Unique ideas that will revolutionize the affordable housing sector moving forward.
However, not all innovation is created equal, and an innovative approach or solution does not have to be revolutionary to have an impact. The Affordable Housing Innovation Fund supports ideas, big and small, that will improve the way we build, sustain, and finance affordable housing in Canada.
Here are some examples of innovative projects that the Fund has supported:
Moveable Modular Housing
Moveable, modular units that can be developed and installed quickly and inexpensively on parcels of undeveloped land.
This model provides a unique, unconventional solution to the affordable rental challenges in the City of Vancouver.
Net-Zero Container Housing
The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) has established a framework to develop at least eight affordable housing projects using a net-zero shipping container design.
Passive House Retrofit High Rise
The first multi-residential high-rise building retrofit to Passive House standard in Canada.
The reduced operating costs for the buildings in Hamilton, Ontario, will increase affordability for tenants.
Pre-construction Financing Model
VanCity Credit Union created the VanCity Pre-Construction Equity Loan Fund which provides low-cost capital to affordable rental projects spanning the pre-construction and construction stages to assist with the risk and financing challenges during these periods.
Passive House at No Additional Cost
Using a prefabricated wall panel assembly system, Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) is aiming to create affordable rental units using Passive House certification standards at no additional cost.
Tiny Home Village
Vagabond Tiny Homes hopes to make a small community of stand-alone affordable boutique micro-homes. Using green building techniques and incorporating smart home technology, these tiny homes can be constructed in a few months, reducing overall costs and time to market. The community will use a mixed-market rental approach with 15 affordable units, 5 market units and 5 are short-term units.
Inmate Training Program Building Affordable Housing
Under an established inmate construction program, new affordable housing will be built in Whitehorse, Yukon while also giving inmates the opportunity to upgrade their education and skills for future employment.
Unique Government Financing Model
Shelter rate units created in Victoria, British Columbia with no on-going subsidies due to a unique financing arrangement between all levels of government which is supported by housing first programs.
Canada’s First Net-Zero High-Rise
Blending green technologies and techniques, a new high-rise in Sudbury, Ontario will be Canada’s first ever high-rise to achieve near net-zero energy, water and waste in Canada – all while providing affordable rental units.
Unique Funding Model for Affordable Student Housing
Financial model where a portion of student tuition fees is used for investing in the construction of an affordable rental housing project. The usage of the tuition fees will allow a non-profit entity, to obtain upfront equity for the creation of an affordable project that will create up to 158 affordable student and non-student rental units.
Additionally, a partnership involving private investment funds will create a revolving fund for future projects to be developed.
High-Rises With Mixed-Use Energy Sources with Energy Capture and Storage
The Kanas Shelter Corporation is taking green energy to new heights with two new buildings in Calgary, Alberta that will be energy efficient thanks to the use of wind, solar, battery and cogeneration power technologies. The buildings will be 40% more efficient compared to other high-rise buildings and create 252 affordable rental units.
Advanced New Technologies for Northern Housing
The model includes advanced building technologies, like high thermal resistance, sensors for monitoring energy efficiency, air recirculation/ventilation systems, advanced pre-digesting waste water tanks and pile sensors for monitoring permafrost.
These technologies are being tested for the first time in residential buildings in the North.
Tiny Homes Combat Homelessness
Lands in Calgary, Alberta are transformed into creative and collaborative communities for Canadian veterans experiencing homelessness.
Consisting of 20 tiny, one story, affordable homes, each home will have a 250 ft. footprint, be self-contained and fully furnished.
New Lending Institution for Affordable Housing
The Housing Investment Corporation (HI-C) has created a lending institution with support from the Innovation Fund.
This new lending tool will raise funds from the bond market, while maintaining a good credit profile, to support the creation or renewal of affordable housing.