streamlining and Modernization for Affordable Housing in Simcoe County

Slow, disjointed, and antiquated development approval processes impact housing supply and affordability. First Nations Communities in particular have no building permit system and home construction follows no set process. As a result, existing codes & standards are not consistently used.

We propose a pilot in Simcoe County to address long approval times and digitize the process for all 16 municipalities and 2 First Nations Communities. The system will streamline the pre-development construction processes for affordable housing and help ensure First Nations homes are built to code.

A single window approach will include:

- A Development Approval Data and Information Exchange Standard (DADIES) that will determine what data is being shared between stakeholders and standardize exchanges for more timely, transparent processes,

- A Central Review Platform (CRP) that enables stakeholders to efficiently submit, review, communicate about, and approve development applications, enabling faster decision making,

- And a Central Analytics and Reporting System (CAARS) that will give communities access to insightful data regarding their development approval processes, and inform decision making to enable smart planning across the county.

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Archangel Ventures


ESG-Funding Online Platform

Mobilizing private capital into projects that include affordable housing is critical to increasing supply, yet it remains a major challenge as the specter of these affordable housing projects will project low financial returns.

Now, with climate-risk accepted as a significant structural risk in property portfolio management, large pools of private and institutional capital have become earmarked for ESG/ Impact Investing with a heavy focus on environmental outcomes.

Through this solution, we will create  visibility around tranches of ESG capital and their “E” requirements.  This will enable developers to tailor projects to attract ESG funds to their capital stack as well as deliver environmental benefits- leading to improved operational affordability.

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Creation of Non-profit Housing Development Corporations

All development projects require three components to become feasible: capital, land, and capacity. If any of these components are missing, a project will not be successful.

Specifically, pre-development activities such as securing sources of funding or financing, identifying project partners, and developing a design concept are crucial steps to determine the feasibility of a development project. These can be time consuming and challenging to address if an organization does not have the time & capacity.

There is simply a lack of development capacity in the non-profit and co-operative housing sector.

Our solution is to lead the creation & mentorship of non-profit development corporations across Canada.

Cahdco is a non-profit development corporation based in Ottawa, created more then 20 years ago by CCOC, a private non-profit housing organization. CCOC operates 1,700 affordable rental homes in downtown Ottawa.

Cahdco will work with CHRA to recruit housing organizations across Canada interested in increasing their development capacity and then advise them how to create and establish a non-profit development corporation. Cahdco will be assisted by Indwell, based in Hamilton, Ontario.

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City of Brampton


Affordable Rental Housing in Brampton’s Private Housing Stock (lodging houses, triplex conversions)

The proposed solution seeks to address a growing challenge in housing affordability for a majority of low and middle-income renter households in Brampton.

This solution proposes to address housing affordability in Brampton by using the existing private housing stock.

The pre-construction barriers to supply of safe and legal lodging homes and rental triplexes within the predominantly low-rise private housing stock are: significant financial investment of time and resources for project planning; approvals; and required public consultations.

Phase 1 of the solution is to pilot the co-design of a number of prototypes for lodging houses and rental triplexes in a sample neighbourhood, resulting in a variety of pre-approved plans. These pre-approved plans will be used to educate the public and help to reduce negative perceptions of these rental typologies in Brampton, showcasing the role they can have in supporting a full mix and range of housing choices to residents.

In Phase 2, the project will be expanded in scope (policy, DCs, zoning overlays etc.) and geographical application to support these typologies city-wide and remove barriers to the conversions of single-detached dwellings to meet affordability needs of renter households.

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CP Planning


Network Roadmapping for Redevelopment Plans to Confront Systemic Racism

BIPOC communities are chronically under-engaged in municipal planning processes, despite BIPOC having the highest levels of housing insecurity. This limits the delivery of affordable housing for BIPOC residents.

This solution will address the barriers of systemic racism within municipal planning projects and public consultation processes that create BIPOC displacement.  It will coordinate BIPOC community members (residents, development sector leaders, and organizations serving marginalized BIPOC residents) and municipal planning bodies in Toronto and Peel.

The goals of this solution will be:

1) Multi-sector strategic plans and partnership agreements, and municipal policies that produce affordable housing that address BIPOC displacement.

2) Roadmaps for making changes to municipal planning as to integrate social equity into densification plans.

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Home Suite Hope Shared Living Corp.


Housing Needs and Affordability for Single-Parent-Led Families

The number of unsheltered individuals rapidly increased throughout the 2020 pandemic. The number of people residing in temporary hotels increased by 300%, of which 28% were females. Family shelters were at capacity with single mother-led families occupying 73% of family shelter positions.

A number of Halton-based single mothers who work a 40-hour week, experience challenges and may live in poverty. Many cannot afford to rent a 2-bedroom apartment for their family. As a result, many other aspects of her life may suffer including food security, mental health, parenting, and life skills.

Home Suite Hope (HSH) operates from a housing-first model and recognizes that for individuals to be successful, they must first have a safe space to call home. In providing affordable housing, and thus a home, it enables one to be successful in other aspects of their life.

HSH proposes a pre-development solution to determine two key factors in offering single-parent families affordable housing: 1) Tenant-Informed Building Amenities Requirements for Single-Parents; 2) The Affordable Housing Framework.

This solution is scalable to 6 HSH Affiliates supporting single-parent-led families across Ontario.

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Kenora District Services Board


Tiny Home Communities in Northwestern and Rural Ontario

Tiny home projects or "villages" have been proposed in major cities across Canada, but little consideration has been given to the tiny home concept in northern and rural municipalities in Ontario.

For many communities, major barriers remain that must be removed for the tiny home concept to be a viable tool in addressing homelessness and affordability in northern and rural Ontario. This is particularly true in the District of Kenora in Northwest Ontario, where a homelessness crisis is brewing as a direct result of the housing shortages in the region’s First Nations communities, including those neighbouring the region’s 9 municipalities as well as the remote communities in the far north.

There is a growing, grass roots movement in northwestern Ontario that is seeking to establish tiny home communities on and off First Nations lands to provide low-barrier housing to homeless community members. However, the movement has not been successful in making meaningful impacts due to a number of barriers facing this type of development.

Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) in partnership with the University of Manitoba (U of M) seek to develop a Tiny Home Community Development Roadmap for Northwestern Ontario.

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Nishnawbe Aski Nation Corporate Services


Community Led Designs for Specialized Housing in the North

The existing northern housing policies, programs and funding mechanisms support the production of suburban-style family homes in northern reserves. These are ultimately not satisfactory for NAN members.

Without capacity or support for community-based design in pre-construction, there will continue to be insufficient housing development in the North.

Community Led Designs for Specialized Housing in the North (CLDSHN) will initiate an alternative pre-construction process through the co-creation of Housing Plans with populations experiencing inequitable housing outcomes in Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Territory.

Focusing specifically on those experiencing greatest housing need, CLDSHN will engage community members with lived experience in generating shovel-ready design and implementation solutions.

While designs will be tailored to the unique needs and priorities of the occupant populations, they will be accompanied by flexible implementation plans meeting the diverse climatic and geographic contexts of the territory. The development of Housing Plans rooted in the experiences of NAN members will respond to the ongoing NAN housing crisis by building new pathways towards affordable and appropriate housing.

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Raising the Roof


B Homes

Our goal is to create new purpose-built secondary housing by eliminating pre-development barriers to investment for detached homeowners.

B Homes creates new housing stock by providing a turnkey detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) development service to average homeowners and small residential investors. Included in this service, provided by a consortium of non-profit builders and developers (B Homes), is a suite of tools specifically designed to reduce the typical barriers for DADUs at single family homes. Customizable, energy efficient and accessible housing design, project management services, seamless integration to existing communities and sound financial support are the foundation for the value we provide to potential users of this service.

Our intention is to implement this solution in Barrie, Ontario . In Barrie alone there are over 31,485 detached homes with the potential for new detached accessory dwelling units. However, our ultimate goal is to distribute and install our novel modular detached accessory dwelling product in major cities across Canada through a network of social enterprise contractors and trusted consultants to create widespread impact on the secondary affordable housing landscape in Canada.

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Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Housing Development Calculator & Dashboard

A variety of municipal policies affects the affordability of a development.  Changes to unit count, parking ratio, open space requirements, timeline costs, construction costs, fees and taxes adjust the feasibility of a project.

To encourage developers to build affordable units, we need to enable them to understand how they can reduce costs, and in turn, understand how affordable housing can fit in their proposal.   Developers need to fully understand the city of Toronto’s housing goals and understand the real impacts of different policies.

We are proposing a web-based housing development calculator & dashboard that will translate Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) policy requirements and provide on-demand pro-forma calculations.  Our solution provides stakeholders with a calculator and 3D modelling tool to understand IZ in Toronto and how incentives offset costs of affordable units. It allows developers to conceptualize how they can pass-along cost savings to provide affordable housing, reduce unknown pre-development barriers, visualize multiple feasible developments, and provide stakeholders with greater transparency into funding opportunities.

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Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative operating as "Tapestry Community Capital"


Financing affordable housing with the power of community

Tapestry Community Capital specializes in using a social finance tool called a Community Bond.

Similar to a regular bond, they are an interest-bearing loan, except they also generate a social return for investors. Community bonds are an innovative way for non-profit affordable housing providers to overcome two key barriers:  Lack of flexible and efficient project financing and community resistance to affordable housing developments.

Community bonds allow organizations to set their own financing terms and raise funds on a predictable timeline. While unlocking private capital, they also build a powerful sense of community ownership. Residents, neighbours, and local businesses alike can all invest to improve their community, while earning a fair return.

Our solution adapts our proven process for raising community investment to meet the complex funding needs of affordable housing providers. We will design this program through a highly collaborative process involving a diverse range of stakeholders that provide, fund, or are personally impacted by affordable housing.

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Town of Stratford

Prince Edward Island

Overcoming Zoning Challenges in Land Use Planning

Stratford is planning to design a more collaborative process that will promote a safe and ethical space for the public, planners, developers, and stakeholders to work together to address housing challenges in land use planning.

This new process includes preliminary research on the economic, environmental, and social benefits and costs associated with different development patterns, social marketing and education, technology, and the design of an updated planning process.

The social marketing component will inform and educate the public on matters such as population growth, housing supply, land use and development patterns with the purpose of deconstructing the stigma around high density and diversified housing needs. This education will be further reinforced through technology, by 'gamifying' this process via a virtual interactive platform that will allow residents to simulate and visualize how different development decisions play out in land use patterns and housing supply in a PEI context.

The design of the new planning process will support up-front collaboration and co-design for different housing typologies to build support and buy-in early in the planning process, therefore improving the frequently adversarial nature of the public hearing

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Concordia University Next-Generation Cities Institute


Realized through Value Collective

Value Collective  aims to address the pre-development barrier of a financialized economy that does not adequately recognize non-financial forms of value.

This solution proposes the establishment of a living lab to generate ideas, programs, and structures for de-financialized systems of organizing. The project would offer a rotating cohort of residents housing and workspace at no cost, among other forms of support, as a basis for prototyping new approaches to economic practice utilizing non-financial value exchange.

By providing accessible housing and a vibrant social infrastructure within the framework of a hub for new economic knowledge and practice, Value Collective creates a context where practice-led cultural change is possible. Value Collective is currently exploring implementation at Cite-des-Hospitalieres, a former monastery in Montreal.

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Unité de travail pour l'implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE)


Solutions hub to accelerate the development of affordable student housing in Quebec

There is a lack of affordable student housing in Canada. Affordable student housing is also not reflected in most statistics or policies. Stakeholders are fragmented as the housing sector does not have adequate student housing representation, and the educational sector has not given this need enough attention.

However, there are significant and underutilized financial and land resources that would allow affordable student housing projects to get off the ground if various stakeholders could work more closely together.

The Carrefour du logement étudiant will bring together relevant educational institutions, student associations, organizations and government departments to address the planning deficit, forge new partnerships, experiment with new models, disseminate technical solutions, and inform public policy.

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Challenge details

Key Dates

  • Launch: June 9, 2021
  • Initial Submissions: August 25, 2021, 2pm EST
  • Shortlisted: October 2021
  • Stage 2 Final Submissions: April 2022
  • Funded Solutions Announced: Summer 2022

Funding Allocation

  • Stage 1 – Incubation Funding for prototyping: Up to 30 Shortlisted Applications will receive $75k 
  • Stage 2 – Implementation Funding: Selected solutions will share a pool of $38M 

Who can Apply?

Lead Applicant must be a legal entity:

  • For-profit and not-for-profit organizations
  • Indigenous organizations and groups
  • Canadian post-secondary institutions
  • Government (Provincial, territorial, municipal, local, and regional)
  • Consulting firms
  • Teams composed of a variety of participants
* All participants must be affiliated with a legally incorporated organization