Two years ago, we launched the Reframe Housing Competition (Reframe). The competition is designed to increase innovative affordable housing options. Cross-sectoral applicants from across Western Canada and the Territories pitch their most creative housing innovations and ideas to a committee of Urban Matters CCC and BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) staff. Our intent is to encourage innovation in Canada’s housing sector and provide resources to help the winning submission take their innovation to the next level. The prize is $8000 cash and $2000 of assistance with promotional efforts. This year, the applications came from across Western Canada with submissions from BC, Alberta, and Manitoba.
Contestants had just over three months to develop and pitch their housing ideas to the Reframe committee. This year’s winner was the Housing Through Collaboration project, submitted by End Homelessness Winnipeg. Their goal is to shift from managing homelessness to ending it. The group is spearheading a new financing model to engage private investors and government to build much needed low-income housing. They’re piloting the model by developing a housing complex for women and families who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness or gender-based violence.
The winner was selected because of their successful demonstration of:
- Social impact
- Financial sustainability
The project involves:
- Financing + Development: engaging private sector expertise and investment to pilot a new financing structure for building housing.
- Services + Supports: coordinating nine Indigenous and women’s organizations to offer coordinated supports, break down silos, and build off existing resources to support tenants.
But the story doesn’t end here. We’ll now help End Homelessness Winnipeg accelerate and scale their housing initiative to help ensure success. We’re excited about the conversations the competition sparked and look forward to seeing the direct impact that all applicants will have on Canadian housing. Keep an eye on our website for news about the 2020 Reframe Housing Competition.
About some of the other 2019 Reframe Housing Competition applicants:
Longhouse Community Living is a Vancouver-based concept intended to design, build, staff and maintain modern, cost-efficient housing that will provide specialized wrap-around services focused on improving the well-beingof homeless seniors.
The Alberta Rural Development Network submitted its Sustainable Housing Initiative, which was designed to help rural communities attract and retain both Canadian-born and immigrant individuals to increase their economic and social growth while simultaneously alleviating the pressure on urban and suburban housing. Their step-by-step guide to developing affordable housing can be found at housingredefined.org.
The Friendly Landlord Network is a Metro Vancouver-wide group of homeowners and property managers who provide rental suites to youth aging out of foster care with supports provided by 21 local youth-serving organizations. Their application featured an innovative landlord risk mitigation fund that attracts landlords by de-risking the tenancy.
Rohe Homes has developed a modular home concept which addresses the challenges of efficiency, affordability, and quality to deal with our housing affordability crisis. They use modular fabrication to gain efficiency and economies of scale for the manufacturing process, a foldable design to allow for efficient transportation to site and quick setup with minimal labour and uses sustainable and recycled materials as much as possible.
YWCA Vancouver submitted its Pacific Spirit Terrace development. This six-story building includes social housing above the bottom two stories, which are occupied by the City of Vancouver Fire Department’s Hall No. 5. The building has indoor and outdoor community and play spaces, onsite property management and social development workers.