The federal government just launched the Student Challenge for Affordable Rental Housing, a project that’s part of the Affordable Rental Innovation Fund.
Any students registered at an accredited post-secondary education institution can participate in the Challenge. Students can enter as part of a team or individually. The goal is to “rethink and revolutionize” the affordable rental housing sector.
Winning submissions will receive $10,000 and be eligible for funding to develop the project. The Challenge guidelines do not state how many winners there will be.
Students are encouraged to develop new funding models and research innovative building techniques, addressing affordability, financial viability, energy efficiency and accessibility.
“Our future rests in the hands of today’s youth so what better group of people to approach for this unique challenge,” says The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for CMHC.
“The Student Challenge for Affordable Rental Housing is an inspirational initiative filled with promise and excitement for what is to come,” he adds. “I am eager to see how these dynamic contributors can change the face of affordable rental housing in Canada.”
This reach out to college and university students arrived soon after the province of Ontario announced new rent control parameters. According to The Market Manuscript Fall 2017 by Ben Myers of Fortress Real Developments, there are a number of unintended negative consequences of rent control.
1) Higher rent
It’s possible that tenants will stay in their units longer due to rent control, so developers may set rent higher right off the bat in new buildings.
2) Smaller units
Families tend to stay in units longer, so there’s a chance developers will build apartment buildings with smaller units, which rent quicker and have a higher turnover rate, giving them more control over the rent.
3) Reduced quality
If there is a ceiling on rent, the quality of the buildings could suffer and some buildings may not be maintained appropriately.
4) Less units
There’s also the chance that developers will avoid building new rental because there are greater opportunities in other sectors. Even new condo sales could suffer with investors hesitating to purchase a unit for the purpose of generating rental income.
We hope students in Ontario are taking the new rent control parameters into consideration when they’re putting together their submissions for the Student Challenge for Affordable Rental Housing.
Submissions must be sent to the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation by 11:59 pm on April 30, 2018.