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With the financial support of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Community Data Program of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network has launched a Solutions Lab project called “Developing easy-to-use community decision-making tools to help achieve National Housing Strategy goals”. Working in partnership with municipal and community sector organizations active in the housing sector, the CDP Solutions Lab project will strengthen evidence-based planning and decision making using innovative methods and tools to transform municipal and neighbourhood scale data into better programs, policies and operational decisions. These methods and tools will respond to the real constraints of time and analytical staff support needed to apply data to housing-related decisions affecting neighbourhoods and communities.   

The project is being delivered over eighteen months, from October 1, 2020, until March 31, 2022, in the form of structured and facilitated workshops, webinars, tools development and testing, and technical guidance. The project aims to integrate several innovations into the work of local planners, policy analysts, and decision-makers, including:

  • Common indicators relevant to measuring housing results at the municipal and neighbourhood scale
  • New data sources and uses of data, including data modelling
  • Use of new software to support data visualization and data access
  • Shared learning between provincial jurisdictions
  • More effective feedback loops to better understand the impact of data on local decision making

This project received funding from the National Housing Strategy under the NHS Solutions Labs initiative.


1. Reference Documents
Terms of Reference
This document provides the purpose and structures of the CDP Solutions Lab project, Working Group member roles and responsibilities and meetings.
Challenge Brief

This Challenge Brief introduces the search for relevant and accurate housing data, information and evidence for use by decision-makers across Canada’s housing system, including new or adapted tools to present them successfully. The document includes:

  • Key points from the original Problem Statement for the CDP Solutions Lab, which helped to secure CMHC support for this project.
  • Five major questions designed to develop key insights about the current housing data situation in communities and neighbourhoods across Canada.
This document includes detailed information about the March 2nd (2021) National Insight Generation Workshop
Survey Findings Report
The report is produced based on stakeholders' responses to the CDP Solutions Lab survey. Survey results are represented as a series of charts and tables of comments for more in-depth analysis. 
University of Waterloo Research Reports
These reports by University of Waterloo students include an analysis of the community data set on affordable housing and homelessness in Canada and research on the key issues surrounding housing and homelessness and how the data is presented.
MicroLabs Engagement Package
As a facilitator's guide, this package provides an overview of the engagement activities that will take place as part of the micro lab. This guide is a resource for micro lab facilitators who are leading engagement activities in their Province or community.
2. Meetings
This section includes a table of the CDP Solutions Lab Working Group meetings: schedule, notes, presentations and/or links to the recorded webinars.
3. Progress in Identifying and Meeting User Data Needs and Comments on CDP Engagement
4. Housing-Related Websites of CDP Members
This section provides links to housing-related web pages and/or documents of CDP members interested in becoming community partners. 
5. Community Decision Support Tool for Housing Issues: Demonstration Version
To open this dashboard, download the latest version of Tableau Reader here for free.
6. Project Team

Reference Documents

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DateTopic of meetingDocuments
January 12, 2021
Virtual Orientation 
January 19, 2021
March 2, 2021
National Insight Generation Workshop
April 8, 2021
Solutions Lab on Community Decision-Making Tools for Housing Issues: National Survey and Research Findings
April 22, 2021
National level ideation session followed by microlabs engagement of local stakeholders ideation sessions
June 15, 2021
National session to share ideas from local microlabs & confirm prototyping approach
September 14, 2021
Prototyping activities workshop
November  16, 2021
Prototype development workshop
December 14, 2021
 Presentation of draft prototype
March 2, 2022
Lessons Learned Roundtable / Road map engagement session

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Progress in Identifying and Meeting User Data Needs and Comments on CDP Engagement

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Housing-Related Websites of Select CDP Members 

British Columbia (Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia - SPARC) 

Banff AB (Town)

Calgary AB (City)


Durham Region, ON

Hastings County ON

Halton ON (Regional Municipality)

Kawartha Lakes ON (City)

Kingston ON (City and County)

Muskoka ON (District Municipality)

New Brunswick (Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour)

Nova Scotia (Annapolis Valley)

Peel ON (Regional Municipality)

Peterborough ON (City)

Québec (City and Province)

Regina SK (City)

Simcoe County ON

Southwestern Public Health (Oxford, Elgin, St. Thomas)

Sudbury ON (Northern Policy Institute)

Toronto ON (City)

Waterloo ON (Regional Municipality)


Winnipeg MB (Social Planning Council of Winnipeg)

Wood Buffalo AB (Regional Municipality)

York ON (Regional Municipality)

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Community Decision Support Tool for Housing Issues: Demonstration Version

Click here to download the Community Decision Support Tool for Housing Issues: Demonstration Version Tableau dashboard.

To open this dashboard, download the latest version of Tableau Reader here for free.

Cliquez ici pour télécharger l'Outil communautaire d'aide à la décision pour les enjeux de logement (version française du Community Decision Supprt Tool for Housing Issues)

Télécharger gratuitement Tableau Reader ici.

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Project Team

  • Community Data Program (CDP)
    • The Community Data Program is an initiative of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), a national association of organizations and people throughout Canada committed to strengthening communities by creating economic opportunities that enhance social and environmental conditions. The program facilitates access to the evidence needed to tell our stories and inform effective and responsive policy and program design and implementation. The CDP makes data accessible and useful for all members with training and capacity building resources.
  • Lansdowne Technologies Inc.
    • The Lansdowne Consulting Group is a management consulting firm based in Ottawa, Canada. They specialize in the planning and management of complex projects, businesses, proposals, procurements, security challenges, emergency management and professional development. Lansdowne will guide the design and the delivery of activities for the lab using a social innovation approach and in a way that helps diverse stakeholders co-develop solutions to complex housing problems.
  • Priority Decision Data Inc.
    • Priority Decision Data Inc. aims to facilitate whole-of-system measurement of comparative policy and program effectiveness, leading to ranked solutions based on different indicators.  A whole-of-system assessment comparing effectiveness of government policies and programs applies innovative techniques using major datasets, including new housing and urban indicators. As part of the CDP Solutions Lab team, we help guide output development, design indicator frameworks, and conceptualize policy development/evaluation tools based on decisions of the Solutions Lab management team and the work of Community Partners.

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This project entitled “Developing Easy-To-Use Community Decision-Making Tools To Help Achieve National Housing Strategy Goals” received funding from the National Housing Strategy under the NHS Solutions Labs.  However, the views expressed on this portal are the views of the authors and of individual member organizations of the Community Data Program and CMHC accepts no responsibility for them.