About Us

Make Housing Affordable is a pro-housing advocacy group in Ottawa, Ontario.

We believe that housing is one of the most important issues of our generation, and we’re incredibly frustrated by inaction from all levels of government.

We believe there is a housing crisis in Canada, and politicians are making it worse — and we need to stand up and fight back if we want to make things better.

Our goal is to change housing policies at all levels of government, to get more housing built in Canada, and to make housing affordable.


Make Housing Affordable was founded in 2021 by Dean Tester and Grant Dingwall, two millennials living in Ottawa.

Make Housing Affordable regularly coordinates delegations to Ottawa’s Planning and Housing Committee, ensuring positive feedback for good projects is given to councillors. Traditionally, those passionate enough to delegate to a committee do so to block the project — a significant factor in creating the housing crisis in the first place. Additionally, MHA runs events for the community, with highlights including a group discussion with then-Rideau-Goulbourn councillor Scott Moffatt, and an advocacy BBQ with the Alliance to End Homelessness.

During the Ottawa municipal election in 2022, Make Housing Affordable met with candidates to discuss the housing crisis. Our team of volunteers recorded and published their responses, and rated their housing policy using a stoplight system. Winning green-light candidates continue to meet with the MHA team on a regular basis, and are great allies in the fight for affordable housing.

To help direct policy, Make Housing Affordable prepared its Six Big Moves ahead of the 2022 municipal and provincial elections, and its Housing Action Plan to assist Ottawa solicit funding from the federal Housing Accelerator Fund. Both remain available on our website for review. The MHA team regularly meets with politicians at every level of government to discuss the housing crisis, and policy solutions to it.

In 2024, Make Housing Affordable will be focused on the review of Ottawa’s zoning by-law, and ensuring it takes bold steps to eliminate exclusionary zoning and end the housing crisis.

Want to get involved?

We’re just getting started on advocating to make housing more affordable, and at some point soon we’ll likely need more help! If you want to get involved, want to provide us with information, or want to make a donation, please get in touch!

Board of Directors

Brandon Bay
President & Chair

Brandon is a software developer with a long-standing passion for politics, having run and helped with a number of advocacy and candidate campaigns over the years. He stood as a candidate for mayor of Ottawa in 2022, to bring attention to the issues facing young people in the city and give them a voice at the table. Brandon joined Make Housing Affordable after the campaign, in January 2023.

Dan Carpenter

Dan is a research associate at The Conference Board of Canada. He holds a Masters degree in International & Global Studies from McMaster University, and is a passionate advocate for good housing policy.

Leigh Honeywell

Leigh is currently the founder and CEO of Tall Poppy, building tools and services to help companies protect their employees from online harassment and abuse. Having spent a significant part of her career in tech in San Francisco, Leigh has seen the greatest extremes of the housing crisis first-hand, and is hard at work to reverse Ottawa’s course before it’s too late.

Joseph Ostrovsky

Joseph is a rail traffic controller at TransitNext, working on stage 2 of Ottawa’s LRT while he advocates for better housing. A recent chemical engineering graduate of the University of Ottawa, Joseph is concerned about the housing prospects for his generation, and joined Make Housing Affordable to take action.


Dean Tester

Dean is President of testerdigital, an Ottawa-based digital marketing firm. He’s worked on political campaigns across Canada and is extremely motivated to work on housing issues because, like many millennials, he’s been priced out of the housing market despite being very successful in his career. Dean also does a lot of work with animal rights advocacy, and volunteers with a children and youth mental health centre in Ottawa.

Grant Dingwall

Grant works with Dean as Vice-President of testerdigital, and has also worked on many political campaigns across Canada. He also has the unique background of fighting a one-man lobby campaign against a huge industry — and winning! Grant spearheaded the Free My Booze campaign, which campaigned to have beer and alcohol sold in grocery stores and convenience stores, among other things.


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