Rural Housing Information System


Currently, in rural Ontario, there is a shortage of proper housing data. The lack of adequate data is a barrier to the planning and construction of affordable housing development in the region. Through the Housing Supply Challenge, the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) is partnering with the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) and tech company, Itergy, to build a streamlined digital tool to fill the housing information gap: the Rural Housing Information System.

This locally driven tool will support municipalities, developers, and homebuilders in the planning and development of affordable housing. It also aims to support not for profit builders in overcoming information barriers regarding housing in rural communities. ROI and EOWC are building this tool by consolidating the information that is available through eastern Ontario municipalities’ existing resources. By having a consolidated effort for data acquisition, the RHIS can implement a streamlined approach to enhance the data collected in a centralize, digital platform. In the medium to long-term, this information will be used to appropriately strategize housing development plans, bringing appropriate affordable housing to the region and keep residents in their communities of choice.

The RHIS will harness data through an easy-to-use public dashboard, that will include:

  • demographic trends (population, growth, age and income)
  • average home and market rental information
  • available zoned land
  • building costs (development charges and parkland fees)
  • available incentives like municipal grants or loans
  • housing assets and amenities
  • and local organizations available for collaboration.

This project is funded through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Supply Challenge, with rollout of the tool expected for the Spring of 2023.

Stay up to date on the Rural Housing Information System by following the project on ROI Connect - a new online gathering place for rural folks to connect, collaborate, inspire and create change. 




“The tool aims to provide local, reliable, salient, and current rural data to assist municipalities and proponents with the creation of affordable housing solutions.” 

Marcia Wallace CAO, Prince Edward County and EOWC project co-lead.

“The COVID pandemic has led to significant increases in rural migration, demand for rural housing and a rural housing crisis. What has been a long standing concern in large urban centres is quickly becoming a concern for rural areas.”

Ellen Sinclair, ROI Executive Director