New, more and better housing solutions are key to supporting Canadians access housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced the selection and funding of nine projects through the National Housing Strategy (NHS) Demonstrations Initiative. The selected projects can receive funding ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.

The NHS Demonstrations Initiative showcases forward-looking technologies, practices, programs, policies and strategies to spur the future of housing in Canada. It prioritizes projects that support sustainable, energy-efficient, accessible, age-friendly and socially inclusive affordable housing.

Outcomes from the Demonstrations initiative will better-equip housing stakeholders with practical solutions that will support a culture of innovation by fostering partnerships, replication as well as creating and disseminating real-world data for evidence-based decision-making.


“The shared knowledge gained from the NHS Demonstrations Initiative will help strengthen, better equip and innovate the affordable housing sector in Canada. The innovative practices and technologies are an essential step in supporting more Canadians access housing that meet their needs and that they can afford. Congratulations to all the recipients and also to all of those who submitted their work to the NHS Demonstrations Initiative program.”
— Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Quick facts:

  • Funding for demonstrations is available to those who wish to address housing related issues identified under the NHS’ priority areas.
  • The Demonstrations Initiative competitive open-call process occurs annually. The next one will be held on April 15, 2019.
  • Experts interested in acting as reviewers are invited to manifest their interest by writing to 
  • The NHS includes $241 million over 10 years to support research on housing needs and conditions, the housing finance system, market stability and housing sector innovation.
  • Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated links:

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, follow us on TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

The National Housing Strategy is an ambitious 10-year, $40-billion plan that will reduce or eliminate 530,000 families from housing need across Canada, create 100,000 new housing units, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.

To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit

Media contacts:

Valérie Glazer
Office of Minister Duclos
Work: 819-654-5546
Cellular: 613-220-1841

Audrey-Anne Coulombe
Media Relations, CMHC


NHS Demonstrations Initiative 2018 Successful Submissions

Innovative Solutions Showcased CMHC Funding
Proponent and collaborators

Accelerating Deep Energy Retrofits Across Multi-Residential Buildings (ON)
This project aims to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of cold climate air-source heat pumps (CC-ASHPs) as energy efficiency retrofit solutions for electrically heated residential buildings.

The two demonstration sites feature two key types of community housing: multi-residential buildings and townhome developments, ensuring that the findings are relevant to the community housing sector and the broader housing market. The sites are also home to two demographic groups who are especially vulnerable to thermal stress: seniors and families with young children.

$ 150,000

Proponent: Toronto Atmospheric Fund

Collaborators: Toronto Community Housing Corporation, City Housing Hamilton, Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal, Toronto Hydro, Alectra


Encouraging the Revitalization of Aging Affordable Housing Developments (ON)
This project will demonstrate a proven model for revitalizing aging, privately owned affordable housing, based on the successful San Romanoway Revival project in the Jane-Finch community in Toronto.

The San Romanoway affordable housing complex houses around 3,000 residents, many from vulnerable and low-income backgrounds. Through an innovative partnership between the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, affordable housing providers, the City of Toronto’s Tower Renewal Program and local community groups, the San Romanoway complex has undergone a radical transformation that includes building retrofits, outdoor revitalization and support for vulnerable populations.

$ 118,378

Proponent: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Collaborators: City of Toronto, Residential Properties Management Services Inc./CAPREIT, United Way

Transforming Emergency Shelter into Affordable Housing with Support (ON)
As a result of Housing First successes, Canadian emergency shelter operators are taking another look at their service delivery models. This demonstration project aims to showcase how emergency shelters can successfully transition to providing affordable housing with support functions.

Since 2004, the Salvation Army Centre of Hope has been providing pay-for-stay private units in a building that also offers emergency shelter. This model was provided in response to increased demand for supported and affordable housing options. These housing options needed to work for people who had chronically experienced homelessness and were high users of the service. While scattered-site housing was a choice for some, and Housing First programs facilitate these moves, others sought a higher intensity of on-site support. The Salvation Army Centre of Hope building filled this need, with food security, court services, and financial support services offered on site.

$ 87,200

Proponent: The Governing Council of the Salvation Army in Canada / The Salvation Army London Center of Hope

Collaborators: Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion

Modular Construction to Achieve Sustainable and Affordable Community Housing (BC)
Modular construction is an emerging and increasingly used strategy for designing and constructing high-performance buildings in reduced timeframes. Through on-site visits, technical bulletins, webinars, development of guidance materials, participants will explore fast, affordable, sustainable, Step code housing using modular construction. The project aims to share lessons learned and discuss strategies for scaling this approach for implementation throughout Canada.

$ 74,173

Proponent: RDH Building Science Inc.

Collaborators: Metric Modular, BC Housing

My Home My Community: Inclusive Housing Options National Demonstration Initiative (ON & BC)

The Canadian Association for Community Living has identified three pathways to developing affordable housing that enable the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in communities. This project will be rooted in three demonstration and learning sites — one in each of the developmental pathways:

  • Individual- and family-led – Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement — Legacy Homes initiative: provides planning resources to individuals and families, acquires individual homes in the community and provides life leases to individuals with developmental disabilities to ensure security of tenure and lifelong supports to enable inclusion.
  • Local partnership-based solutions – Community Living Toronto — working with housing developers in Toronto to secure dispersed individualized rental units to provide security of tenure, housing affordability and supports for inclusion.
  • Leveraging assets in cluster/congregate housing for new development — South Surrey — Semiahmoo House Society, South Surrey, B.C. — leveraged undeveloped property and capital assets to develop affordable rental housing, with some units reserved for people with intellectual disabilities.

$ 84,500

Proponent: Canadian Association for Community Living

Collaborators: Institutes for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society, People First of Canada, Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement, Semiahmoo House Society, Community Living Toronto

Smart Homes: Supporting Community Integration for Clients with Severe Mental Illness (ON)
This project will demonstrate smart affordable units at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Middlesex Branch, and London Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC). The units will feature smart home technology for assisting residents living with mental illness, aiming to support their independent living and integration in the community, increase housing stability, decrease health and social service utilization, and improve overall health. The community housing is permanent, reducing the risk of homelessness and allowing participants to continue living in the smart homes after the project’s completion.

$ 210,671

Proponent: London Health Sciences Centre Research Inc. (Lawson Health Research Institute)

Collaborators: Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex, London Middlesex Housing Corporation, Input Health Systems Inc., Rogers Communication Inc.

Indwell (ON)
This demonstration project will showcase the following components of Indwell’s supportive housing: innovative technologies — the project includes three Indwell multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs), in various stages of construction, that aim to conform to innovative Passive House performance levels; community financing programs; community participation strategies; and supportive services, including:

  • the integration of community development initiatives with individual tenancy supports, creating opportunities for tenants to overcome isolation and build social networks;
  • integrated mental health and addiction services, including nursing, social work and occupational therapy, creating opportunities for people to cope with disability without relying on emergency services or risking housing loss due to chronic illness;
  • housing support services that build tenant capacity for daily problem solving, conflict resolution and connecting with services; and
  • volunteer programming, creating opportunities for tenants to build strong relationships and engage in meaningful activities.

$ 227,303

Proponent: Indwell Community Homes

Collaborators: Canada Green Building Council – Toronto Branch, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant  Local Health Integrated Network (HNHB LHIN), St. Joseph's Healthcare (Hamilton)

Reside (ON)
Raising the Roof’s “Reside” program repurposes existing vacant homes for affordable and supportive housing. The vision for Reside is to create affordable, supportive housing options for youth to prevent them from experiencing homelessness. Raising the Roof raises the capital required to refurbish homes and contracts partner BuildingUp to complete the renovations.

BuildingUp is a social enterprise that hires and trains at-risk youth to work alongside seasoned contractors to complete renovations, allowing youth to gain experience and start a career in the trades.

Once renovated, Reside homes are leased to a non-profit housing provider who operate them as supportive and/or longer-term housing for youth.

The overall objective of the Reside demonstration is to illustrate how working in partnership with diverse contractors can bring innovation to the sectoral approach to preventing homelessness. By showcasing the Reside project through personal stories of the at-risk youth working on the project, and through the voices of youth who will eventually live at the site, the project intends to show partners in government, housing development, and construction the potential for this innovative approach.

$ 28,000

Proponent: Raising the Roof | Chez Toit

Collaborators: Adjacent possibilities, BuildingUp

Experiment 303: A process of transformation toward universal design (QC)
The purpose of this demonstration is to showcase the process of redesigning an apartment ("apartment 303") along the principles of universal design. The plans and specifications aim to include the range of features that allow use by all types of residents: manoeuvring areas, open spaces, storage, kitchen modules, bathroom facilities, hardware, faucets and fixtures, lighting fixtures, finishes, and more.
The unit’s layout and the choice of equipment and materials aim for elegance in redesign. This experiment seeks to demonstrate that successful universal design isn’t meant to be seen. It’s meant to be experienced and excludes all stigmatizing elements, creating a home that anyone would be happy to live in; one that meets the changing needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

$ 57,484

Proponent: Société Logique

Collaborators: Habitation Logique St-Joseph

Date Published: March 7, 2019