Capacity is one of the three legs of the stool, the others are capital and land, without all three your project won’t stand up, or be viable. Capacity is arguably the most important leg of the stool, because as long as you have capacity, your team find ways to acquire capital and land. However alternatively, if you only have land or capital, you may struggle to leverage those assets into building capacity.

One way to build capacity in your project team is by hiring a development project management consultant to add to your capacity. This can be a useful way of brining in knowledge and experience onto your project immediately. It can also be more financially viable than growing internal capacity as it is a project expense instead of an operational one, which reduces your net operating income (NOI).

In this article we will be taking a look at three non-profit developers that sell development services as a consultant, M’akola, Flourish (Indwell), and Cahdco. However, there are more affordable housing development consultants out there which you can also check out including:

  • New Commons Development
  • Green Violin
  • Catalyst Community Development
  • SHS Consulting
  • Terra Housing



M’akola Development Services is a professional consulting firm of approximately 20 staff, including planners, development managers and dedicated experts in Indigenous relations and communication.

  • Over 30 years of experience in both the market and non-market housing sector
  • partnerships with all levels of government, non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities, and private industry
  • Indigenous Board of Directors
  • Focus on researching, developing and operating housing for Indigenous families and elders


M’akola has over 50 active project in over 30 communities, they are managing over $1 billion in project cost, and building over 2800 new homes, representing more than 500 jobs.


M’akola offers services in a variety of fields including:

  • Community Planning
    1. Inclusive and rigorous research, analysis, strategy and policy work to develop valuable, actionable approaches that help governments, non-profits, and private industry support their communities
  • Land Development 
    1. Assessing and securing property for development, strategically positioning existing assets for redevelopment. Thoughtful analysis of property potential, zoning and land use considerations, existing use and cost, to complete reviews of property for individual assessments to taking a portfolio approach through the use of the Site Redevelopment Prioritization Kit.


  • Community Outreach and Engagement
    1. Utilize a broad suite of engagement and facilitation tools to gather and incorporate community input into planning and other community-oriented processes. Community engagement is an essential part of any successful project, and by tailoring engagement strategies to the local community.


  • Development Consulting & Management
    1. Provides skilled consulting services and assistance in procurement, land analysis and assessment, joint venture and partnership development, funding and financing options, capital and operating budget development for new construction, renovation and major capital improvement projects.


  • Operations & Asset Management
    1. Extensive experience building operational and asset management plans for a variety of housing uses, including affordable rental, supportive housing, transitional housing, and affordable homeownership. Tailored services, to support the diverse interests of each client and end-user tenant.
  • Indigenous Planning & Development
    1. Recognizing that Indigenous peoples need to lead solutions for their own communities, they support urban Indigenous organizations and on-reserve developments to realize housing projects that benefit community members. Approach based on relationships and is informed by values as an Indigenous-based organization.


For more information on M’akola Development Services, check out their website here.



Flourish serves communities through deploying Indwell’s experience to empower effective and sustainable affordable housing solutions. Indwell is a leader in the development of supportive housing in Hamilton and throughout southern Ontario.

Flourish has played a role in creating homes for over 1,000 households in both urban and rural communities, demonstrating their creativity and collaborative approach to outcome-focused project management.

They support clients such as municipalities, non-profits, faith communities, and other organizations to create affordable housing solutions that promote community well-being.

Their experience, resources, data, and networks help navigate through all development phases:

  • Concept imagination
  • Community engagement
  • Design and site plan phases
  • Construction oversight and project management
  • Project close-out and reporting
  • Programmatic planning and preliminary design
  • Business planning and funding procurement
  • Procurement and tendering
  • Occupancy and warranty phases


Flourish has completed housing development projects in communities, developed over 700 new affordable homes, and has more than 1,000 units under development.

Flourish offers services in a variety of fields including:

Discovery Phase

  • Cultivate alignment between client, community, and political needs
  • Community engagement and creating funding roadmaps
  • Understand and interpret market analyses to support real estate and community investment strategies
  • Identify potential housing partners

Due Diligence & Site Selection

  • Include the exploration of property opportunities
  • Undertake site reviews, propose housing plans, and program models
  • Suggest purchasing processes
  • Identify due-diligence costs and avenues for funding
  • Launch initial development capital plans

Planning & Development

  • Develop a viable funding model
  • Initial project concept designs
  • Geo-testing, environmental assessments, and surveys
  • Pre-consult with Municipality, Ministries, and others
  • Planning and environmental approvals
  • Funding applications

Construction Procurement

  • Include schematic and design development phases
  • Site plan approvals and building permit applications
  • Contractor procurement
  • Project funding plans

Construction Period

  • Construction project management
  • Payment oversight and reporting
  • Financial analysis and management
  • Warranty review and project handover
  • Final reporting

Asset Management & Tenant Occupancy

  • Tenancy launch plans and timelines
  • Building and systems operations
  • Integrate systems for rent collection and information streamlining between tenants and organization
  • Overall building and facilities management


For more information on Flourish, check out their website here.



Cahdco is a non-profit real estate developer that is focused on increasing Canada’s affordable housing by developing projects, consulting, knowledge sharing, and network-building.

Cahdco has been serving the Ottawa area for 30 years, combining the experience of Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) with an innovative team of development, construction, and project management experts. Our mission goes beyond the complex task of developing affordable housing: we’re driven by our commitment to empower people and communities by providing the right services, resources, knowledge and connections.

Cahdco has completed housing development projects in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario communities, developed over 2,000 affordable homes, and has more than 1,000 units under development.

Cahdco offers services in a variety of fields including:

Affordable Housing Development & Project Management Consulting.

Cahdco specializes in creating affordable housing projects in Ottawa. Cahdco provides real estate development project management consulting to non-profit organizations in Ottawa & Eastern Ontario. Cahdco can help create the project concept, test its feasibility and lead the project to completion, acting as the owner’s representative.

Cahdco brokers partnerships between non-profit housing organizations, faith groups, market developers & government funding programs. Cahdco has helped create various types of affordable housing including women’s shelters, transitional housing, supportive housing, mixed-income affordable rental housing, and affordable home ownership.

Support for Affordable Housing Development Projects

Cahdco provides real estate advice & capacity for government’s, non-profit organizations and faith groups seeking to create affordable housing. Cahdco helps government bodies design effective housing programs, assists non-profits to create a development strategy, and identifies affordable housing partners faith groups & market developers.


Toolbox+ Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building for Affordable Housing Projects

Toolbox+ connects you to the knowledge you need to develop a project or grow your organizations development capacity.

Toolbox+ is an affordable housing development community of practice that consists of two programs: The Blueprints Program and The Foundations Program.

The Blueprints program is intended for organizations that are early in the development process and primarily interested in learning and gaining knowledge of development activities.

The Foundations program is for organizations that have experience with development and are interested in building upon these skills to increase their in-house capacity and sell development services to others.


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!