Post-secondary students come up with innovative solutions to create affordable housing Image

Post-secondary students come up with innovative solutions to create affordable housing

By Newinhomes on Sep 21, 2018

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced the winners of the Innovation Fund Student Challenge, an initiative encouraging post-secondary students to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to address affordable housing issues in the rental market.

The Student Challenge launched in September 2017 with the goal of consulting the nation’s budding talent on innovative building techniques, and business and financing models. The submissions had to meet a variety of criteria related to affordability, financial viability, energy efficiency, and accessibility.

The three winners address the above criteria in a variety of methods, from timber construction to tiny homes and recycled shipping containers. Each of the winners received a $10,000 prize.

“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,” says The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC. “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.”

Affordable housing

The winners of the Innovation Fund Student Challenge

The Beaver by Michael Kenny, Bria Hamilton, Allison Evans, Helen Lam, Jane Bae – York University

This proposal is a 12-storey co-op rental apartment featuring mass timber construction. The building would also incorporate passive design and green technology to cut down on waste and improve energy efficiency. The funding model would require financial support from community bonds, union pension funds, and credit unions.  

Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge by Lindsay Allman, Andrew Eberhard, Gabrielle Snow, Peter Huan – Queen’s University

This entry is based on the development of a Tiny Home Community of rental units for single occupants. It would have a rent geared to income model and the units could be designed specifically to meet environmental and accessibility demands.

The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative by Juniper Littlefield, Mitch Gold, Lina El-Setouhy, Chloe Espiard – Dalhousie University

The Jetty concept is a co-op development targeting the student population, comprised of recycled shipping container apartments. There would also be additional housing for seniors, singles, and families.

We hope the Innovation Fund Student Challenge inspired some bright, young minds to explore a career in community development!

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