How did we get here?
167 solutions submitted.
29 Solutions Shortlisted, receiving $75,000 each to prototype their solution.
14 prototypes were selected for funding and will share a pool of up to $38 million to start implementing their solutions today!
It’s time to break down the barriers to the pre-construction process.
Learn more about the 14 solutions that are bringing their funding ideas to life to break down pre-construction barriers and create more affordable housing.
- Digital tools for housing developers and municipal staff to streamline pre-development process
- The Affordable Housing Development Toolbox
- Overcoming Zoning Challenges in Land Use Planning
- Pre-development Process Streamlining and Modernization in Support of Housing Affordability in Simcoe County: a scalable Proof of Concept solution for all regional governments in Canada
- Community Led Designs for Specialized Housing in the North
- Renovate the Public Hearing: Pre-Development Public Engagement & Legal Reforms to Support Housing Supply
- Gentle Density Housing Accelerator
- Financing Affordable Housing with the Power of Community
- Empowering Faith Based Organizations to Build Affordable Housing
- CERCLE - Carrefour d’excellence pour la réalisation concertée de logement étudiant
- Raven House- Youth Housing
- Location Analysis Framework for Non-Market and Multi-Unit Housing in Beaumont, AB
- Creating Affordable Community-led Housing Through CLH Ecosystem Support Network
- Roadmap for Redevelopment Plans to Confront Systemic Racism (Roadmap)
Digital tools for housing developers and municipal staff to streamline pre-development process
Ratio.City plans to streamline the housing pre-development process so that developers can get more housing into the market faster.
Web-based data analysis and collaboration tools will provide housing developers with the data, notification and analysis tools they need to accelerate their applications — from the initial feasibility studies to entitlement approval.
This will allow developers to incorporate housing affordability by:
- reducing carrying costs and saving time to make it easier for developers to incorporate housing affordability into their portfolios
- removing inefficiencies for municipalities by promoting information equity across the industry
- creating higher quality submissions from housing developers with project relevant data, reducing the amount of time needed to amend and approve applications
Learnings would be cycled back into the solution so all parties can see the outcomes of a project. This allows municipalities to better gauge the efficacy of approved projects so they can prioritize similar initiatives.
- Upload housing data into our platform through a combination of municipal partnerships and data scrapers.
- Work with developers and municipalities to build tools for collaboration.
While we intend to test this solution in Toronto, our vision is to increase transparency and collaboration in all Canadian cities affected by a low housing supply and high demand.
The Affordable Housing Development Toolbox
Cahdco’s Affordable Housing Development Toolbox coaches and mentors housing organizations to increase their development capacity. The Toolbox has 20 learning and capacity building modules.
Cahdco encourages housing providers to create development corporations. Cahdco has recruited:
- 30+ housing organizations across Canada to participate in the Toolbox
- 14 affordable housing developers to be knowledge experts and mentors with Cahdco
Participants will learn the skills to conduct pre-development activities through an intensive 10-month program. These organizations will assist with the delivery of the Toolbox and offer mentorship to participants.
Through people-centered design, Cahdco co-designed the Toolbox with participants and mentors. Based on feedback, Cahdco will offer 2 programs:
- Blueprint: participants are focused on gaining knowledge of development activities
- Foundations: participants have experience with development and will build upon these skills to increase their in-house capacity and sell development services to others
The Toolbox initiative will continue indefinitely. During the Housing Supply Challenge’s timeline, Cahdco will offer 2 iterations of the Foundations program and 4 iterations of the Blueprint program.
Overcoming Zoning Challenges in Land Use Planning
Stratford has encountered resistance to increased density. The perception is that preserving the character of the town is an impediment to affordable housing.
This project addresses this resistance through:
- education and awareness of the implications of planning and development decisions over the longer term
- building more collaborative processes that could be adopted by other municipalities in future
Zoning barriers have been established that discourage diversification of housing stock. Considerable resistance to change exists, yet the town is facing an anticipated shortfall of housing to meet population growth over the next 20 years.
The town will carry out a comprehensive public education and social media campaign to engage and educate community members and decision-makers on:
- housing needs
- development trends
- land use planning
The goal is to deconstruct the stigma around higher density and diversified housing needs.
This will be supported by:
An online platform – grounded in best practices for online design – that
gamifies development over time. It will be based on:
- land use planning, incorporating data and insights
- providing information planning processes
- offering an interactive community engagement space
- A consultative process with developers and community to reduce zoning barriers to affordable housing development.
- A collaboration with other municipalities to ensure solutions have applicability beyond the town and region.
Pre-development Process Streamlining and Modernization in Support of Housing Affordability in Simcoe County: a scalable Proof of Concept solution for all regional governments in Canada.
AECO is proposing a technology solution to streamline pre-construction processes in Simcoe County as a scalable pilot. This solution includes:
- a one-window front-end portal for submission
- data exchange platform to facilitate the transfer of information between groups
- application tracking capabilities
- a workflow engine to develop a seamless process that will improve efficiency and reduce errors and miscommunications
There is a well validated need for a regional government solution to facilitate certainty, transparency, and fairness in pre-construction processes. Processes today are lengthy and complex, resulting in delays and increased costs that lead to higher housing prices, lower supply, and fewer affordable housing units.
Simcoe is an ideal candidate for this proof of concept, with a mix of urban, rural, and Indigenous perspectives.
We have collaborated with a variety of partners to build a requirements blueprint to inform implementation. We partnered with regulatory organizations like:
- the county
- conservation authorities
- key agencies
This technology solution:
- addresses key housing supply and affordable housing challenges
- improves communication between municipalities, Indigenous communities, and others
Community Led Designs for Specialized Housing in the North
The solution creates an alternative pre-construction process of housing designs with populations experiencing inequitable housing outcomes in Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory. Ultimately, this challenge synthesizes lived experience with technical expertise to create shovel-ready housing designs.
This process is co-created. CLDHN engaged:
- community members
- local technical professionals
Existing policies, programs and funding mechanisms support the reproduction of a suburban-style family home across northern reserves. This doesn’t work. In fact, it results in inadequate and inappropriate housing for many Nishnawbe Aski Nation members.
To further facilitate housing development, an implementation toolkit will be produced in collaboration with community housing professionals and regional technical experts.
Shovel-ready housing designs and implementation toolkits will equip each member First Nation with the necessary tools to address their identified challenges with specialized models of affordable housing. These toolkits respond to the unique cultures, climates and geographies of northern Ontario.
CLDSHN is creating resources that reduce pre-construction barriers and support the development of new housing for community members experiencing the greatest need. These resources are rooted in the experiences and desires of members – and ultimately directly to the ongoing housing emergency in Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory.
Renovate the Public Hearing: Pre-Development Public Engagement & Legal Reforms to Support Housing Supply
Providing solutions to the challenges created by legislated local government public hearings in British Columbia will reduce barriers and improve housing supply. SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, the BC Law Institute, and partners will do just that.
Improved laws and procedures can result in more housing that is affordable by reducing pre-development risk and removing barriers to housing for equity-seeking populations and Indigenous peoples. Currently, public hearings requirements result in increased costs, wasted time, low satisfaction and sometimes trauma for those involved.
The BC Law Institute will convene a committee of lawyers and others with direct experience to:
- develop formal recommendations to revise sections 464-470 of BC's Local Government Act
- consider implications for related statutes, as appropriate
Demonstration projects and engagement with diverse local governments and populations in BC will increase comfort with alternatives and identify good practices to spread.
This program will fulfill calls by the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability for the “consideration of alternative options for more meaningful, earlier public input...”
Outcomes will improve the efficiency and quality of decisions, support meaningful democratic engagement, strengthen communities and further principles of equity and Reconciliation.
Recommendations for legal reform will support systems change in BC and provide a model for national reform.
Gentle Density Housing Accelerator
Small Housing BC seeks to accelerate the uptake of gentle density housing in numerous cities throughout British Columbia.
Single family neighbourhoods typically represent 80% of housing in any given city. This represents most of the land mass and offers a significant opportunity for the build out of increased (gentle) density and affordability.
Yet, there are significant barriers to gentle density housing, including a lack of:
- public understanding of gentle density leading to community resistance and correlative political hesitancy
- municipal planning capacity and knowledge of gentle density typologies and affordability models
- shared knowledge and experience
Achieving increased gentle density housing requires a different approach with shifts in policies, knowledge and perceptions. We will achieve this through the following activities:
- developing a community of practice amongst municipal planners
- creating and fostering Municipal partnerships with three representational cities and the B.C. government, including Nelson, Gibsons and Coquitlam, with the intention of expanding
- developing a dynamic Webtool to support collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst municipal planners and related government staff
- increasing opportunities for interjurisdictional dialogue amongst planners and elected officials
- building industry capacity by developing training for homebuilders
- gaining insights into public perceptions of gentle density housing to strengthen public support for it
Financing Affordable Housing with the Power of Community
Toronto Renewable Co-operative legally operating as "Tapestry Community Capital"
Community bonds are a social finance tool used by non-profits, charities and co-ops to finance capital projects with impact. Like traditional bonds, they are interest bearing loans. The key difference is that they provide investors with both a financial and social return.
Tapestry Community Capital is Canada’s leading service provider for structuring, raising and managing community bonds.
To date, we have helped unlock over $90 million in community capital. We believe community bonds can become a mainstream tool for affordable housing providers to overcome 2 key barriers:
- lack of flexible project financing
- community resistance to affordable housing developments
Community bonds allow organizations to set their own financing terms and raise funds on a predictable timeline. While unlocking private capital, they also build a powerful sense of community ownership.
Residents, local businesses, and institutions can all invest to improve their community, while earning a fair return. Working with those who will use and be impacted by our solution, Tapestry has designed a plan to:
- Build confidence in the community bond model through 12 demonstration projects with a diverse group of housing providers in Ontario and British Columbia.
- Build public awareness and education across Canada.
- Improve accessibility and sustainability of the model.
- Develop an online platform that will connect community investors with issuer.
Empowering Faith Based Organizations to Build Affordable Housing
Metro Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis continues to see rising rental rates and very low vacancies. Faith-based organizations inhabit over $7 billion of property in the region and most properties have underutilized land and aging buildings.
Their dream of developing affordable housing often gets stuck at a very early stage because they are unable to organize a vision, business plan and the basic technical information. Without this, they can not obtain even the earliest funding or advance their plans.
Co:Here’s solution offers early stage consulting services in the Metro Vancouver area designed specifically to address these barriers. They have developed a 6-phase process that responds to faith-based organizations’ request for customized support and a clear development process that aligns with their values.
During the implementation period, Co:Here staff will guide 6 faith-based organizations:
- helping them to develop a clear vision for the property
- developing a preliminary business plan
- creating a functioning governance model
This will allow Co:Here to build internal capacity and a sustainable business model to serve the remaining 850 faith-based organization landowners in the region.
CERCLE - Carrefour d’excellence pour la réalisation concertée de logement étudiant
Despite the need, little to no affordable student housing being built in Canada. It isn’t for a lack of resources – there are financial and land resources available in education networks. The issue is that these resources are held by several players who, for whatever reason, haven’t collaborated to build affordable student housing.
In addition, the Quebec regulatory framework is not very favourable to affordable housing projects for female students.
L’Unité de travail pour l’implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE) is a not-for-profit organization specializing in the construction and operation of affordable student housing. They propose to solve this problem by establishing the Carrefours d’excellence pour la réalisation concertée de logement étudiant (CERCLEs).
These are consultation spaces where stakeholders from housing, higher education and the various levels of government meet periodically, locally or in Quebec.
The purpose of the CERCLEs is to bring these stakeholders together. Here they can work toward:
- removing policies and regulatory barriers impeding the development of affordable student housing projects in the social economy
- pooling resources to enable the UTILE or others qualified promoters for student projects
Raven House- Youth Housing
In British Columbia, 66% of children in foster care are Indigenous. In Victoria approximately 150 youth “age” out of care every year without adequate supports in place to meet their basic needs, including housing.
The critical shortage of available, affordable, and culturally appropriate housing in conjunction with the disproportionately high number of Indigenous children experiencing state care is an emergency. We have a responsibility to break this cycle and provide continued support to our children and youth as they mature into young adults.
The Victoria Native Friendship Centre is in the process of purchasing a new parcel of land to build a 6-story apartment building which will house both Indigenous youths aging out of care and Elders. This culturally based housing community will provide a sustainable and mutually supportive housing model for years to come.
As part of our housing solution, we will bring together a together a peer network of other housing providers, operators and support staff who have direct experience with:
- housing youth
- youth aging out of care or intergenerational housing who can work to share lessons learned
- identifying solutions to common challenges and work to support VNFC in this project
Through a series of workshops and feedback sessions we will synthesize the support and advice received into a succinct housing toolkit and make it easily available to other providers.
The Victoria Native Friendship Centre will also host a nation-wide peer network to connect other providers for future projects.
Location Analysis Framework for Non-Market and Multi-Unit Housing in Beaumont, AB
Offering a more diverse and affordable housing options in City of Beaumont, suburban municipality has been a challenge. Uncertainty about the best locations for non-market and multi-unit housing has been a pre-development barrier for various parties, including developers, the public and the city itself.
Through the Housing Supply Challenge, Beaumont and its partners propose to develop a location identification framework for non-market and multi-unit development. The solution has 2 parts:
Online mapping tool
The mapping tool is planned as a public, open-source resource that maps various development suitability and feasibility indicators, including distances to amenities, transportation resources, topography and more. Users could search by location, by client group, or with a custom set of indicators.
The integration framework will set out a transparent process for how Beaumont will consider tool data during the non-market and multi-unit housing development approval process.
To complete our solution, funding from the Housing Supply Challenge will enable us to continue engaging with community members, experts, equity-seeking groups and other interested parties on:
- the design of our solution
- acquiring data and creating the online mapping tool
- developing the implementation framework
- creating a model for scaling our solution to other municipalities
Creating Affordable Community-led Housing Through CLH Ecosystem Support Network
Community-Led Housing (CLH) is a model of place-based, self-determined housing. It shifts the power dynamic of development (especially affordable housing) from top-down to grassroots decision-making and prioritization by those most impacted by what is built: future residents.
We empower community-led housing groups to successfully implement locally sourced, innovative, affordable housing solutions. This unlocks a new group of developers who are perfectly situated to:
- understand the unique needs and culture of a place
- embed in their community ecosystems
- attract new partnerships
- increase affordable stock across Canada in small but collectively impactful ways
Based on successes in the UK, we propose a community-led housing ecosystem support network that include:
- a knowledge-sharing platform to collectivize the breadth of knowledge and experience existing and currently developing in the community-led housing sector
- enabling peer-to-peer support and connection with CLH experts
- consulting services to help groups as needed
- a comprehensive community-led housing toolkit connected to the support system, facilitating its usefulness and long-term continuance of the project (beyond the Housing Supply Challenge).
Roadmap for Redevelopment Plans to Confront Systemic Racism (Roadmap)
A systemic exclusion of BIPOC results in the mass displacement of Black, Indigenous, and diverse Peoples of Colour (BIPOC) from areas adjacent to major transit stations (MTSAs:GO-train/subway/LRT/BRT).
This Roadmap will result in a long-term increase in affordable housing supply for Black, Indigenous, and diverse Peoples of Colour (BIPOC); achieved through its people centred approach of addressing systemic racism limiting the economic inclusion of BIPOC in the planning, development, and construction of housing (housing industry).
While government has invested billions of dollars into transit infrastructure, they did little to produce the social, tech, or affordable housing infrastructure required to ensure existing residents may continue to stay, or that future lower income households may call these neighbourhoods home.
In response, the Roadmap builds relationships and leadership skills across all levels of the housing industry as to confront systemic racism via the economic inclusion of BIPOC, consistent collaboration, and the design and deployment of innovative technology that builds affordable housing as to realize the Right to Return (ability to return to a unit after renovation/redevelopment), and the Right to Remain (ability to stay in a neighbourhood during renovation/redevelopment) in all Ontario municipalities with an LRT (Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Ottawa).
This Roadmap serves to meet National Housing Strategy commitments to a human rights-based approach to housing.