Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Housing Supply Challenge: Round 1 - Data Driven

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How did we get here?

  • 136 solutions submitted.
  • 21 Solutions Shortlisted, receiving $200,000 each to prototype their solution.
  • 14 prototypes were selected for funding and will share a pool of $22.5 million to start implementing their solutions today!

14 solutions to receive funding to bring their idea to life

The Data Driven Round is the first round of the Housing Supply Challenge. In this round, we looked for data solutions that improve decision-making for housing supply in Canada. Applicants submitted technology solutions or methodologies that can improve the collection, sharing, analysis and integration, and/or presentation of data.

In this multistage process, applicants moved progressively forward until the final stage in which select applicants will receive final funding to implement their idea. A panel of evaluators reviewed each solution and measured it against program criteria in order to determine successful applicants.

This rigorous two-stage evaluation process ensures that the Housing Supply Challenge will fund the best solutions to improve housing supply.

Starting today, Stage 2 funding recipients will begin the process of implementing their exciting solutions and will sign milestone agreements to ensure progress over the coming years.

Stage 2 Funding Recipients

First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba

FNHSSM eHealth Housing Database


First Nations lack access to a centralized database with Indigenous-specific housing information. To address this gap, for Round 1 of the Housing Supply Challenge, the First Nation Health & Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) proposed a multi-phased solution to create a First Nations Housing Database that will be made accessible to all 63 First Nations in Manitoba. This housing database is an information-based application tool that helps communities support and develop proposals and projects that address housing and housing-related gaps and issues in each of their areas.

This will be a searchable e-tool to support housing proposals, infrastructure, community development, maintenance & education (among others). The following pillars inform the framework of the e-tool: Housing & Education; Research, Policy & Community Development; and Housing Supply & Coordinated Access.

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Purpose Analytics

Low-end of Market Rental Housing Monitor


Households with low incomes are limited and forced to rely on the low-end of the market (LEM) to meet their housing needs, as they are unable to access housing in the broader housing spectrum. Anecdotal evidence indicates that affordable housing in the LEM is slowly being lost, and there is limited data to address this potential crisis.

As part of the Housing Supply Challenge, Purpose Analytics will create the LEM Rental Housing Monitor to track this crisis. It will quantify the magnitude of the issue and identify where it is most acute within Canada’s major cities. This information will assist decision-makers to set policy or take direct action.

The Low-end of Market Rental Housing Monitor will integrate several datasets to estimate the supply and location of deeply affordable rental housing in urban areas. The modelled data will be made accessible to users through an interactive, map-based tool and through an API that will allow users to access raw values and to pass data to other applications.

Specifically, it will be scaled to six urban centres in Canada. The data in the web-based interactive map will come from within the existing Canadian Rental Housing Index, via download and API calls, and through data stories that provide guided analysis for visitors.

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University of British Columbia

Needs Assessment and Well-Located Land: A Data-Driven Solution to Balanced Supply of Housing

British Columbia

There is currently no standardized method among Canada’s three levels of government to measure housing needs by income category or sizes. Disaggregated data on marginalized groups is also weak and inconsistent. Housing needs assessments rarely include net loss of affordable housing or include additional needs based on population growth and change over a 10-year period. Another data gap is a lack of an agreed upon approach to identify and use well-located land for affordable housing.

A standardized approach and consensus method is necessary to properly inform plans that can generate effective, equitable, and comparable housing strategies to address housing needs.

To address this problem, as part of the Housing Supply Challenge, the Housing Research Collaborative at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will create a ‘proof of concept’ needs assessment tool based on international best practice, and a Housing Access Rating Tool (HART), that can be overlaid on publicly-owned land to model scenarios.

UBC will create the tools in partnership with municipalities, governments and non-profits by developing shared understandings, methodologies and data. UBC will disseminate and scale the use of these tools across the country, and provide training for urban planners and other urban professionals through an online certificate program.

UBC will work directly with 11 governments and regions to scale up the tools, publish a public housing need data dashboard, improve the potential for acquisition strategies, and create a toolkit and online course to ensure sustainability of HART.

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McMaster University

CHEC Administrative Data Centre


A lack of robust and accessible administrative data is a barrier to analyzing the impact, efficiency and effectiveness of housing supply initiatives. Data collected on these initiatives is not standardized and not accessible, as much of the data exists only in reports or in individual organizational records.

As part of the Housing Supply Challenge, CHEC proposes to build, maintain and create access to existing housing datasets that lacks an organizational structure.

CHEC Data Centre will process data from NGOs, municipalities, provinces, territories and CMHC from 2001 to the present, and use data management teams to clean, aggregate, anonymize and document datasets to make them research ready.

The final Aggregate or depersonalized data will be made publicly available through an online content management system.

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McGill University

Data Homebase: A prototype visualizing Canada’s housing characteristics to foster a circular economy


One approach to tackling housing supply is the circular economy (CE). CE is when materials and buildings are kept in use for as long as possible to reduce waste and promote sustainability, and end of life building material is reused, rather than turned to waste.

However, effective CE decision-making requires robust, building data. Unfortunately, this is currently scattered and lacks standardization.

To overcome this barrier, for Round 1 of the Housing Supply Challenge, McGill University has proposed to develop ‘housing passports’ (HP) - standardized digital descriptions of residential building characteristics.

Each HP will represent different residential typologies based on analysis of existing building stock. Through a new web-based, data visualization prototype named Data Homebase, HP information will be organized, semantically linked, and visualized in a manner that makes it easily accessible to a wide variety of housing stakeholders, from building sector, to financial and policymaking actors. For example, HPs could help banks complete property assessments and could support cities with asset management of government housing.

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The Métis Nation of Ontario

Using Strategic Data to Shape Regional Allocation of Affordable Housing Investments for Métis citizens in Ontario


As it currently stands, no granular Métis-specific housing data exists. Without this data, it is difficult to make effective decisions regarding new construction and renovation investments for those in most need, and gear them to viability conditions in different regions. Specific and accurate housing data would support better strategic decisions in terms of allocating Métis housing funds to increase affordable supply for Métis.

To address this problem, for Round 1 of the Housing Supply Challenge, the Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) will mine available data sets and update them to generate a Métis-specific picture of housing supply issues at the Census Division level. This will enable MNO leadership to set regional supply targets for the Métis Housing and Homelessness Strategy.

The proposed solution is ultimately a data-driven system that informs housing investment allocations on a regional basis to supply affordable housing to eligible Métis Citizens of Ontario.

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Université Laval

Mapping of population vulnerability and exposure to extreme heat waves


The effects of heat are largely influenced by an individual’s ability to access resources, particularly adequate housing. Government and non-governmental organizations, whether they’re local, regional or provincial, must face the social and economic consequences of climate change.

The goal of this project is to develop an interactive online mapping application that provides valid information on the geographic distribution of vulnerable populations and exposure of major Canadian communities to heat waves.

This mapping will represent the geographic distribution of vulnerability and exposure, specifying their intensity for each geographic unit. With this information, authorities will be able to intervene to reduce the health effects of these heat waves and respond more appropriately when these hazards occur.

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MapYourProperty Inc.

Single Data Intelligence Platform for Affordable Housing Development


The Consortium of Affordable Housing Data (CoAHD) will build an end-to-end data intelligence platform using CoAHD’s Artificial Intelligence and ETL (Extraction, Transform, Load) technology. This technology will drive the interactive mapping platform which acquires & analyzes hundreds of housing indicators into a single solution, updating in almost real-time. By having access to key indicators including surplus lands, distance to transit and amenities, pro forma costs, and rental rates, users will be able to make better, more streamlined decisions on affordable development and construction.

The final platform will empower users to make better, faster decisions about affordable housing development.  The consortium is made of the largest non-profit housing organizations, academics, and emerging technology startups in the housing space in Canada.  The lead firm, MapYourProperty, at

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Ontario First Nations Technical Services

Ontario First Nation Housing Needs


There are housing shortages in Indigenous communities throughout Ontario.

However, Indigenous communities lack the quality data needed to truly understand and quantify what is needed to ensure communities have housing that meets their needs. The ability to accurately predict housing demand and base housing projections for long term planning strategies in each community is limited by the quality of information available. The quality of information correlates to the actual housing need.

For Round 1 of the Housing Supply Challenge, Ontario First Nations Technical Services proposes to examine and develop a methodology to obtain, analyze and store quality data. They will analyze existing data and find data gaps, and utilize other methods to collect data.

The objective of the solution is to create quality data that informs leadership and funding agencies assistance to solve the housing gap.

It will help project their future housing needs based on current population and projected growth population and ensure that they can store live data so that the information will not become stale and outdated in a short duration of time.

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Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC)

Filling the Housing Information Gap in Rural Eastern Ontario


Currently, in rural Eastern Ontario, there is a shortage of proper housing data. The lack of adequate data prevents proper planning and construction of affordable housing development in the region.

Through the Housing Supply Challenge, the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC) will build a streamlined digital tool to fill the housing information gap. This locally driven tool will support municipalities in the planning and development of affordable housing. It also aims to support not for profit builders in overcoming barriers to implementing housing in rural communities from information gaps.

EOWC will build this tool by consolidating the information that is available through eastern Ontario municipalities’ existing resources. By having a consolidated effort for data acquisition, EOWC can implement a streamlined approach to enhance the data collected by CMHC through the central digital tool.

In the medium to long-term, the EOWC will use this information to bring appropriate affordable housing to the region and keep residents in their communities’ of-choice.

The project key deliverables will be:

  1. Operationalizing an on-line housing information system populated by Eastern Ontario data for use by eastern Ontario stakeholders.
  2. Development of a long-term Sustainability Plan and Roll-Out Strategy for additional geographies post-funding window based on the demonstrated utility and benefits of the information system for Eastern Ontario housing project proponents and supporting agencies.

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Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services

Digital database and software tool to support housing needs for Indigenous CFS youth transitioning


There is little comprehensive data on youth aging out of care and their unique housing needs. Currently, there is no data linking this specific group to ensure that they have adequate housing supply.

Youth are aging out of care and are disproportionately high risk of being under housed and/or homeless immediately after leaving the care of Child Family Services, or within 30 days of transitioning into community.

Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services will create a database prototype for collecting and sharing information with stakeholders on housing supply needs and availability specifically for youth aging out of care for the 11 communities they serve. Additionally, youth will be engaged in creating a software tool that will connect them to housing supply, agencies, and options.

This new data will help expand current housing supply data and support planning and development of current and future housing for Indigenous youth.

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OPEN Technologies

Net-zero Navigator Extension for Affordable Housing


Affordable housing projects are often cancelled before they even start as teams struggle to navigate conflicting priorities, such as the energy requirements versus the cost of higher efficiency buildings.

To address this problem, OPEN Technologies proposes to extend Net-Zero Navigator - a beta tool developed with the University of Victoria. Net-Zero Navigator allows building designers to leverage advancements in machine-learning based "surrogate modelling" to drastically improve their workflow in finding high-performance building designs.

With the extension of Net-Zero Navigator, project teams will be able to quickly and easily find the right balance between construction costs, energy performance and costs, and adaptation to climate change, therefore reducing barriers to investment, lowering costs to meeting new energy and/or GHG obligations and advancing projects more readily.

This will support the supply of affordable housing by making this type of analysis available for decision makers (often non-technical users), leading to fewer cancelled projects and more homes hitting their cost target.

The proof of concept focused on the BC and Ontario contexts, and the Affordable Housing Navigator will eventually become a national tool in the coming months.

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Family Services Windsor-Essex

Maintaining Affordability through ADUs: A Tracking and Analysis Model


Provincial legislation permits Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) as a way to increase the number of housing units within single-detached zoning districts. This is altering Canada’s housing supply.

Without a national mechanism to track and analyze these units, little is known about the quantity of ADUs (existing and in construction), their financial and market value feasibility, nor their impact on the socioeconomic makeup of a geographic region.

In order to solve this problem, Family Services Windsor-Essex has proposed a model under the Housing Supply Challenge to develop a data collection mechanism to track and analyze ADU creation across various jurisdictions. Subsequently, the model will provide a web-based mapping tool for users to understand the relationship to socioeconomic data within their local communities.

Specifically, the model will calculate the total buildable area of a residential property based on the setbacks, lot coverage requirements and other factors using parcel files, building footprint files, and street centerline files from the City of Windsor’s Open Data Portal.The proposed tool will provide state and non-state actors the ability to compare both the information gathered alongside the social and financial indicators to make policy and development decisions within their local communities.

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Vivre en Ville

Residential lease registry: Open data for maintaining affordable housing supply


The supply of affordable housing requires maintaining affordable prices in the existing stock. Rental units in Quebec are subject to provisions of the Civil Code of Québec, which base allowable annual rent increases on the lowest rent paid by a tenant in the past 12 months. However, there is no clear and practical mechanism for verifying rent paid for any given unit: We must rely on the landlord, who is inherently in a conflict of interest, for this information.

Vivre en Ville is partnering with Monloyer to create a prototype lease registry that improves upon and promotes its solution (with a renewed interface, complementary data, etc.).

The prototype will benefit from the existing technology and assets of Monloyer and the organizational capacity of Vivre en Ville. It will test the solution’s full potential and gather complementary data to provide decision makers with a more accurate picture of the Quebec rental market.

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Round 1: Data Driven

Key Dates

  • Launch: October 23, 2020 
  • Initial Submissions: January 20, 2021
  • Shortlisted Applicants: March 2021
  • Stage 2 Final Submissions: September 29, 2021
  • Funded Solutions Announced: October 2021

Who can apply?

  • 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

Funding Allocation

  • Stage 1: Incubation funding for prototyping - 25 shortlisted applicants will receive $100,000 each
  • Stage 2: Implementation Funding - Selected solutions will share a pool of $22.5 million in funding

Important Resources