Frequently Asked Questions

Round 1: Data Driven - Solutions for informed decision-making

  • 1. Can multiple faculties/departments within a university/organization apply to the Challenge?

    Lead applicants can only submit one application (ie, a university can only be a lead applicant once). If various departments and faculties are interested, it is encouraged that they work together. Organizations can participate on multiple teams as a partner to a different lead applicant, but cannot be a lead applicant more than once per round. If an organization submits multiple applications as lead applicant, they will be asked to choose which application they wish to proceed to evaluation.

  • 2. Where do I start?

    The best place to start is the Stage 1 Applicant Guide. The Guide is designed to explain the process, the terms and conditions, and how to submit a proposal using the Applicant Form.

    Interested participants are encouraged to check the Challenge website: to stay on top of important dates, and learn of available resources. Interested participants are also encouraged to reach out to Evergreen to access the Housing Supply Challenge Support Program online at:

    Applicants can also email Evergreen at or call at 416-640-1610 to get in touch with a member of the Evergreen support team.

  • 3. How did you come up with the Challenge round topics?

    CMHC experts on housing supply from across the corporation contributed to the portfolio of topics. Feedback on a tentative shortlist of topics was collected during a series of workshops that took place across the country in January and February 2020.

    Published references for the topic list include the National Housing Strategy “Let’s Talk Housing: What We Heard” document and CMHC’s Escalating House Prices report.

  • 4. We need more housing. Why aren't you using the money to build more units?

    Building new housing units is very important, but it doesn’t help solve existing systemic barriers that continue to make housing unaffordable for many Canadians. The National Housing Strategy and CMHC toolkit of programs includes many initiatives to support new residential construction. The objective of the Housing Supply Challenge is to address structural or systemic barriers to housing supply that hinder the creation of new housing units.

  • 5. I got funding from another CMHC program already - can I apply to the HSC?

    Yes, provided your proposal meets the requirements of both programs.

  • 6. Can I still apply to another CMHC program with the same idea if I don't get funding through the HSC?

    Yes, provided your proposal meets the requirements of the program. You can visit for more information.

  • 7. I have an idea, but I am not currently affiliated with a legal entity that can accept a contribution agreement on my behalf. How can I participate?

    Interested participants who don’t meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to team up with an eligible Lead Applicant and submit an application together. Participants will have the opportunity to network with potential team members at the Networking Session. The event will provide an opportunity for participants to voluntarily connect with one another and identify potential opportunities for collaboration in support of developing the most innovative, impactful, and lasting solutions. Forming a team is not required, and completely up to applicants if they see advantages in doing so.

  • 8. What benefits are there to participating in this Challenge, other than the funding if selected?

    Applicants participating in the Housing Supply Challenge may gain valuable experience navigating a Challenge structure to apply for funding. Applicants will have a chance to collaborate with one another and develop partnerships that may go beyond the Challenge. Shortlisted Stage 2 applicants will also have their solutions posted online where consent is given, opening the opportunity to others in the field to take interest in applicants’ ideas. CMHC will be promoting the Challenge through various outreach streams, including social media.

    Through the Housing Supply Challenge Support Program run by Evergreen, Stage 2 applicants will also have access to education modules covering various topics that support design thinking and problem framing.

  • 9. If I propose a solution that is specific to my local context, will I be responsible for scaling it up during implementation?

    Local solutions are eligible, but applicants are required to consider the potential for scaling. Solutions that receive funding will be expected to meet some requirements around scaling but the specifics will be negotiated in the contribution agreements with funding recipients. Evaluators understand that there are no “one size fits all” solutions, and individual contribution agreements will reflect applicants’ project plans.

  • 10. What are some example solutions?

    Several examples of potential solutions are available at The examples are not intended as suggestions, but rather to demonstrate a range of potential responses to the challenge question.

  • 11. When is the deadline to submit?

    The deadline for application is no later than January 20th 2021 at 2pm EST. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

  • 12. How much funding is available?

    The Data Driven Round has two stages. In Stage 1, applicants submit a concept proposal for their solution. Up to 25 Stage 1 applicants will be recommended for shortlisting and proceed to Stage 2. Shortlisted applicants moving to Stage 2 will receive $100,000 of incubation funding to further develop their proof of concept.

    The evaluation panel will select a suite of Stage 2 proposals to receive funding to implement and scale their solutions. There is no pre-determined number of funded solutions; fund recipients will share a pool of $22.5M.

  • 13. How will the funding recipients be chosen?

    The Data Driven Round aims to fund a suite of solutions that, combined, will address as broad a range of data barriers as possible. A panel of evaluators, selected based on their specific expertise, will score and assess applications for shortlisting and for funding. Selection will be based on a combination of score and the solution’s ability to fill a gap in the range of data barriers.

  • 14. Who will be on the evaluation panel?

    The evaluation panel will include CMHC and external subject matter experts. We are committed to assembling a diverse pan-Canadian panel to ensure a transparent and equitable evaluation process.

  • 15. How will my application be reviewed?

    All application forms and supplementary materials will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria outlined in the guide. Only solutions scoring above 60% will be eligible for shortlisting to progress to Stage 2. Shortlisting will be based on a combination of score and the solution’s ability to fill a gap in the range of data barriers identified in the applicant guide.

  • 16. How do I submit an application?

    Applications will be accepted through the online applicant form. If you require a paper version please email us at For guidance on filling out the applicant form, please refer to the applicant guide. Only materials submitted via the application form will be accepted and evaluated.

  • 17. Where can I get help with my application? How much support am I going to get from Evergreen with my application?

    The Housing Supply Challenge Support Program is a program run by Evergreen - a national not-for-profit helping make cities flourish. The program aims to support applicants and fund recipients of the Housing Supply Challenge. Evergreen support includes dedicated staff to respond to questions, webinars on specific elements of the Data round, and a Networking Session. Please review the applicant guide for more information.

    Participants can access the Housing Supply Challenge Support program online at:

    Applicants can also email Evergreen at or call at 416-640-1610 to get in touch with a member of the Evergreen support team.

  • 18. What does a "proof of concept" mean?

    Stage 2 applicants will submit a solution proof of concept as part of their final submission. A proof of concept is a demonstration of a tested and validated solution that is ready to build, implement, and scale.

  • 19. Will CMHC own my idea after the challenge is finished?

    Participants will retain ownership of their solution but application materials will become CMHC property (description of project, etc). Depending on the solutions proposed, CMHC may wish to negotiate access to data, coding or solutions after the Round is complete. This would take place as a separate process.

  • 20. If I apply as part of a team with someone affiliated with another legal entity, how will the implementation funding be awarded?

    Contribution agreements will be negotiated with the Lead Applicant. Any arrangements between the Lead Applicant and Team members are strictly the responsibility of the Lead Applicant. CMHC is not liable for any outcome from those arrangements.

  • 21. If my team were to receive funding, will CMHC be providing tax slips?

    Teams must be associated with a Canadian legal entity and must seek their own legal/taxation advice for how they will report their income. CMHC has no obligation to issue tax slips.

  • 22. Which housing markets is the challenge focused on? Any big cities in particular?

    The Housing Supply Challenge is a national program, and applications are welcome from any community, large or small, across the country for the Data round.

  • 23. For the implementation phase, how are you envisioning the outcomes? Will possible outcomes include public-private partnerships?

    The Data Round is seeking solutions that make housing data more accessible and that address a range of barriers. Implementation funding to selected recipients will be via contribution agreement with CMHC.

  • 24. Does the challenge offer/provide some Open Data for the challenge to help participants or do we have to source all our own data?

    Participants are required to source their own data.

  • 25. Are universities with campuses in different cities considered as one potential lead applicant, or two? For example: UBC-Vancouver and UBC-Okanagan.

    If the University determines that multiple campuses are legally separate entities for the purpose of applications, then they can be considered two separate lead applicants, therefore submit two separate applications. If the University deems them as one entity, then one application is required, with one chosen Lead applicant.