April 29, 2021

Five Key Resources Related to Housing and Data

Someone typing on a computer

By Evergreen

As Round One of the Housing Supply Challenge is well underway and applicants work to build data solutions for informed decision making, we asked the members of our Advisory Committee to suggest some of their go-to resources. We hope the following databases, professional consults, and report compendiums can serve as useful reference points for multiple rounds of the Housing Supply Challenge Support Program. Be sure to check the Portal regularly, which will be updated throughout the Challenge with new resources.

Housing Research Collaborative

Who They Are

The Housing Research Collaborative is a community of housing researchers, providers, and policy makers out of the University of British Columbia working to re-conceptualize the housing delivery system in British Columbia and Canada. They operate three major branches: data generation & analysis (including a research hub and data portal), research and policy support (including policy evaluation and expert groups), and knowledge mobilization (including community dialogues, roundtables, and outreach).

Resources they Provide

HRC has a number of publicly available research initiatives, including a database for Covid-19 Global Housing Policies, and has several partnerships with projects such as the North Shore Balanced Housing Lab.Check out their profile on Dataverse, an online tool built to store and share data and datasets.

City of Toronto Open Data Portal

Who They Are

The City of Toronto Open Data Portal is an open source delivery tool in which community members, developers, policymakers, academics, and civic advocates mobilize around a common goal: that some data should be freely available for everyone to use and republish as they wish.

Resources They Provide

The Data Portal is searchable by keyword, whereas the catalogue allows users to browse by topic or issue. The Knowledge Centre is regularly updated blog featuring data stories, news, events, and training tools. They also offer a page of learning resources on accessing and converting different filetypes.

Canadian Institute of Planners

Who They Are

The Canadian Institute of Planners is a network of 7,500 planning professionals working in both the public service and private sector, across fields such as land use planning, environmental resource management, land development, social planning, and more.

Resources They Provide

Certain benefits such as the Professional Learning HUB are only available to paid members. The searchable resource library of housing reports is open to the public, as well as the option to search for reports on transportation, Indigenous planning, Northern communities, and other related issues. Back issues of the Canadian Planning and Policy journal are available online for free via the Queen’s University Website. They also provide a directory of provincial and territorial planning associations.


Who They Are

ESRI is a private company that works with businesses, governments, and organizations, using geographic information systems (GIS) to gather, manage, and analyze data. Data is visualized through interactive maps and other features. Previous projects that use GIS include using predictive analysis to optimize food distribution in Madagascar and COVID-19 contact tracing in Pennsylvania.

Resources They Provide

There are some free resources to better understand GIS including the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World that provides functioning examples of how GIS technology can be used. They offer a number of products to help users build maps and create 3D web-apps based on accumulated data, as well as professional consultation services.

The Harvard Joint Center of Housing Studies

Who They Are

Through research, education, and outreach, The Harvard Joint Center of Housing Studies produces a wide range of working papers, research briefs, major reports, and interactive maps and tools about homeownership, rental housing, affordability, aging, remodeling, and more.

Resources They Provide

Though most of their studies published are US-based in focus, specific studies such as those on aging in place or multifamily housing might be helpful in understanding widespread housing trends and behaviours.

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