When create affordable housing there are 3 key project components, land, money & capacity, Cahdco calls this the 3-legged stool. Capacity is the combination of experience and expertise. Having the capacity can help unlock the land and money needed to successfully develop affordable housing. A non-profit, co-op or charity need to assemble a team capable of guiding the project from feasibility through to construction completion and then operate the building. Cahdco’s role focuses on assisting non-profits in the feasibility & construction.

A project team is a blend of internal capacity and external expertise, often in the form of partner organizations, consultants and specialists. The non-profit needs to identify the specific roles and responsibilities necessary for the project’s success and evaluating whether your organization possesses the internal capacity to fulfill these requirements. To bridge any capacity gaps, organizations must strategically tap into external resources to ensure the timely achievement of project milestones. It’s important to recognize that each project demands a project team tailored to its unique demands, such as community & support service partners.



Typical roles in an affordable housing project include the Land Owner, Housing Provider, Project Team, Property Manager, Community Partners, Support Services, Funders (including lenders), and Regulators. The housing provider is often the project developer and group who is making the risky decisions. The housing provider can take on several of these roles and responsibilities, while other times a different organization fulfills each role.

A housing organization looking to develop may have the internal capacity and ability to take on the roles of landowner, property manager, and support services,. While other groups may look to partners or consultants to bring the land, provide support services to their tenants, or fulfill property management services. Funders, regulators, and project teams are all roles that will be typically filled by numerous groups. Ultimately, an organization needs to know what roles it will be able to take on and find other organizations and partners to help with the other responsibilities.

Creating a strong project team is essential when housing providers or clients lack the internal expertise needed for a project’s successful execution. There are four key members in this framework of a project team: the housing provider, who brings the land and financial resources; the project manager, who acts as the coordinator and supplements the client’s capacity; the architect who designs the building and the construction manager who builds it.

The architect often serves as the prime consultant and collaborates with sub-consultants like engineers and other designers. Each Province & Territory has a different set of standard architect contracts.  Below is one way you can organize a project team for a construction management or fixed price contract, often referred to as Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) 2 or 5B contracts. Meanwhile, the construction manager oversees trades and suppliers both on and off-site with a responsibility to report construction costs to the architect for certification, as depicted in the diagram illustrating their contractual relationships. A typical project team also has many other consultants who help provide technical and expert skills to a project. The composition of the team varies according to project .

Some organizations may come with prior development knowledge, while others may require additional expertise early in the project. As the project advances, the demand for specialized experts (sub-consultants) grows, whether to fulfill prerequisites or secure the necessary funding. During the feasibility phase, key players include the owner, land use planner, development consultant (project manager), accountant, and architect. In the design development stage, roles expand to include a quantity surveyor, construction manager, geotechnical engineer, landscape architect, land surveyor, and various engineers, including mechanical and electrical. Finally, in the Construction phase, a general contractor, project monitor and commissioning agent become pivotal contributors to project success.


A project team’s composition and effectiveness are pivotal for successful development projects. Organizations must blend internal capacity and external experts, with the roles and responsibilities evolving as the project progresses. Collaboration is key to involving stakeholders and experts to navigate challenges. Project teams that work well together are crucial, and the ability to harness specific expertise at key phases ensures success and fulfills development goals.

We are hiring volunteer board members!

Are you passionate about the City of Ottawa and affordable housing? Do you want to make a real impact in your community? Do you want to grow your professional development skills alongside a thoughtful group of volunteers? If this sounds like you, you should consider running for Cahdco’s Board of Directors!