CMHC National Housing Strategy Solutions Lab


Toronto, Ontario

Housing affordability is complex, and requires collaboration across the public sector, private sector, and other stakeholders to generate innovative approaches. In 2019, Urban Strategies Inc., MaRS Solutions Lab, Evergreen Canada, The Natural Step and N. Barry Lyon Consulting initiated the Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) Solutions Lab to understand the challenges and identify opportunities for delivering more affordable housing around transit stations. It is one of eleven projects selected in the first year of the National Housing Strategy (NHS) Solutions Labs program, funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as part of the National Housing Strategy. The Solutions Lab approach is one that convenes key stakeholders – harnessing diverse perspectives and expertise – to work towards systemic change.

The TOAH Solutions Lab is exploring the opportunity to align affordable housing investment and transit infrastructure investment in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, recognizing their mutually beneficial relationship and leveraging the public momentum behind each critical urban challenge. Drawing from engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, through both individual interviews and group workshops, the team is identifying a range of potential interventions to deliver more affordable housing with transit, better leveraging major public and private investment dollars. Potential solutions include re-imagining the transit procurement process, expanded agency mandates, improved alignment of policy planning and infrastructure delivery, and more proactive planning strategies to allow for the integration of affordable housing development.

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