Who Needs to Work 2GETHER?
In their affordable housing session, the Region of Waterloo introduced the housing ecosystem concept. This includes establishing partnerships with government, financial institutions, building industry, non-profit sector, land trusts, and co-operatives.
Collaborating 2GETHER prevents silos. In many municipalities, economic development and housing departments are transitioning away from working in silos and instead coming 2GETHER by recognizing the overlap in their portfolio in building affordable housing. Consistent affordability criteria and definitions across funding and financing applications benefits non-profit housing developments. Uniting 2GETHER can also connect western knowledge and traditional ways of knowing.
At a session on digital processes there were similarities between transitioning to online platforms and developing and planning for affordable housing.
- Set your future target – How many affordable units are you proposing? What are the accessibility and environmental requirements, and can you exceed these standards?
- Establish your champions – As with introducing a new technology, find a champion like a politician who will support your project.
- Secure your partners – Collaborate 2GETHER with a housing provider or landowner to bring your development 2GETHER
Affordable Housing Tools
The City of Ottawa is in the process of revising its bylaw to be efficient, effective, and equitable through form-based codes. Zoning as a tool to increase affordable housing developments was mentioned throughout the conference. The Region of Waterloo noted CMHC’s Rapid Housing Initiative requires developments to be built quickly, which often assumes the appropriate zoning is already in place. Developing affordable housing requires municipalities enabling it through planning policy tools.
Habitat for Humanity, Rural Development Network, and Map Your Property have worked 2GETHER to create an online mapping tool to identify government owned land among other property and development information to create affordable housing.
Finally, while in London I was able to explore the downtown and stumbled upon an Indwell development. Cahdco mentored Indwell to create Flourish, a social purpose real estate development services company that provides consulting to clients pursuing affordable housing. Cahdco used this experience to launch the Toolbox This partnership is a great example of non-profits collaborating and uniting 2GETHER to develop affordable housing.