Broadening the Base (BtB) received tremendous community response to its inaugural Invitation to Collaborate. The Invitation to Collaborate sought viable concepts for affordable housing development in Ottawa that were open to engaging BtB in their planning process, looking to identify a more diverse group of stakeholders and new and under-utilized mechanisms and models that could leverage resources and partnerships for their projects, and that were willing to share this information with the larger community.

Following an intensive review process, BtB has selected four projects to collaborate with in 2016. Chosen for their ability to connect with innovative mechanisms and models for affordable housing development identified by the BtB initiative over the past year, these projects will serve as living innovation labs to test and create knowledge around how to identify and integrate new resources and partnerships for affordable housing development in Ottawa. BtB will journey alongside the projects to identify and record project best practices and learning and share this knowledge with the larger community through our website, blog posts, social media, community meetings, and innovation reports.

BtB is pleased to announce the four innovative affordable housing projects for 2016 collaboration:

Healthy Cities Project: Somerset West Community Health Centre is spearheading a deliberative design, multi-stakeholder, community development plan for the Centre West Ottawa community to ensure that the housing requirements of citizens from a broad range of socio-economic circumstances and needs are met as the community responds to increased development, new public transportation, and gentrification pressures. BtB, alongside Somerset West Community Health Centre, will explore ways to strengthen community collaboration for affordable housing through increasing stakeholder involvement in the deliberations and ways to promote affordable housing as a part of a diverse, vibrant and healthy community.

Ellwood House II: The Ellwood House II project is a supportive housing project being developed for vulnerable seniors in the Alta Vista area. Located on St. Thomas the Apostle Anglican Church property, the project team has secured an agreement with the Church for property development and has engaged an architect to help develop ideas and plans for the facility. BtB, alongside the Ellwood House II project team, will explore innovative development and funding models for the project as well as service delivery partnerships to meet the needs of the residents.

Cahdco Deschâtelets:  Cahdco, the development corporation of CCOC (Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation), is currently exploring the feasibility of transforming the historic Édifice Deschâtelets Building in Old Ottawa East into a mixed-income housing, mixed-use redevelopment project. As part of the preliminary planning, BtB may assist Cahdco in exploring innovative models and opportunities including social investment financing and philanthropy. Cahdco’s initial aim is to identify and work with potential stakeholders to build a shared vision for the adaptive reuse of the Édifice Deschâtelets Building, with the goal of creating a vibrant mixed-use space that will contribute meaningfully to the Old Ottawa East community.

Coach Housing: The City of Ottawa Planning and Growth Management Department is undertaking a study to determine the appropriate standards to permit Coach Houses, or small detached secondary dwelling units in back yards on private properties in the City of Ottawa. These dwellings offer tremendous opportunity to be part of the solution for increasing the stock of affordable housing units in Ottawa. BtB will participate in the City-led process to engage and encourage community discussions surrounding detached secondary dwelling units and affordable housing in Ottawa.

Each of these four projects supports the larger vision of Broadening the Base to identify ways to strengthen, promote, and catalyze affordable housing development in Ottawa. We look forward to updating you on these projects as they proceed. For news and activities on these projects and on BtB, check out our website at or follow us on Twitter @btbottawa