Affordable Housing

Student Challenge Winners Bring Innovative Ideas to Creating Affordable Rental Housing in Canada

 

With innovative and fresh approaches to create more affordable rental housing in the country, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, today announced the winners of the Innovation Fund Student Challenge.

Three teams have been selected as winners earning the full award of $10,000:

The Beaver – York University
Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge – Queen’s University
The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative – Dalhousie University

Three additional teams have been chosen to receive awards of merit of $2,000:

Affordable Housing Initiative for Single Mothers – Dalhousie University
Affordable Live-Work Rental Cooperative – McGill University
Canada Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trust – Université du Québec à Montréal

Launched in September 2017, the Innovation Fund Student Challenge for Affordable Rental Housing asked post-secondary students to submit a proposal for affordable rental housing solutions that are new to Canada, with innovative building techniques and business or financing models that lower the costs and risks associated with rental housing.

Quote:

“The Innovation Fund Student Challenge has inspired students to not only think of new ways to address affordable housing, but to perhaps consider a career in housing as well. The proposals we’ve received are creative and offer solutions ranging from innovative building techniques to new financing models. I would like to congratulate all the winners and everyone who participated in this challenge.” – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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Quick Facts

Students were able to work individually or create a team, with the goal to rethink and revolutionize the affordable rental housing sector.
The deadline for submitting their project was April 30, 2018.
The National Housing Strategy (NHS), through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, is providing $200 million over 5 years for projects that showcase new funding models and innovative building techniques, lowering the costs and risks of financing affordable housing projects and helping to make the affordable housing sector more attractive for private market developers and investors.
The NHS 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.

Winning Submissions: The Beaver – York University

Michael Kenny, Bria Hamilton, Allison Evans, Helen Lam, Jane Bae

The Beaver Co-op is a proposed 12-story affordable rental apartment building that incorporates an innovative building technique and cost-saving measure through the use of mass timber construction in affordable housing, which is still relatively new to the sector. Passive design and green technology are incorporated to minimize waste and energy usage. The financial innovation stems from the multi-stakeholder community development approach that aims to generate financial support via community bonds, union pension funds, and credit unions.

Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge – Queen’s University

Lindsay Allman, Andrew Eberhard, Gabrielle Snow, Peter Huan

The Compact Homes project proposes an innovative Tiny Home Community that seeks to leverage existing programs and lands to produce single occupant, rent geared to income units, and can be constructed to meet stringent accessibility and environmental efficiency requirements.

The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative – Dalhousie University

Juniper Littlefield, Mitch Gold, Lina El-Setouhy, Chloe Espiard

The Jetty Affordable Housing project proposes a housing cooperative operated in partnership with local post-secondary institutions, targeting the student population with recycled shipping container apartments, as well as providing additional housing for seniors, singles and families.

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Awards of Merit

Affordable Housing Initiative for Single Mothers – Dalhousie University

Julianna Robertson, Jeff Meaney, Odeisa Stewart, Matt Cawood, Amirezza Shahisavandi

The Affordable Housing Initiative for Single Mothers aims to create ten multi-family housing complexes for low income single mothers in Halifax through the use of Social Impact Bonds to fund social housing initiatives. This financial model encourages private investment and operation of affordable housing, which has typically been a publicly-funded social service.

Affordable Live-Work Rental Cooperative – McGill University

Olivier Lalancette, George-Étienne Adam

The Affordable Live-Work Rental Cooperative project proposes a live-work rental cooperative apartment building that caters to today’s young professionals who are interested in self-employment, working from home, and who are in need of affordable housing. The project proposes a unique building design element with the goal of enhancing affordability and reducing initial costs through the use of an online customized unit selection process, along with moveable features and rental furniture, which gives residents flexibility to pay only for what they need and can afford, from the unit layout down to the furniture.

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Canada Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trust – Université du Québec à Montréal

Nicolas Langlois

Canada’s Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trust aims to create a responsible residential real estate investment fund. The Fund allows investors interested in responsible investments to enter the market and brings new sources of capital to the affordable housing market.

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