Some criteria for accessing affordable housing, such as an income ceiling, create an unintentional loop. They implicitly discourage people from improving their economic capacity because they cannot remain in their housing and community if they do. The result can be generational stasis and poverty.
The Affordable Housing+ Solutions Lab will explore ways of transitioning people from needing affordable housing to no longer requiring it. It will document supports for affordable housing residents around wellness, finances and social safety. These will enable individuals and families to make informed decisions about health, education and employment. This can help to break the cycle of poverty and build self-sufficiency and resilience among participants.
Key Findings / Key Goals
Demonstrate conditions that increase the ability of individuals and families to participate in decisions around health, education and work.
Encourage and support the social and economic inclusion of low-income households and more inclusive, vibrant and productive communities.
Create an affordable housing business model that is financially self-sufficient, with no long-term reliance on grants or outside funding.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Affordable housing community business model
The Lab wants to create an affordable housing community business model that is expected to be financially self-sufficient. Features like net zero design and an urban or community farm can help affordability and sustainability. Incorporating revenues and potential services from commercial ventures or providing access to health and wellness benefits also are crucial. They can all support a tenant’s life transition through the housing continuum and promote affordable housing innovation.
A diverse set of team members
The Solutions Lab will bring together a diverse set of team members and project partners with complementary skills. This will ensure that Lab activities are informed by the authentic responses of participants.
The Lab will be conducted over 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase will identify the partnership agreements, project structure, roles and responsibilities of participants. A high-level communications and engagement strategy will be created, as will a milestone-based critical path schedule. A project kick-off meeting will be held.
- The Discovery Phase will see project team members research and gather information. This will allow the Lab to create a system map of the existing local and global project context. Progress will be tracked at the bi-weekly project meetings to ensure a comprehensive system map is developed.
- The Development Phase will hold co-development ideation workshops. The findings will be synthesized to determine trends, convergences, divergences and anomalies.
- The Prototype and Test/Delivery Phase includes a quick-prototyping process. This will take the working model and discusses components with specific groups. It also will explore how the model might look in reality. These findings will be synthesized with the collected information, and the working model will be revised to reflect that.
- The Roadmap Phase will formalize the outcomes of Phase 4 into a comprehensive business solution model and roadmap. The result will be an implementation-ready package that articulates the key concepts and methodology for moving forward.
The broadest possible audience
Infographics and a selection of personas will be created after the Lab to illustrate how the proposed models would operate. The findings will be synthesized into clear messages and graphics for the widest possible audience. Key project partners will help deliver the project outcomes and messages to regional and national groups. A community event will raise awareness of the initiative, process and partnerships with the broadest possible audience.
Project Team: Fundamental Inc.
Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- City of St. John's
- Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NL Housing)
Not-for-Profits and Associations
- Stella’s Circle
- Choices for Youth
- The Gathering Place
- Senior’s Resource Centre
- Coalition for Persons with Disabilities – NL
- Salvation Army
- End Homelessness St. John’s
- Iris Kirby House
- First Light
- VETS Canada
- Single Parent Association
- Refugee & Immigrant Advisory Council
- Association for New Canadians
- Thrive Community Network
- Cochrane St. United
- Marguerite’s Place.
- Local professional advisory partners covering construction, financial planning, property management, housing development, transportation and more.
- MaRS DD
Get More Information:
Search our Housing Knowledge Centre for important updates on the progress of this lab.