By 2030, we want everyone in Canada to have a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. Reaching this ambitious goal involves helping the housing sector find innovative solutions to housing problems. That’s why we’ve included, in the National Housing Strategy (NHS), programs to encourage the development of such solutions.
One of these programs is the NHS Solutions Labs initiative. Solutions Labs bring experts and housing stakeholders together and gives them funding to incubate and scale potential solutions to complex housing problems.
Finding and scaling solutions to complex housing problems
How does the Solutions Lab initiative work? Andrew Cowan, Senior Specialist, Innovation and Research, at CMHC, explains:
“Solutions Labs provides housing stakeholders with funding and expert innovation lab consultants to help solve complex housing problems. To be eligible for funding, the problems stakeholders are trying to solve must be linked to the NHS’ goals and key priority areas.
“Putting stakeholders and experts together allows them to draw on each other’s strengths, creativity and wisdom. This encourages them to explore new ways of making progress on the problem they want to solve.
“The idea: provide a safe space to look at ways to solve a problem, develop solutions, and test and refine those solutions. This leads to a roadmap on how to scale up and adopt a solution. The goal: use the solutions developed in the lab to strengthen Canada’s affordable housing sector.”
The annual budget for Solutions Labs is $3 million. Budgets for each Lab should range from $25,000 to $250,000.
Housing for everyone in Canada by 2030
We need new, more and better housing solutions to support access to housing that everyone in Canada can afford and that meets everyone’s needs.
To meet our goal for 2030, we need the housing sector’s help. That’s why we have initiatives like Solutions Labs, which provide incentives for housing stakeholders to help us reach our goal.
Outcomes from Solutions Labs will better equip housing stakeholders with practical solutions they can reproduce to provide more and better affordable housing.