Winners of the Barrie Housing Hack, from left: Ethan Davis; Jesse Belleau-Karaskewich; Rob Alexander, BDAR president; Brian Vaughan; and Jeff Lehman, mayor of the City of Barrie.
Winners of the Barrie Housing Hack, from left: Ethan Davis; Jesse Belleau-Karaskewich; Rob Alexander, BDAR president; Brian Vaughan; and Jeff Lehman, mayor of the City of Barrie.

The Barrie & District Association of Realtors, in partnership with the City of Barrie, recently hosted the Housing Hack, where participants used their skills, expertise and collaborative efforts to propose an informed and forward-thinking solution to improve the future of living in the Barrie area.

“We know that finding a way for everyone to access the housing ladder is a complex issue that needs to be addressed at a local level,” says Rob Alexander, president of BDAR. “We are in a unique position to be a leader in finding solutions for more affordable housing. Realtors can lobby the government for better policy to ensure available and affordable housing, and we can support local initiatives and create our own industry solutions and strategies.”



The first-place team, called Bare Essentials, won $3,000. The team identified that the average income in Barrie is significantly lower than the average home price. Their solution, the Barrie Affordable Real Estate application, seeks to secure mortgages for first-time homebuyers by considering supplemental income streams such as rental income and clean energy revenue. Team Members were Jesse Belleau-Karaskewich, Ethan Davis and Brian Vaughan.

The second-place team, Harlan Batchelor, Dylan Bromell and Connor Minielly, won $1,500. It proposed Hütte, a clean and effective platform for matchmaking landlords and tenants. In addition to making it easier for tenants to find a home, the application also allows landlords to find tenants without just waiting to see who applies. The team suggested their app was “like Tinder for renters and landlords.”

Happy Together, the third-place team, won $500. Team members Tasha Sandback, Gwen Kavanaugh, Shelley Raymond, Moksh Soni and Sebastian Vasoff proposed an innovative solution to home ownership through co-housing and creative financing solutions such as Social Impact Bonds.