The First Round of the Housing Supply Challenge is the Data Driven Round. For Stage 1 of this Round, we have shortlisted 21 applicants. They will receive $200,000 each to prototype their solution. Of the 21 shortlisted applicants, selected solutions will share a pool of $22.5 million in funding to implement their solutions.
Improving Housing Development:
Tools that harmonize or consolidate Data:
- Purpose Analytics, Low-end of Market Rental Housing Monitor, Ontario
- University of British Columbia, Needs Assessment and Well-Located Land: A Data-Driven Solution to Balanced Supply of Housing, British Columbia
- The Métis Nation of Ontario, Using Strategic Data to Shape Regional Allocation of Affordable Housing Investments for Métis citizens in Ontario, Ontario
- McMaster University, CHEC Administrative Data Centre, Ontario
- Ontario First Nations Technical Services, Ontario First Nation Housing Needs, Ontario
- Abode Atlas Technologies Inc., Leveraging Zoning Bylaw Data for Gentle Densification, Ontario
- Family Services Windsor-Essex, Maintaining Affordability through ADUs: A Tracking and Analysis Model, Ontario
- OPEN Technologies, Net-zero Navigator Extension for Affordable Housing, BC
Solutions to Improve processes:
- McGill University, Data Homebase: A prototype visualizing Canada’s housing characteristics to foster a circular economy, Quebec
- Pewapun Construction Limited, RealNorth - Real Time Data Driven Housing Management for Northern Canadian First Nations Reserves, Manitoba
- Rick Hansen Foundation, Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ Rating System for Accessible Housing Registry, BC
- Vivre en Ville, Residential lease registry: Open data for maintaining affordable housing supply, Quebec
- First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, FNHSSM eHealth Housing Database, Manitoba
- MapYourProperty Inc., Single Data Intelligence Platform for Affordable Housing Development, Ontario
Housing Needs Assessment:
- Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC), Filling the Housing Information Gap in Rural Eastern Ontario, Ontario
- Happipad Technologies Inc., Analysis of Shared Housing in BC, BC
Affordable Housing Maps:
- Data for Good Canada, Collecting Traditional & Non-Traditional Variables to Identify Rising Demand in Undersupplied Census, Ontario
- Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, ASSET-MAPPING APPROACH (resource assessments) For First Nations Reserves, Manitoba
- Université Laval, Mapping of population vulnerability and exposure to extreme heat waves, Quebec
- Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services, Digital database and software tool to support housing needs for Indigenous CFS youth transitioning, Manitoba
Qammaq - Net Zero Inuit Housing
In the North, a lack of objective performance data is preventing policymakers from making informed data-driven decisions with respect to the development of a territorial building code. Until the Territories are able to develop their own building standards, code will continue to mandate the construction of substandard buildings with artificially high upfront construction and maintenance costs.
To address this problem, Qammaq - Net Zero Inuit Housing intends to demonstrate to industry and government in-territory the financial and operational advantages of constructing to a high performance building standard. In turn, this will accelerate the development and adoption of a net-zero building code in Nunavut.
To accomplish this task, ArchTech will deploy a single-detached culturally relevant net-zero dwelling called "Qammaq," which will undergo construction in Baker Lake, Nunavut, coinciding with the community's annual sealift schedule. The project will undergo one year of post-construction assessment by Canmet Energy Housing and Buildings Team and will measure energy performance data.
Following collection and substantiation of data, ArchTech, in collaboration with Canmet, will publish a study detailing the financial, GHG, sustainability engineering, implementation, and building code advantages and/or disadvantages of rapid net-zero home deployment in pan-arctic remote arctic communities.
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.
University of British Columbia
Needs Assessment and Well-Located Land: A Data-Driven Solution to Balanced Supply of Housing
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Abode Atlas Technologies Inc.
Leveraging Zoning Bylaw Data for Gentle Densification
There is currently no machine-readable data on city bylaws. Additionally, existing municipal geospatial data is siloed. As a result, building dimension data is not digitally integrated with zoning bylaws. This forces project planning and permitting into analog solutions that are costly in time and money to homeowners, developers, and planners. Furthermore, it is difficult to quantify potential legal additions to existing structures at scale, which is a barrier to housing supply and densification.
Abode Atlas Technologies Inc. proposes a solution to assist with zone planning and broader policymaking. Under the Housing Supply Challenge, Abode Atlas proposes to digitize bylaws and combine them with centralized building dimension data using Ontology Based Data Integration and Access.
The proposal will focus on concepts related to zoning with the purpose of providing visibility of gentle densification opportunities to homeowners, small developers, and policy makers. This project relies on open data.
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 Windsow-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.
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.
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.
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.
Pewapun Construction Limited
RealNorth - Real Time Data Driven Housing Management for Northern Canadian First Nations Reserves
Housing in First Nations communities is often overcrowded and under considerable stress. In an overcrowded home, there is a risk of high humidity temperatures, and ultimately mold.
Installation of sensors within homes permits the on-reserve housing authority to better monitor a number of conditions within on-reserve housing enabling the prevention of mold and other problems without intruding on the privacy of the residents.
The data acquired is of immediate real time value to the housing managers on reserve who can remedy problems in a timely manner; but more importantly, creates a resource of objective data which can be trended and analyzed to better understand the real problems of housing on reserve and in Northern Canada.
The proof of concept consists of installing sensors and computing that monitors conditions in each new unit they build, and reporting that information into a centralized database in a First Nations community. The sensors and computing will monitor and log changes in variables including room-by-room temperature/humidity, window/door closure, bathroom/laundry room leaks, sump overflows, relative motion and activity.
Once a sensor detects suboptimal conditions, the system reports it to a centralized database, and the local Housing Authority can dispatch help to the homeowners. Simultaneously, a pool of objective data can be collected including parameters that will allow estimation of occupancy, power consumption levels, unexpected conditions, potential failure modes, and other attributes. The collected and compiled data can be used to guide housing decisions on reserve. With appropriate anonymization, this data pool can be shared more broadly with CMHC and other organizations and agencies trying to develop policy to improve conditions and outcomes in on-reserve and Northern housing projects.
It is obvious that there is still much to be learned in how to solve housing problems on-reserve, and in the North. RealNorth brings an important part of the solution to the table - objective data obtained without violating the privacy of those who live on reserve, or in the North.
Rick Hansen Foundation
Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ Rating System for Accessible Housing Registry
According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians lives with a disability, and this number is rising as our population ages. These Canadians struggle to find appropriate housing, as there is no accessible housing registry available. The dearth in housing stock is exacerbated by the fact that accessible housing requirements differ by province, making it difficult to define and measure housing accessibility.
A standardized approach to measure and rate housing accessibility would aid in building the appropriate data and inform a registry.
Through the Housing Supply Challenge, the Rick Hansen Foundation aims to add a new module on accessible housing in the RHFAC rating system, allowing for standardization of data collection on accessible housing across Canada.
RHFAC is the only national rating program used to measure accessibility of the built environment. RHF will develop this new module using CSA Group's upcoming, proposed national accessible housing standard.
Once implemented, trained and designated RHFAC Professionals will collect data in an online registry using the proposed rating survey. RHFAC will certify sites under two certification levels, “RHF Accessibility Certified” and “RHF Accessibility Certified Gold,” based on their rating scores and certification prerequisites. This data will inform the RHFAC accessible housing registry.
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.
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.
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 www.mapyourproperty.com
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.
Happipad Technologies Inc.
Analysis of Shared Housing in BC
Shared housing is a form of affordable housing in which two or more unrelated people live together in a home for a duration of one month or greater. Traditionally, shared housing has been the most affordable type of market rental housing (monthly rent 20-30% lower than that of studio apartments) and is widely used by groups which have low or fixed incomes.
Unfortunately, there is very little publicly available data on shared housing. Happipad is a Canadian leader in shared housing and operates a web platform that connects individuals seeking to rent out rooms.
In this pilot project, Happipad and its partners propose to conduct preliminary analysis on shared housing, using primary data sources including the Canadian census and user data collected by Happipad.
Data for Good Canada
Collecting Traditional & Non-Traditional Variables to Identify Rising Demand in Undersupplied Census
A solution that can successfully collect Non-Traditional Open Data to use in modeling and predicting impact on housing supply does not exist.
There are several open-source Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and city-specific Open Data portals with Non-traditional variables, however, they require proper data governance and data warehousing principles to be useful.
Through the production of a web portal, Data for Good Canada proposes a solution that seeks to collect, clean and clearly visualize non-traditional variables in different Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA's). The web portal will ultimately become useful to real estate developers, investors & asset managers as it indicates what a desirable community requires to attract and retain vibrant communities.
Data for Good Canada's new web portal aims to clearly visualize which CMAs lack adequate housing supply, so communities can determine unmet housing demands.
Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council
ASSET-MAPPING APPROACH (resource assessments) For First Nations Reserves
In order for organizations such as the Dakota Ojibway Tribal council to plan effectively to build new houses for their community, they need to have adequate data on family composition, and resources available. In particular, they require proper data on available human resources; natural resources; available tools and machinery; workshop space; and sub-surface geo-morphology.
Without this, housing providers simply guess at what is appropriate, often with costly mistakes, and unable to provide the necessary supply of housing.
For the Housing Supply Challenge, Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council is proposing to research the basic data that is needed to completely meet housing needs on communities, using residents as the best resource. They will be using an "asset mapping" approach to uncover the solutions for housing on reserves and collecting the appropriate data.
They will go door-to-door to speak to residents to determine needs; available resources; and willingness to participate.
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.
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.