Associate (Director), Affordable Housing


Date Posted



Urban Planning August 9, 2018 Sidewalk Labs Toronto, ON, Canada

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Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. We are currently designing a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s waterfront in partnership with the tripartite agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint effort, called Sidewalk Toronto, will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create a people-centered neighborhood that achieves precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.

Realizing this ambitious mission requires immense collaboration across our unique team of city experts, real estate developers, investors, engineers, and designers—the full range of urbanists and technologists. We have organized our work into six areas that we believe are core to a wholly transformed urban experience: mobility, sustainability, buildings, the public realm, city services, community, and digital infrastructure. The Development team cuts across these disciplines—aggregating and integrating these initiatives into a cohesive physical plan.

Sidewalk’s Development team is lean but ambitious, working on the integration of technology into the built environment. The team is responsible for the design, planning, entitlement, and associated real estate transactions required to develop a forward-looking neighborhood. We are focused on driving innovation around housing affordability, flexible structures, building typologies, the public realm, and more. Team members share a commitment to urban innovation and have diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. This position is ideal for someone who is passionate about the future of cities and wants to be part of a team focused on how innovation will shape that future.

What is the role?

In this role, you will be responsible for turning our broad vision on housing and affordability into a specific plan for implementation for the Sidewalk Toronto project. You will work with a range of public and private stakeholders, including across teams within Sidewalk Labs, to help craft the plan. You will be responsible for coordination, research, analysis, documentation, and specific policy proposals. The breadth of initiatives that make up the vision ranges from policy objectives to financing to technological solutions.

We are looking for an experienced professional with deep knowledge of the challenges associated with housing in Toronto and across Canada. The right candidate is capable of quickly getting up to speed on a variety of topics and mapping out and analyzing complex initiatives to inform decision making.

This role will report to the Director of Planning and Development and collaborate with internal teams and external stakeholders as needed.

Within the scope of such projects, you will:

  • Be responsible for the content development for a range of strategies and policies aimed at increasing housing affordability. These strategies may include a combination of:
    • Affordable housing policy;
    • Financing options and creative alternatives/structures;
    • Tax policies or incentives;
    • Land use initiatives;
    • Creative tenancy models;
    • Collaboration with local housing groups;
    • Mixed-income buildings; and
    • Other non-traditional living arrangements aimed at reducing costs.
  • Follow up on action items, track progress, and maintain project organization.
  • Produce key documents and presentations to advance the team’s work and develop and document the overall strategy.
  • Task and manage outside consultants, as appropriate, for input on certain elements of the plan.
  • Coordinate within Sidewalk, and with its partners, to drive towards a comprehensive housing plan.
  • Set agendas and interact with an Advisory Board to obtain expert analysis and feedback regarding the plan, and working with external affairs team.

What you have to achieve:

End of Q3

  • Commenced drafting key sections a comprehensive and detailed plan for housing affordability; informing the final deliverable for inclusion in a Master Development and Innovation Plan.
  • Continued execution on the public engagement and advisory strategy.

End of Q4

  • Have owned the creation of a completed and publishable housing affordability plan and managed and coordinated team members required content generation
  • Documented a regulatory strategy involving next steps for execution of all initiatives in the housing plan including draft amendments, waivers, and legislation

What you need to be successful

  • Expertise with Canadian affordable housing and inclusivity policies and incentive schemes.
  • Excellent communication skills. Extremely strong written, verbal, and presentation skills. Proven ability to produce high-quality materials in a variety of formats for internal and external audiences.
  • Good judgment. Proven ability to analyze a situation, understand what is needed, flag issues as necessary, and escalate when appropriate.
  • Bias to Collaborate. Demonstrated ability to work well with others and to motivate peers to get the job done. Excited to be part of a team and work together.
  • Strong project management skills. Proven ability to manage complex projects with multiple internal and external stakeholders; to receive direction and anticipate next steps; to think through, communicate, document, organize, and execute on project goals and keep other team members on schedule.
  • Proven ability to execute. Attentive to the details, organized, and the ability to  follow through.
  • Excited about housing and affordability. Demonstrated commitment to cities and interest in urban innovation.
  • Experience. At least 8 years of experience in housing, real estate, finance, urban planning, law, policy, government, or a related field. Professional experience and expertise in affordable housing, inclusivity, and related disciplines is required.

We are very excited to hear from you.