About Us

The Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) is redefining housing and assisting in the development of
affordable housing
introduction

Launched in 2015, the Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) is a division within the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) dedicated to the development of cost-effective, innovative, and sustainable housing within rural communities across Canada.

Purpose

The Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) was created in 2015 by the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) to create a model to develop affordable housing in rural communities. Today, SHI has developed a guide to build affordable housing and provides consulting services tailored to the unique needs of rural communities so that financially sustainable affordable housing can be developed.

Facts & Figures

4

Years of
Experience

34

Successful Projects

+$42M

Raised

10

Remove

We are Affordable Housing
Pre-Development Experts

leader in facilitating the development of affordable housing in rural communities

Rural Canada has a critical shortage of affordable housing options but it hasn’t received the same attention as urban centers. Without affordable housing, many small communities cannot prevent homelessness or help people through the housing continuum. In addition to providing community members with a safe and adequate place to live, affordable housing also strengthens social inclusion and promotes a sense of community.

The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) developed the Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) in 2015 to address the need for affordable housing in rural communities.

Since its inception, the SHI has far exceeded its original goals by raising more than $30 million in capital investments for affordable housing. Our core strength is to help rural communities access funding to develop cost-effective, innovative and sustainable housing through a proven and streamlined process. 

The SHI works with rural communities using a proven three-phased approach to obtain funding at a fraction of the cost, ensuring that affordable housing is achievable for everyone. Our approach supports rural communities in their efforts to build affordable housing that is financially sustainable. The SHI is committed to being stewards of affordable housing in Canada and would strive to ensure that your project is both successful and sustainable while retaining investor's best interests.

Our team of multi-faceted professionals will assist in the pre-development of your affordable housing project that is tailored to the unique needs of your community and help you access funding for the project, on a cost-recovery basis.

Project Success
SHI has assisted in the development of over 50 affordable units, and has helped over 15 communities with their social housing goals.

Expertise

Our dedicated team of professionals have proven capabilities of delivering premium services. The SHI services range from pre-developmental consulting and site specific services to securing funds for communities. SHI's focus is delivering cost-effective and timely solutions to any affordable housing project.

SHI has been successful in retaining strong talent while adapting and growing together as a team.

Our SHI team is comprised of individuals with backgrounds in:

Real Estate Sales & Management
Construction
Business Case Development
Development and Procurement
Government Policy Analysis
Underwriting and Financial Analysis

Proven Results

One of the first projects supported through this initiative is the YWCA Banff Courtyard Project. This 33 unit, 3-story cost effective project will meet net-zero targets for energy efficiency and provide affordable rental housing for up to 78 residents who face barriers to finding suitable accommodation.

The Courtyard Project will have at least 4 suites that are barrier free for people with accessibility needs.

YWCA Banff Courtyard Project
Phase 2 & 3 services provided to YWCA Banff.
Looking to develop affordable housing?
Request your free "Step-by-Step Guide on Developing Affordable Housing" here.

Step-by-Step Guide

Funded in part by the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy's Innovative Solutions to Homelessness.

The SHI has developed"The Step-By-Step Guide to Developing Sustainable Affordable Housing". It will help save community groups time and money by providing a free, comprehensive guide on how to successfully develop, build and manage affordable housing.

The guide is based upon SHI's experience with developing unique projects with a variety of owner/operator models, including, but not limited to not for profit groups, housing management bodies and local municipal governments.

Request a copy of the guide.

experience

SHI leads the way in affordable housing with a strong mandate to ensure your project is financially sustainable, while still incorporating
aesthetically pleasing design

Key Success Factors

Communication

Ability to effectively communicate and negotiate.

Competitive

High market profile.

Experienced

Well-developed internal process.

Professional

Highly skilled and diverse team of professionals.

Expertise

Quickly cultivate optimal processes and tactical strategies for any affordable housing project.

Adaptable

Fast adjustments to changing regulations and individual community needs.

We have the Solutions

More than just your regular consulting firm

Rural Canada has a critical shortage of affordable housing options but it hasn’t received the same attention as urban centers. Without affordable housing, many small communities cannot prevent homelessness or help people through the housing continuum. Therefore, the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) developed the Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) in 2015 to address the need for affordable housing in rural communities. Since its inception, the Sustainable Housing Initiative has far exceeded its original goals by raising more than $30 million in capital investments for affordable housing. 

Ultimately, we act as a project facilitator by:

1) Providing Innovative Solutions

2) Supporting New Partnerships

3) Leveraging Existing Resources


Our core strength is to help rural communities access funding to develop affordable housing through a proven and streamlined process.

George Soros
financial advisor
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Testimonials

"Creating a sense of home is so much more than just a building and the Innovation Fund gave SHI and the YWCA creative space to think differently about our approach to design. Living in Banff National Park also strongly influenced our commitment to net zero targets. Belonging, security, connection, affordability, community pride-these are all factors that have influenced how we developed the Courtyard project"

Connie MacDonald
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Banff
Testimonials

SHI's vision and our organization connected about two years ago. We are forever grateful to work together on this insight for our project. If not for the support from ARDN on this we would not be where we are today! Our dream was to attain transitional, affordable and market housing in our community. This turned into a goal and now a reality. This housing continuum of care will be able to meet people needs while recognizing what their housing realities mean in a rural perspective.The ARDN has walked along with us and been able to connect and answer many questions, concerns and thoughts during this time.

Rebecca Wells
Executive Director, Wellspring Family Resource Center
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