Rural Housing Opportunities

Rural Housing Information System

Currently, in rural Ontario, there is a shortage of proper housing data. The lack of adequate data is a barrier to the planning and construction of affordable housing development in the region. Through the Housing Supply Challenge, ROI and founder Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, are excited to announce the implementation of the prototype for the innovative, centralized data tool to fill the housing information gap: the Rural Housing Information System (RHIS)

This locally driven tool will support municipalities, developers, and homebuilders in the planning and development of affordable housing. It also aims to support not for profit builders in overcoming information barriers regarding housing in rural communities. ROI and EOWC are building this tool by consolidating the information that is available through eastern Ontario municipalities’ existing resources. By having a consolidated effort for data acquisition, the RHIS can implement a streamlined approach to enhance the data collected in a centralize, digital platform. In the medium to long-term, this information will be used to appropriately strategize housing development plans, bringing appropriate affordable housing to the region and keep residents in their communities of choice.

“The tool aims to provide local, reliable, salient, and current rural data to assist municipalities and proponents with the creation of affordable housing solutions,”

– Marcia Wallace CAO, Prince Edward County and EOWC project co-lead.

“The COVID pandemic has led to significant increases in rural migration, demand for rural housing and a rural housing crisis. What has been a long standing concern in large urban centres is quickly becoming a concern for rural areas.”

– ROI Executive Director Ellen Sinclair.

“This digital tool is anticipated to be a game changer and incredibly useful for rural municipalities to find and secure affordable housing opportunities more easily.”

– Brenda Orchard, Lennox and Addington CAO and EOWC housing project co-lead.

“I like what I am seeing. It is nice to have all of this information in one handy interactive spot. I often have to pull this type of info short notice and i am often digging through various reports/charts. Having it in one easy spot will be very helpful!”

– Laura LePine, County of Renfrew

“It is a really, really great starting point [for development planning]. I’ve put a lot of time into previous tools that offered less information.”

– Daniel Landry, DEVCORE

The RHIS will harness data through an easy-to-use public dashboard, that will include:

      • demographic trends (population, growth, age and income)
      • average home and market rental information
      • available zoned land
      • building costs (development charges and parkland fees)
      • available incentives like municipal grants or loans
      • housing assets and amenities
      • and local organizations available for collaboration.

This project is funded through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Supply Challenge, with rollout of the tool expected for June 2023.

Sign-up today for the RHIS

At present, the RHIS is accessible to rural Eastern municipalities with plans to expand the system to include the rural municipalities of Western Ontario in the upcoming months. Interested parties are encouraged to read the RHIS informational package and to sign-up for the RHIS to be notified when the housing system becomes available in your region.

Assessing the economic development implications of the pandemic on Ontario’s rural communities, from population growth to housing and more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in rural migration, demand for rural housing and rural house prices. The trend is not unique to Ontario and there are reports of similar trends occurring across Canada and the United States. This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss and better understand these trends and their economic development implications.

Learn More

Thank you to our Partners!

Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus logo

EOWC: Supports and advocates on behalf of the property taxpayers across rural Eastern Ontario. Covers an area of 45,000 square kilometres from Cobourg to the Quebec border, and includes 13 upper-tier and single-tier municipalities as well as 90 local municipalities.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Logo.

CMHC: Canada’s national housing agency, and state-owned mortgage insurer. Mission to make housing affordable for everyone in Canada. Mobilizing the expertise and energy of governments, non-profits, lenders, developers, social entrepreneurs and co-ops to create the future of housing. CMHC is the primary funder of the RHIS project and development.

Itergy logo.

Consulting firm founded to help mid-sized businesses and large corporations improve the reliability, security and performance of their Microsoft infrastructure

ROI Logo

Who's Listening

Rural Ontario Institute

Stay Connected

Follow us on social media for the latest updates on the RHIS.

Upcoming Activities & Events

The development of this tool will require input from municipalities and other stakeholders. This input will be critical for ensuring that the tool functions as intended in addressing the rural housing information gap.

Jan. 22-24


ROMA Annual General Meeting

January 2023, in person conference in Toronto ON.

Jun. 6-8


Canadian Rural & Remote Housing & Homelessness Symposium

June 2023, in Brantford ON. Hybrid Event.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about the project or getting involved, please contact us.

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