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Affordable Housing Navigator

Justine is an aspiring city shaper, and an advocate for decarbonization, accessibility, and climate equity. She works at OPEN Technologies, a Vancouver-based tech company that builds software tools to help policy-makers make climate friendly decisions for the built environment. 

Justine has a uniquely multidisciplinary background, with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography from Simon Fraser University, and an advance diploma in Sustainable Business Leadership from BCIT. Prior to completing her education, she worked in special education for over 5 years. 

Outside of work, Justine enjoys spending time outdoors, whether running, paddling, hiking or skiing on our local North Shore mountains.


As the cost of housing rises, Canadians are struggling to find affordable housing throughout the country, and when it comes to increasing the supply, many projects are canceled before they can even start. Non-profit housing organizations can struggle to navigate conflicting priorities, such as balancing costs with the levels of environmental performance that regulation and livability require. The Affordable Housing Navigator, aims to help non-profit housing developers to overcome these barriers to identify viable, sustainable design options to create comfortable, high-performance, and affordable housing. It will provide early insights on the most (cost) effective design pathways to reach the high performance standards that are increasingly required by regulators and incentive providers. Affordable housing that meets a high level of energy and climate performance brings many benefits - such buildings are healthier for tenants, more durable, carry lower ongoing operational costs, and are typically more resilient to climate impacts. By making this type of analysis available and highly visible for decision makers, we aim to help more high performing, affordable housing projects get approved, ensuring that resilient and comfortable housing is accessible to all.

I was introduced to the Affordable Housing Navigator project through my work at OPEN Technologies. In early 2021, OPEN was one of 21 organizations to be awarded Stage 1 funding through the CMHC's Housing Supply Challenge, out of 136 applications. In October of 2021, OPEN was then one of 14 organizations to receive full funding to develop and implement the Affordable Housing Navigator. It was at this stage that I was introduced to the project, and I assumed the role of project and research coordinator. Since joining the project, my role has been to engage with housing providers and funders to assist in developing a better understanding of the challenges and needs they face, and how the Affordable Housing Navigator can best address them.


The majority of my post-secondary education has been linked to learning about climate change, from the scientific evidence behind it, to the effects on the landscape, to how we can mitigate and take action through leadership. I fell into geography and environmental science out of interest - and stayed because the urgency around climate change is imminent, and it affects everyone.

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