Our Team

Shannon Holness

Development Planning, Policy and Design Researcher

Shannon joined SHS Consulting recently as a Development Planning, Policy and Design Researcher, where her work involves contributing to the planning approval process for affordable housing projects, conducting research contributing to the development of housing policy and participating in community engagement processes to ensure the voice of the community is heard in all aspects of affordable housing. Shannon’s background and education are in urban planning and include experiences in community development, public engagement and municipal planning. Shannon has been privileged to facilitate dialogue, design charrettes and workshops with long-time residents, youth, newcomers, and vulnerable populations, encouraging their participation in community building as part of a neighbourhood development strategy.

Shannon worked at the Toronto Community Benefits Network for 2 years; during her time, she planned, managed and led several concurrent community benefits research projects including Community Hubs and Climate Change: A Feasibility Assessment, Opportunities in the Low Carbon Economy and Growing in Place Initiative with the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit. She has also worked in a freelance consultant and project coordinator capacity on feasibility assessment for a proposed Community Hub and Center for the Arts in the Jane-Finch community; with Jay Pitter Placemaking, she has conducted a resident and site audit for a social development plan and design enhancements at a private market high-rise building; with PROCESS she worked on a project-by-project basis with the firm’s creative approach to engagement on cultural planning projects such as Centennial Park Master Plan, City of Newmarket’s Mulock Park Traffic and Safety Plan, and the Whitby Culture Plan. Shannon is most proud of her art-based community engagement project, Humans of Connections, which used audio, storytelling, and photography to capture the narrative of resident experiences in Toronto Community Housing’s closure of 132 units in her Community. Shannon also brings strong insight into affordable housing issues and concerns through her lived experience growing up within a social housing community in Toronto.

She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and her alma mater, York University. Shannon is a candidate member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institution.

Current work

Shannon is currently working on several housing needs assessments and housing strategies for municipalities and non-profit agencies in Ontario as well as Nova Scotia.


Master of Environmental Studies (York University)

Honours Bachelor of Arts in Human Right and Equity Studies