Let’s solve Canada’s housing challenges together
See how affordable housing innovators can overcome Canada’s biggest challenges with the help of the NHS Demonstrations Initiative and Solutions Labs.
By Dave Gray
Funding now available to create and showcase innovations
In Canada, we learn, adapt and create like no other nation. Innovation and research are key to building the next generation of affordable housing across the country — and the federal government has a plan to help accelerate them.
If you have affordable housing expertise or a new idea or technology you are ready to share with the industry, you could benefit from two funding initiatives that are now accepting applications for 2019.
As part of the ambitious 10-year, $55-billion National Housing Strategy, the NHS Demonstrations Initiative and Solution Labs aim to bring together leading experts, technology, tools and resources to showcase innovative ideas and solve complex affordable housing issues.
It’s an important investment in our shared future.
The NHS is designed to ensure more Canadians have access to affordable housing that meets their needs. Affordable housing is a cornerstone of sustainable, inclusive communities and a Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.
The NHS Demonstrations Initiative
NHS Demonstrations provides funding to showcase new technologies and strategies that can advance the performance and impact of affordable housing.
This initiative supports sharing of real-world housing data and information with those who can use it to make better decisions, improve the performance and viability of affordable housing solutions, and foster a culture of innovation across Canada to meet current and future affordable housing needs.
Successful demonstration projects will showcase new ways of doing things, new technologies, innovative programs, cutting edge policies and unique strategies. They can be in many formats, from real and virtual tours to websites and videos to case studies, fact sheets and best practices guides.
The initiative has an annual budget of up to $1.5 million. Funding will range from $25,000 to a maximum of $250,000 per selected project, based on factors such as relevance, cost, complexity and readiness. Applications are being accepted now through June 12, 2019.
The $24.5 million Solutions Labs
Solutions Labs are like incubators for new solutions. They are designed to be a catalyst for action and innovation in the affordable housing sector. They provide housing stakeholders with funding and expert innovation lab consultants to help solve complex housing problems using innovative methods and tools.
The idea: Provide a safe space to look at ways to solve a problem, develop solutions, prototype, test and refine those solutions. This leads to a roadmap on how to scale up and adopt a solution. The goal: Use the solutions developed in the lab to strengthen Canada’s affordable housing sector.
Putting stakeholders and experts in innovation together allows them to draw on each other’s strengths, creativity and knowledge. It empowers them to explore new ways of making progress on the problem they want to solve.
The initiative has an annual budget of up to $3 million. Each lab will receive funding in the range of $25,000 to $250,000 to develop solutions to complex and persistent housing challenges, delivering a roadmap for full-scale implementation and uptake.
Solutions Labs will be funded through a competitive annual open-call process. Applications for 2019 are open now.
Let’s work together
Innovation is critical to overcoming Canada’s housing challenges — working together we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of many Canadians.
You can learn more about the NHS Demonstrations Initiative and Solutions Labs, including eligibility requirements and how to apply online at cmhc-nhs.ca.