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The Town of Stratford in Prince Edward Island, Canada, has received $1.1M, funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to take part in the Housing Supply Challenge (HSC). The goal of this project is to find innovative solutions to barriers around new housing supply.

Housing supply is a critical issue affecting the community, with an anticipated shortfall of housing to meet population growth over the next 20 years. An increase of housing supply in the homeownership and rental market is necessary to ensure everyone has access to quality and healthy housing.

Facts about the project:

  • The CMHC Housing Supply Challenge consists of 6 rounds of projects with the Shape Stratford project coming out of ‘Round 2: Getting Started: Pre-Development Process’. The funding objective of this round is ‘To create implementable, local solutions that improve pre-development of housing that is affordable’.
  • The project, officially called ‘Overcoming Zoning Challenges in Land Use Planning’ has gone through three stages, with the current stage, stage 3, being development and execution of the project. The project kicked off in the fall of 2022 with a branding and naming exercise resulting in ‘Shape Stratford’.
  • Shape Stratford is about creating the community conversations required for a common understanding of the variety of housing needed, the barriers to meeting that need and solutions that can be implemented to ensure housing that is safe, meets needs and is affordable for residents.

Affordable housing is defined as housing that meets the needs of a variety of households in the low to moderate-income range. Those who pay more than 30% of their annual wages on living expenses may be forced to spend less money on things like quality childcare, healthy food, or reliable transportation. Having a safe and affordable place to call home increases an engaged community, employment, and education opportunities, allows people to have a sense of inclusion and safety and supports positive mental and physical health.