Affordable Housing Innovation Lab

Affordable Housing Innovation Lab

Each year, the Leadership Waterloo Region Core Program class work on a community project.  In previous years, the class would be split into smaller teams and would work on a variety of projects submitted by local not-for-profit organizations.  Although amazing work was done in the community, we knew if we were strategic, LWR could have a great impact on the wicked social issues in our community. In 2019, LWR partnered with the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) at the University of Waterloo, and Wellbeing Waterloo Region (WWR) to raise the level of learning and broader community, and economic development impact of the group project work through a pilot solutions lab project focusing on affordable housing.

Moving into the Class of 2021, we are looking forward to utilizing the findings from our pilot project in 2019-2020, and refining the focus and developing solutions that will be shared through the WWR network, with local government, not-for-profit organizations. These solutions will also be scale-able out to other communities across the province and country. Through the teaching and facilitation from WISIR, the class will continue to collectively take on the complex issue of affordable housing.

During this project work, the class will:

  • Participate in an innovation lab that is designed to stimulate social innovation . This approach brings together ideas and practices from the fields of social innovation, design and whole systems processes.
  • Increase their knowledge of systems thinking and societal issues.
  • Perform asset based systems mapping of the many facets and stages of the housing continuum that create the need for affordable housing, i.e. mental health, new Canadians, seniors,  belonging, policy,accessibility, job loss, single parenting, addictions, systemic barriers, stock(at all levels of the continuum, which will foster talent attraction, business growth, and moving people through the housing continuum).
  • Make meaningful connections, and create partnerships between not-for –profits and other agencies.
  • Build relationships between industry, not-for-profits, and government.
  • Conduct research on not-for-profit sector and its contribution to the region - through the lens of affordable housing
  • Understand the complexity and interrelated nature of social issues
  • Be exposed to and use various documents such as:  City of Kitchener Housing Needs Assessment,Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan 2019-2023, Strategic plans from the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and townships of Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.  

 

For more information on our partners WISIR and Wellbeing Waterloo Region click their logo below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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