Kamloops companies featured strongly in the Reframe Housing Competition, which identifies creative housing innovations.
Urban Matters CCC and BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) staff were judges.
The goal of Reframe is to identify and highlight models and ideas that have the potential to improve community housing across Western Canada and the territories
Upon the launch of the Reframe competition in June, contestants had just over three months to develop and pitch their housing ideas to the Reframe committee.
As the contest drew to a close at the end of September, Urban Matters CCC and BCNPHA received a number of interesting applications, including early stage innovations and pitches for projects already underway. Participants emerged from the private and non-profit sectors. By early October, the evaluation committee had reviewed all submissions and built a short list.
In the Active Innovation category, second place went to Nexbuild Construction, a Kamloops-based company working to reduce the environmental impact of housing by building net-zero, long lasting, affordable homes. Nexbuild took home a $5,000 prize.
Nexbuild is adjusting its designs and will continue to build efficient, low-cost homes for middle-class residents. The $5,000 prize will go toward updating the design architectural drawings and refining the modelling. Urban Matters will work with Nexbuild to support opportunities for growth.
ExpanDwell Homes Inc., and Dwell In of Kamloops were co-winners in the Idea/Creation category and each organization took home a prize of $2,500.
ExpanDwell is building a prototype for a portable pop-up house. The pop-ups have recreation functionality and emergency-response potential. The co-winner, Dwell In, has created a digital platform that aims to improve connections between landlords and renters by simplifying the application and selection processes, enhancing transparency and building trust. The platform is in the market-validation stage.
Winners from both categories were chosen for their ability to demonstrate innovation, viability, scalability and a willingness to foster meaningful social outcomes.
Urban Matters will explore the disaster relief housing model with ExpanDwell as it completes the prototype. ExpanDwell will then focus on developing a disaster relief business model for communities.
Dwell In will use its prize money to expand its idea in the market place. Urban Matters will help Dwell In connect with potential partners to support the development of knowledge before moving to the application/software development stage.