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[Guelph, Ontario – May 1, 2024]

Jason Ashdown, Co-Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer, Skyline Group of Companies, published an article in FE (FRPO Exchange) Magazine about the role that rental housing providers can play in finding significant, impactful, and effective ways to help find solutions to homelessness and housing insecurity.

In the article, Ashdown highlights 10 Shelldale Crescent, using it as an example of how a rental housing provider, non-profit organizations, and all levels of government can work in collaboration to find an innovative solution to Ontario’s housing crisis.

10 Shelldale Crescent is a Permanent Supportive Housing project in Guelph, Ontario, developed through a partnership among Skyline Group of Companies, Kindle Communities (a non-profit housing provider), and the Guelph Community Health Centre. The development will house up to 32 people currently experiencing chronic homelessness in the Guelph community. Residents will be provided with 24/7 staff support and services to help address their needs and maintain housing stability.

We are proud to have our team members offer insight into how businesses like ours can contribute to the housing solution.

For more information about Skyline’s sustainability objectives, including those related to homelessness and housing insecurity, visit Skyline’s Sustainability page.

Read the original article published in FE magazine here.

Collaboration & commitment to help solve homelessness: the 10 Shelldale Crescent project

By R. Jason Ashdown, Co-Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer, Skyline Group of Companies

The crisis of homelessness and housing insecurity continues to run rampant in Ontario, with demand far outpacing supply, and year-over-year rent growth outpacing wages. In fact, according to CMHC, Ontario’s apartment vacancy rate was just 1.7% as of October 2023, and the Canada-wide average was at an all-time low of 1.5%.

Homelessness is a complex problem that requires a complex solution. It is one of the most significant factors impacting a person’s health and well-being.

“Housing is a basic human right on which we build the foundation for our lives,” said Helen Fishburn, CEO at CMHA Waterloo-Wellington. “When housing is inadequate or unavailable, personal as well as community well-being suffers. Homelessness can amplify daily and devastating challenges related to food and income insecurity, addiction, and mental health issues, and these impacts are felt deeply. Adequate housing significantly contributes to better physical and mental health outcomes.”

As rental housing providers, many of us have first-hand experience with how these issues are interwoven. We may even be able to say that we understand how they interplay on a level that no other industry can. We must own our responsibility to leverage our resources and find significant, impactful, and effective ways to help.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is a crucial piece of the puzzle in solving homelessness. The PSH model is an evidence-based and cost-effective solution for people experiencing chronic homelessness due to long-term disabilities and mental health concerns.

In 2024, a new 32-unit PSH development will be opening at 10 Shelldale Crescent in Guelph, Ontario. This development is a collaborative project among Skyline Group of Companies, Kindle Communities (a non-profit housing provider), and the Guelph Community Health Centre (Guelph CHC).

“10 Shelldale will house 32 people in 2024 that are currently experiencing chronic homelessness,” said Daria Allan-Ebron, CEO of Kindle Communities. “This permanent supportive housing solution will provide integrated housing and health care services to people with complex needs in Guelph-Wellington. This is a really innovative model of housing and health care services coming together to support our community’s goal of ending homelessness.”

This development is a prime example of a rental housing provider, non-profit organizations, and all levels of government working in collaboration to solve Ontario’s housing crisis. In the original press release for 10 Shelldale’s groundbreaking, Honourable Michael A. Tibollo, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Mental Health & Addictions, noted, “Stable and secure housing is a cornerstone of wellness. . . Housing insecurity, mental health challenges, and addiction are interrelated, and by providing purpose-built living spaces with wrap-around supports, 10 Shelldale is helping to tackle each of these challenges in the Guelph-Wellington area.”

10 Shelldale is located in the Onward Willow neighbourhood, one of Guelph’s most marginalized areas. In 2021, with two vacant land parcels in the neighbourhood, Skyline approached Kindle Communities, who had a strategic plan to build and operate Permanent Supportive Housing that would help end homelessness in Guelph. Skyline had been holding out for the highest best use of the land – and this was it.

It took not only land donation, but also leveraging resources and relationships, to get shovels in the ground. Skyline, Kindle, and Guelph CHC worked with city, county, provincial, and federal government, as well as the local school board and community groups. Architects, engineers, and suppliers were consulted. Skyline tapped into the expertise of its staff for construction oversight, legal, marketing, etc., ultimately contributing approximately $2.7 million to the project.

Ground broke at the development in September 2022 and 10 Shelldale’s first residents will be welcomed in 2024. In addition to fanfare from all levels of government at the time of groundbreaking, the development also saw a visit from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January 2024, where he announced that the federal government and the city of Guelph were launching a three-year, $21.4 million plan to fast-track the building of 750 local homes.

Beyond getting 32 people off the streets of Guelph, the greater social impact includes a positive effect on the community’s prosperity, reduced demand on social services, a strengthened economy bringing more people and businesses to the city, and more.

10 Shelldale has already inspired others, creating a positive ripple effect resulting in government investment, in-kind donations from other businesses, and municipalities reaching out for consultation on similar projects. 10 Shelldale’s project partners hope that the development will ultimately serve as a prototype to be replicated in other communities across Ontario, and indeed across the country.

Rental housing providers can exercise creativity and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to supporting housing—as well as food security, addiction treatment, and mental health. We can all learn from one another and there is no shortage of different paths that can be taken to do so. In-house tenant support programs and refugee assistance programs, food and clothing drives, and sponsoring food security programs are examples. Companies can plant the seed to get a project in motion, they can use their influence to help get the project in front of the right audiences for maximum impact, and they can encourage others to get involved.

For example, this past Fall, Skyline invested $1.5 million in a Habitat for Humanity community bond to help complete the construction of an affordable townhouse development in Fergus, Ontario. Some might ask why a rental housing provider would make this type of investment in home ownership; the answer is that it will take investment in the full spectrum of housing options—including owned homes—to put enough roofs over people’s heads.

Homelessness is not just detrimental to the people experiencing it. It can have a profound effect on the health of a community, and it is our responsibility as rental housing providers to enrich our communities. It is a win for our industry as much as for the community, especially in a time where housing is in short supply, and people are looking for leadership. Rental providers in Canada are ready and willing to be part of the solution. Landlords are stepping up in communities across Canada, with both compassion for the problem and a drive to deliver more inventory where it is needed most.

With our intimate understanding of the industry, we as rental providers can bring great value to the discussion and should be viewed as an ally and resource. We can improve upon the situation and be part of the solution by working with communities and government toward a common goal to deliver much-needed supply. We should continue leveraging our resources, enacting positive change, and demonstrating leadership to find the solutions to mitigate this crisis.

About Skyline Group of Companies

Skyline Group of Companies (“Skyline”) is a fully integrated asset acquisition, management, development, and investment entity.

It is comprised of companies that provide services in real estate management and development, as well as clean energy management and development.

Skyline currently manages more than $8.23 billion across its real estate and clean energy platforms.

With more than 1,000 employees across Canada, Skyline works to provide safe, clean, and comfortable places for tenants to call home, great places to do business, sustainable solutions for a greener future, and an engaging experience for its investors.

View Skyline’s 20th Anniversary celebration video to see how Skyline is grounded in real estate, powered by people, and growing for the future.

For more information about Skyline Group of Companies, please visit

For media inquiries, please contact:

Bethany Curtis
Manager, Content Marketing and Communications
Skyline Group of Companies
5 Douglas Street, Suite 301
Guelph, ON N1H 2S8
519.826.0439 x231