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.
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Featured Projects

Business Case for a Housing Development Corporation

City of London

How might we reach the City of London’s affordable housing goals through the establishment of a new vehicle for housing development?

SHS Consulting, in collaboration with Purpose Capital, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and Robins Appleby, prepared a Business model and business case to set out a process by which the City of London could address the need for affordable housing in London and Middlesex through the creation of a new Housing Development Corporation. This innovative approach identified the core mandate and supporting mandates of the Housing Development Corporation.

City of London Council approved the creation of the London Housing Development Corporation in 2014 and since then, the HDC has been instrumental in the development of new affordable housing in London.

How might we co-create a master portfolio plan that meets future needs of Peterborough residents, capital priorities, and PHC’s capacity?

SHS Consulting led a multi-disciplinary consulting team in the completion of this comprehensive portfolio assessment for PHC. The multi-disciplinary consulting team led by Christine Pacini of SHS Consulting included Glenda Lucas (SHS Consulting), Ken Foulds (Re/fact Consulting), John van Nostrand and Tunde Paczai (SvN Architects + Planners), Doug Tipple (Creva Group), Norm Tasevski (Purpose Capital) and John Fox (Robins Appleby LLP). The PHC Project Team included representation from the board of directors, senior management team and key funding partner. The process of co-creating the capital financing and revitalization plan involved more than 50 discreet activities and 7 intensive workshops. The process undertaken by the team closely follows the phase activities identified in the RFSO documents.

Capital Financing and Revitalization Plan

Peterborough Housing Corporation


Raising the Roof

How might we increase the housing options for individuals at risk of homelessness by leveraging underutilized assets that exist in our communities through a scalable (nation-wide) solution?

SHS Consulting has been involved since the inception of Raising the Roof’s Reside initiative. Our team has led activities related to definition, discovery, development, prototyping and testing/delivery, and roadmap creation to communicate a clear path to realize opportunities and follow the established vision.

The overall goal of the project is to create a blueprint to access Canada’s untapped housing supply, vacant heritage houses and other long term vacant buildings, and transform them into affordable rental units for vulnerable populations including youth, seniors and Indigenous people. There are thousands of vacant houses and other suitable buildings across the country owned by developers, conservation authorities and others. These buildings cannot be demolished for a range of reasons including their heritage value, location on sensitive property, proposed future use of the lands, and so on. Many of these buildings have been vacant for years and are highly suitable for repurposing to affordable rental housing. The Reside initiative was created to respond to this defined problem and potential solution.