• Vancouver Tech Journal
  • Posts
  • Minivillage pilot with local non-profit housing provider reports a boost in residents’ well-being, sense of belonging, and gatherings

Minivillage pilot with local non-profit housing provider reports a boost in residents’ well-being, sense of belonging, and gatherings

With the successful pilot complete, the platform’s evidence-based, data-driven approach to building connected communities is being sought out across Canada

Minivillage, the Vancouver-based platform transforming buildings into connected communities, just completed its three-month pilot with non-profit housing provider, the Salsbury Community Society's Co:Here building, to strengthen the social well-being of residents and staff and ESG framework.

Some challenges that Co:Here faced included rebuilding connections and social committees, limited community engagement from residents post pandemic, and increasing workload on building staff. Following Minivillage’s pilot, residents experienced a boost in well-being by 10 per cent and sense of belonging by 22 per cent. Resident-led gatherings also increased by 33 per cent.

“This pilot marks the beginning of what we hope will be hundreds of similar projects across Canada,” shared Mark Boardman, founder of Minivillage. “Our system cultivates close, connected communities for residents and housing providers in affordable, co-op and market housing. We provide trained resident coordinators and a community platform that drives social transformation and financial value.”

How Minivillage works

Minivillage's operation starts with taking a consultancy approach with its pilots. The team meets with housing providers to understand their needs and walk them through how the platform can help. Following, Minivillage creates a success plan based on resident, building manager, and operator surveys. 

Within the platform, residents can set up a profile, take a well-being quiz, and receive recommendations on neighbours with similar interests and backgrounds. They can also view the building's notice board, organize and sign up for an event or activity, and ask for help and suggestions and about activities. As for admins, they can post new notices and moderate and approve events, activities, and new users. Admins can also retrieve analytics and generate reports on resident engagement, well-being scores, and feedback.

Boardman shared that Minivillage is collaborating with some of the most recognized names in non-profit housing, such as More Than A Roof, New Chelsea Society, and Kekinow Native Housing Society. Some trends that the platform has observed include:

  • Tenants consistently rank community activities among the top needs in resident surveys. Minivillage addresses this by empowering resident coordinators to facilitate regular community events and activities — helping residents connect and feel a sense of belonging.

  • Building managers are seeing an increase in serious complaints, including verbal abuse and even some physical assaults of on-site staff. Minivillage reduces these issues by focusing on a shared sense of purpose within the community. Coordinators help to deepen relationships, and the platform offers tools for better communication.

  • Property management teams appreciate the value of Minivillage’s evidence-based, data-driven approach to tracking community transformation. The platform provides detailed data to help property managers see how the community is doing. This guides them in making decisions that improve resident activations, use of space and building operations.

Expanding across Canada

Minivillage expects to have 60 buildings using its unique approach by the fall and plans to expand to Toronto and Ottawa later this year.

“With isolation at an all-time high, we believe Minivillage represents the cutting edge when it comes to building community,” shared Jim Loney, COO at More Than A Roof. “We're excited to implement their approach that leverages technology with relationship building to enhance our ability to be ‘more than.’"

Don't miss out on what’s happening in your backyard. Subscribe or become a member of Vancouver Tech Journal.


or to participate.