Practice Areas

Our work across the housing system is focused on three key practice areas: Policy and Research, Housing Development, and Business 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.

Business Innovation

SHS Consulting has been involved in creating and evolving business models for public and non-profit entities since its role in preparing 10 Social Housing Transfer Plans for Municipal Service Managers and DSSABs in 2000. Today, the housing sector is experiencing change, once again. With the introduction of Canada's first National Housing Strategy, the end of operating agreements for many social housing providers, and the increasing need for affordable housing, housing providers feel the pressure to modernize and to evolve into innovative self-sustaining social enterprises.

Through our business innovation practice, our team designs collaborative environments to help your team navigate change and envision a new future for your organization. From introducing a new line of business or program, to launching an entirely new entity, the SHS team is equipped to lead your team in problem finding, solution design, prototyping, and idea implementation. We draw on our expertise and toolkit of strategic foresight, human-centred design, and systems thinking methods to infuse creativity into the process and to ensure our process honours the needs and desires of the populations our clients serve.
Image of woman writing on dry erase board

Featured Projects

How might we increase and improve housing options for people with developmental disabilities and medical complexities by exploring intentional approaches to fostering mutual inclusion in new and existing housing developments?

The Mutual Inclusion Field Guide is a product of the National Housing Strategy Solutions Lab entitled “Affordable Housing for Mutual Inclusion: Options for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities + Medical Complexities,” an 18-month collaborative initiative led by Reena in partnership with Safehaven and SHS Consulting.

The Field Guide can be used at any phase of the real estate development process, whether you are in the early stages, conceiving of the vision for your project and undertaking feasibility studies, or working on an initiative that is further along into the pre-development and development phases. This resource can help you bring in new partners or collaborators and think differently about what your project can offer.

The Mutual Inclusion Field Guide

Housing for Mutual Inclusion Solutions Lab

How might we create a series of engaging web-based toolkits to promote and support the creation of affordable housing in Bruce County?

In 2021, SHS Consulting was engaged by Bruce County to prepare a series of toolkits that would promote and support the creation of affordable housing, as outlined in Bruce County’s Housing & Homelessness Plan Update 2019-2023

The goal was to educate developers, landlords, builders, and homeowners in the county on the need and opportunities for affordable and attainable housing, as well as provide tangible tools and resources to support a variety of solutions.

Collaborating closely with Bruce County Human Services, Planning & Development, and municipal staff, we created three resources/toolkits: Affordable Housing 101 Guide, Development Guide for Multi-Residential and Ground-Related Housing, and Additional Residential Unit Guide.

Affordable Housing Toolkits

Bruce County

How might we ensure the sustainability and resilience of the community housing sector in Ontario through the development of creative business models and policy recommendations that are coordinated across Ontario’s housing system?

SHS was retained by Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) to host an open and collaborative dialogue with both housing providers and service managers around taking collective action towards a resilient community housing sector.

SHS, in collaboration with ONPHA, adopted a design-led Solutions Lab approach, where all activities emphasized building empathy between stakeholders, adopted a future-oriented lens, embraced ambiguity, and spent time working on framing the problem to be solved.

As part of the lab, SHS convened a team of key partners and collaborators from across the province, with expertise in many facets of the housing system and developed an approach that was flexible to funding opportunities and led to demonstrations and pilots of potential solutions across the province.

Community Housing for the Future: Taking Collective Action Toward Resiliency

Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association

How might we disrupt the current housing continuum journey to allow individuals experiencing homelessness to transition from shelters to a place that offers permanence and stability, the opportunity to build equity, a sense of pride and responsibility, and control and agency by designing and implementing a new housing tenure model?

The Lab Team consisting of Blue Door, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity GTA, and in collaboration with SHS Consulting, is looking to design, test, and implement a new supportive housing model that would offer residents more benefits than traditional rental housing—ones that are akin to homeownership.

This Lab aims to help young adults, families, and other groups obtain true housing stability and security of tenure through this new model that challenges our existing understanding of “rental” and “ownership” tenures.

Dwell: Housing Journeys Reimagined Solutions Lab

Blue Door + Habitat for Humanity GTA

Other Projects


Raising the Roof

Business Case for a Housing Development Corporation

City of London