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.
Image of a house in development

Featured Projects

How might we support the transition of shelter tenants into permanent housing and offer the required supports to ensure they remained housed?

The project consists of the re-development of the site at 502-508 Spadina into a new building that will provide 109 affordable rental apartment units and 86 shelter beds, as well as significant space for resident supports.

The main purpose of the project is to move people from the shelter component into permanent affordable housing through Scott Mission's 'Journey of Transformation' and to provide extensive wrap around supports for tenants and shelter clients to ensure they remained housed and thrive in their new homes. This includes counselling, financial literacy, spiritual care, case management and coaching, skill building, food security and emergency support.

Development of Affordable Housing

The Scott Mission

How might we fund and develop a transitional housing project for homeless Indigenous singles in the North Bay area?

This project involved acting as development consultants for the development of a 30-unit transitional housing project for homeless Indigenous singles in the North Bay area.

SHS worked with the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre to determine a vision for the project on lands owned by NBIFC, select a project architect (an Indigenous firm was selected), participate in project design, help achieve municipal planning approvals, develop and continually update pro forma, prepare numerous funding applications, help coordinate the tendering process for a GC (an Indigenous firm was selected), prepare regular advance requests, prepare regular reporting to funders, etc.

Sufficient funds were secured, and the project has just reached substantial completion and is currently being occupied. Coping with several cost increases due to COVID-19 proved particularly challenging. A highlight was the inclusion of a geothermal system which makes the project extremely energy efficient.

Suswin House Transitional Housing Development

North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre

How might we build affordable housing for Indigenous Elders and a new space for the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard, in partnership with the City of Ottawa?

In mid-2022 SHS assisted Wigwamen with responding to an RFP issued by the City of Ottawa to develop new affordable housing units and a new facility for the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard (GEFC) on a City-owned site, in which Wigwamen was the successful proponent. The proposed development would provide 50 units of deeply affordable housing targeted for Indigenous (status, non-status, Métis, and Inuit) older adults as well as 400 square metres of space for the GEFC.

This project also includes 20% accessible units that would be supported by a partnership with March of Dimes Canada (MODC) through the provision of referrals and supports.

This project is designed to meet both localized need and the larger housing need of the Indigenous community and older adults in the Ottawa area.

Wigwamen Ottawa

Wigwamen Incorporated

Other Projects

Tony Wong Place

MICAH - Markham Interchurch Committee for Affordable Housing

Gillespie Gardens Intensification Project

Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation (DRNPHC)