Practice Areas

Our work across the housing system is focused on three key practice areas: Policy and Research, Housing Development, and Business Model Innovation. Through these areas of work, we help our public, non-profit, and private sector clients answer complex questions about the housing needs in their communities, build social purpose real estate, and envision alternative futures for their organization.

Housing Development

SHS Consulting is actively involved in the development of affordable housing projects for a wide range of population groups including seniors, families, and persons with disabilities. Including our predecessor firms, we have managed the development of almost 100 projects containing over 5,000 units and housing more than 10,000 persons in need of affordable housing. These projects have ranged in size from a three unit transitional housing project for victims of domestic violence to major projects of 350 units serving a diverse group of residents. This work is carried out on behalf of municipal and private non-profit housing corporations, private sector developers and public/private partnerships.

SHS has developed projects in every corner of Ontario, including major urban centres, small rural communities and remote northern communities.

Our role typically involves identifying the need, helping develop the vision for the project, conducting a feasibility assessment, securing a site, providing advice on the design the building, hiring a wide range of professionals to design, develop and build the project, obtaining municipal planning approval, preparing the capital and operating budgets, assisting in the tendering process, monitoring the budget during construction and ensuring a suitable property management plan is in place to operate the building and support the residents.

SHS regularly assists our clients in identifying and applying for funding to cover the cost of the projects and has successfully secured more than $500 million in government funding for these projects, as well as another $500+ million in construction and mortgage financing.

Featured Projects

Tony Wong Place

MICAH - Markham Interchurch Committee for Affordable Housing

How might we create an affordable housing building that brings together a community of support services?

This $25 million project received funding under the Canada -Ontario Affordable Housing Program and involved the new construction of a 120-unit building containing a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom units, and is located in Markham. Project partners included CMHA York Region, 360 kids, Sandgate Women’s Shelter, Participation House and Community Living York Region, with each of these agencies having dedicated units available for their clients in the building.

The building’s energy efficiency features include solar panels to power exterior lighting, geoexchange system for both heating and cooling, insulated concrete forming walls, and increased roof insulation. Community space includes laundry rooms as well as a lounge and common room with a retractable wall permitting sufficient space for large and smaller groups.

The project was recognized by the Region of York as a best practice in affordable housing.

SHS is currently working with MICAH on another affordable housing project for seniors in Markham.

How might we create housing that is affordable for older adults?

Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation (DRNPHC) operates 18 affordable rental housing projects in communities across Durham Region, including Gillespie Gardens, a 50 unit seniors apartment built 30 years ago in the Beaverton community of Brock Township. In 2016 the Corporation retained SHS Consulting to help develop a plan to intensify the site by adding a new extension to the building. SHS coordinated the preparation of the intensification plan and prepared the funding submission to the Region of Durham under the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) Program. The submission was successful and SHS was retained to manage the development of the project.

SHS worked with the project architect to achieve all municipal planning approvals, arrange project financing and tender the construction of the building to a pre-qualified list of general contractors. SHS also assisted in securing Service Manager and Ministry of Housing consent to develop on an existing social housing site. A successful bidder was selected and retained to construct the building. The new extension, a $4.4 million project featuring 18 units in a highly accessible and energy efficient building, is nearing completion and will be occupied in the fall of 2018.

SHS has gone on to successfully submit a further funding application for DRNPHC under the Investment in Affordable Housing Program for a new 50 unit seniors project in the Cannington community of Brock Township. This project will be built on a surplus school site acquired from the local public school board for a nominal amount. Construction is expected to commence in the summer of 2018 and will be carried out through a pre-qualified tendering process.

Gillespie Gardens Intensification Project

Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation (DRNPHC)

Aspen Apartments

Capability Support Services Inc.

How might we provide continuum of care in a rural community?

Capability Support Services Inc. (Capability) is an experienced developer and operator of affordable rental and supportive housing. Capability operates three supportive housing locations including Maple Grove Place in Dunnville which provides housing for 21 seniors, as well as providing supports through various programs operating in Halton and Hamilton. Dunnville is a rural community with a population under 5,800 located in Haldimand County.

SHS Consulting worked with Capability on the development of Maple Grove Place, which involved major renovations to a vacant wing of Grandview Lodge that was previously used for long-term care. Maple Grove Place was completed in 2012 and provides housing options for those no longer to live independently in their own homes. The services include 24/7 supportive care, meals, laundry and housekeeping.

This new project will also be located on the Grandview Lodge campus and will see the construction of a 14-unit, single storey building specifically designed for seniors that are able to live independently, with some supports if needed. The units are all one-bedroom, and are designed to enable aging in place, with all having accessible washrooms and sufficient space in the kitchens for those using wheelchairs or walkers. These new units provide the last piece in the continuum of care on the property, which provides options ranging from independent living, supportive housing and long-term care.

Funding for the project was obtained from the Investment in Affordable Housing (2014 Extension) as well as the 2016 Social Infrastructure Funding. A construction loan with permanent financing has been arranged with Infrastructure Ontario, which also provided financing for the Maple Grove Project. Haldimand County has been highly supportive of Capability, and is providing a grant of $250,000, guaranteeing the financing with Infrastructure Ontario and also providing the land at no cost through a 50-year ground lease.

Construction of the $3.2-million project is set to commence in late August/early September 2018, and the occupancy date is late 2019.