Rural Housing Opportunities
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:
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.
Additional Housing Resources
- Image Gallery
Consultation processes for the RHIS have met with various stakeholder groups across rural Ontario to gather feedback data needs for housing development.
The RHIS is designed to support various stakeholder groups in their work to bring affordable housing to rural areas.
The image above displays data visualizations from the Housing Supply page.
The image above displays the Compare Communities page.
The image above displays the Interactive Mapping capabilities of the RHIS.
Mapping discussion underway with the user testing session of private home developers. User testing sessions involved municipal staff, private developers, and non-profit housing organizations.
“It is a really, really great starting point [for development planning]. I’ve put a lot of time into previous tools that offered less information.”- Daniel Landry, DEVCORE
"I like what I am seeing. It is nice to have all of this information in one handy interactive spot. I often have to pull this type of info short notice and i am often digging through various reports/charts. Having it in one easy spot will be very helpful!"- Laura LePine, County of Renfrew
“This digital tool is anticipated to be a game changer and incredibly useful for rural municipalities to find and secure affordable housing opportunities more easily.”- Brenda Orchard, Lennox and Addington CAO and EOWC housing 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.”- ROI Executive Director Ellen Sinclair
“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
- Thank you to our Project Partners!
EOWC: Supports and advocates on behalf of the property taxpayers across rural Eastern Ontario. Covers an area of 45,000 square kilometres from Cobourg to the Quebec border, and includes 13 upper-tier and single-tier municipalities as well as 90 local municipalities.
CMHC: Canada’s national housing agency, and state-owned mortgage insurer. Mission to make housing affordable for everyone in Canada. Mobilizing the expertise and energy of governments, non-profits, lenders, developers, social entrepreneurs and co-ops to create the future of housing. CMHC is the primary funder of the RHIS project and development.
Intergy is a consulting firm founded to help mid-sized businesses and large corporations improve the reliability, security and performance of their Microsoft infrastructure.
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.