Homing Solutions

Cost effective, efficient and impactful

Providing cost-effective, standardized furnishing programs that remove staff distraction. Our full-service solution enhances reporting on social and environmental outcomes. Furniture Bank handles everything from procurement to delivery – supporting successful tenancies.

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Table of Contents

Quick Summary of Benefits

  1. Cost-effective, standardized program delivery
  2. Enhanced reporting on social and environmental outcomes
  3. Removes housing staff distraction
  4. End-to-end furnishing solution
  5. Expertise in sourcing quality used furniture
  6. Full-service furnishing programs
  7. Handles all aspects: procurement to delivery/installation
  8. Robust impact reporting (employment, landfill diversion, etc.)
  9. Supports successful tenancies
  10. Leading turnkey solution for furnishing homes

Homing Solution Features

Realizing the Benefits of Outsourcing Furnishings

Furniture Bank offers government agencies and nonprofits a cost-efficient outsourcing solution to provide dignified, welcoming homes for those in need. Our unique social enterprise model leverages donated furniture and volunteers to furnish housing units at a fraction of retail pricing, reducing average costs per unit by up to 50%. Furniture Bank’s customizable end-to-end homing services, from needs assessment to delivery, create warm environments for recipients while freeing up partner resources. Focusing on reuse of quality furnishings and homegoods diverting tons of furnishings from landfills, Furniture Bank generates social, environmental, and economic benefits for the community, while providing on budget results for your programs. Our holistic approach scales to any volume, making them an ideal sustainability-focused partner for furnishing essential housing.

Cost Efficiencies

  • Leverages donated goods and volunteers to minimize expenses
  • Custom solutions scaled to service volumes and growth plans
  • Frees up agency resources for core programs and services

End to End Homing Services

  • Referrals and needs assessments
  • Custom packages from donated inventory
  • Direct delivery and assembly
  • Ongoing performance optimization

Dignified Housing at a Fraction of the Cost

  • Reduces average furnishing costs by up to 50%
  • High quality items at a fraction of retail pricing
  • Enables budget reallocation to increase reach
  • Creates warm, welcoming home environments

Hitting Sustainability Targets 

  • Diverts quality furnishings from landfills
  • Significant carbon emission reduction
  • Alleviates waste management costs
  • Social, environmental, and economic impact reporting


Turning empty housing into furnished homes since 1998

A partner for government housing programs

Cases referred
Furniture Donors
Individuals supported
Furnishings collected
Source: FBSS platform lifetime data, SROI report indicators

Our Approach

Creating a cost effective solution together

Furniture Bank undertakes a rigorous cost-benefit analysis process to validate outsourcing as the most economical and impactful option for government agencies to furnish accommodations. This involves comprehensive data gathering to benchmark current costs, in-depth financial modeling to project outsourcing savings, value analyses to quantify social impact, and actionable recommendations. Furniture Bank’s meticulous analytical approach provides a detailed business case proving their specialized model offers maximized cost efficiency, sustainability, and social value. The data-driven recommendations furnish a roadmap to enhance housing services in the most cost-effective manner through Furniture Bank’s turnkey furnishing solutions.

Please reach out to schedule a consultation to discuss how Furniture Bank can optimize your housing program.

Before partnering with any new government agency, Furniture Bank undertakes a comprehensive process to prove we offer the optimal balance of quality, social impact, and affordability.

  • We first do an in depth analysis of the government housing team’s current costs associated with furnishing accommodations including expenditures on purchasing furnishings, warehousing, logistics, staffing, and overhead. This identifies potential cost savings opportunities for budgets.
  • Next, we evaluate their service volumes, capacity limitations, and future growth plans. This helps us rightsize a solution to maximize efficiency.
  • We examine our existing warehouse infrastructure, transportation fleets, and personnel to quantify our capacity to absorb expanded service requests. This tests our ability to take on new demand.
  • Our team blends the variable and fixed costs in our model factoring in donated goods utilization, bulk purchase pricing, retail acquisitions, paid staff, and volunteers to optimize the per unit expense.
  • We provide detailed cost benefit reporting that clearly demonstrates the ROI advantage of outsourcing to Furniture Bank vs. the agency developing internal furnishing capabilities and capacity.
  • We gather extensive data on the agency’s current costs, volumes, and pain points related to furnishing accommodations. This includes conducting stakeholder interviews, gathering budget details, and doing workflow analyses.
  • We track key metrics like the agency’s average cost per furnished unit, staffing hours required, throughput time, and expenditures on storage, logistics, and overhead. This benchmarks their existing operations.
  • Using cloud based enterprise international recognized CRM platforms like Salesforce 
  • We create detailed financial models projecting the total cost to deliver various volumes of furnished accommodations under the current approach. This considers fixed assets, variable staffing and transportation costs, economies of scale, etc.
  • We contrast this with financial projections demonstrating Furniture Bank’s cost structure at the same volumes. Highlighting potential savings from donated goods, volunteer labor, and other efficiencies.
  • We provide scenario analyses showing how outsourcing costs vary based on volume commitments and service levels. Enabling informed decision making.
  • We quantify the added social, environmental, and economic value generated through Furniture Bank’s model in areas like employment training, waste diversion, and reducing housing instability.
  • We contextualize this value using SROI principles to showcase the full impact Furniture Bank offers beyond cost savings.
  • Our analysis concludes with data driven recommendations on the optimal furnishing model. This provides a roadmap for cost effectively enhancing services for your Housing First Program
  • We take pride in providing meticulous, customized analyses that arm agencies with the information needed to justify and implement the ideal furnishing solution.
  • Our process answers key questions around economy, efficiency, and effectiveness substantiating Furniture Bank as the most viable and prudent procurement choice.

Customize Your Homing Protocol

Balance your economic, efficacy and efficiency goals

Furniture Bank partners with housing providers to develop tailored homing protocols that set residents up for success. We work collaboratively to:

Assess Agency Needs

  • Evaluate volumes, budgets, pain points
  • Audit housing stock by unit type
  • Identify peak seasons and constraints

Configure Efficient Protocols

  • Customized packages for beneficiaries
  • Sustainable sourcing standards
  • Define ROI and impact metrics

Deliver Seamless Services

  • End-to-end support from referral to installation
  • Move-in ready furnishings within days
  • Needs assessments, procurement, delivery
  • Optional assembly and handyperson help

Continuous Optimization 

  • Process improvements for efficiency
  • Leverage technology to save time and costs
  • Scale capacity for growth and seasons
  • Regular reviews to modify protocols

Get in touch to develop a tailored, efficient homing solution that equips your agencies families for success.

Housing Continuum Furniture Bank
FB Social Enterprise in Toronto

Why furnished housing is critical

The result of a good Homing Solution

How can Furniture Bank’s homing services specifically benefit individuals and families transitioning to permanent affordable housing? 

  • Provides essential furnishings needed to fully utilize new home beds, tables, sofas, appliances etc. This converts empty rooms into livable spaces.
  • Creates a comfortable, welcoming environment that supports dignity and mental wellbeing during a major life transition.
  • Having personalized furnishings fosters a sense of security.
  • Enables restful sleep, proper nutrition, and family bonding through furnishings for sleeping, eating, relaxing. This supports positive physical and emotional health.
  • Eases financial stress during the transition by providing high quality furnishings at no cost, allowing limited budgets to be allocated towards rent, food, and other critical expenses.
  • Promotes social inclusion by making it possible to invite friends/family into a warm, furnished home. Nurtures social connections vital to thrive in a new community.
  • Supports school success for children transitioning to permanent housing by providing furnishings suitable for studying, playing, and sleeping well.
  • Strengthens family bonds. Helps families celebrate milestones and traditions in their new home by providing furnishings like dining sets for holiday meals. 
  • Offers independence and restores dignity after experiencing homelessness. Families can take pride in a beautiful, functional home reflecting their style.

The simple act of providing furnishings helps new residents fully inhabit and take ownership of their space during a major transition. This amplifies the benefits of stable affordable housing. 


Risks without a Homing Solution

Housing only = Hidden homelessness behind closed doors

How does the presence of vacant housing specifically hinder individuals and families in their journey towards finding permanent and affordable homes? Let’s explore some significant ways in which moving into empty, unfurnished affordable housing can have adverse effects on individuals and families who are transitioning out of homelessness:

  • Causes physical discomfort and impaired sleep from lack of beds or sofa for resting. This leads to ongoing fatigue impacting health and daily function.
  • Hinders nutrition and food security with no table or chairs for meals. Families may rely on takeout, struggle to cook at home, and lack space to eat together.
  • Generates shame and stigma if unable to host friends or family without seating areas or basic amenities. Isolates residents from vital social supports.
  • Prevents parents from creating stable routines and play areas for child development without age appropriate furnishings.
  • Impairs school success and focus if children lack desks for studying and beds for good sleep before school.
  • Reduces celebration of cultural traditions and holidays lacking gathering spaces like dining tables. Disconnects from heritage.
  • Causes financial hardship and unmanageable debt trying to purchase essentials like beds on extremely limited budgets.
  • Produces ongoing stress and low morale from living in an inhospitable environment long term, hindering transition success.
  • Perpetuates a sense of impermanence and loss of dignity inhabiting a home that does not meet basic needs and reflects no personal touches.

The absence of basic furnishings undermines utilization of the housing, intensifies hardship, and prevents residents from fully settling into the new community.


Solution Pricing

Our approach

Working with each agency, or government department is customized to each project and scenario being solved. With our discovery process we can create a custom cost effective, time saving Homing Solution for you.

Our goal is to provide affordable homing solutions to as many clients as possible. We do this by securing donated, bulk purchase, and discounted goods and services and passing the savings directly to our clients.

Our impact mission is to serve as many clients as possible, which drives us to find the most cost-effective solutions. We focus on securing free, donated, deeply discounted, and bulk purchase goods and services whenever possible.

Our service fees are designed to recover costs rather than generate profit. This allows us to provide affordable services in line with our social mission.

We offer both Bundled Annual Service Agreements, and Per Housing Unit Agreements

  • Bundled annual service agreement covers furnishings procurement, warehousing, kit assembly, and delivery of home furnishings. By bundling services, we can offer economies of scale.
  • Per Housing Unit Agreements covers the complete homing kit for a single unit. Our bulk purchase discounts allow us to furnish quality kits at a fraction of retail cost. 

Delivery fees aim to recover direct costs only, with no markup. We rely on donated and volunteer delivery services to minimize these fees.

In contrast to for-profit logistics providers, our fees are based on blended discounted, donated and volunteered goods and services. This cost recovery model allows us to serve more clients across the community.

Furniture poverty in your community:

Why adding a furniture banking program is critical

The absence of necessary furnishings is intricately linked to the social factors that influence health outcomes, often hindering smooth transitions and leading to increased costs. The incapacity to acquire fundamental furnishings directly jeopardizes physical, mental, and social well-being, serving as a critical determinant of health outcomes for children, mothers, families, and community harmony. Noteworthy impacts encompass but are not limited to:

Harm to Children

  1. Impaired cognitive development from lack of mental stimulation.
  2. Hindered social skills and difficulty forming friendships without play space.
  3. Poor academic performance and concentration stemming from insufficient sleep.
  4. Higher risk of illness and injury from inadequate sleep and living spaces.
  5. Emotional and behavioral issues from the stress of an unstable home environment.

Harms to Adults

  1. Mental distress and diminished self-worth from inability to provide a nurturing home.
  2. Physical exhaustion and bodily pain from lack of furniture for comfortable rest.
  3. Social isolation and loss of community ties without hosting ability.
  4. Financial hardship from loans or debt incurred to afford basic furniture.
  5. Limited employment options without a proper workspace for job search/remote work.
  6. Frustration, stress, and anger over not being able to provide adequate living conditions.
  7. Embarrassment and shame over inviting others into an unfurnished or inadequate home.
  8. Deterioration of mental health from persistent discomfort and poor sleep environment.
  9. Muscular pain and soreness from makeshift sleeping and sitting arrangements.
  10. Difficulty carrying out parenting duties without kids’ furniture or family spaces.

Harms to Family Units

  1. Loss of family bonding and connections without furnishings for shared activities.
  2. Absence of family traditions and difficulty celebrating meaningful occasions.
  3. Tension, arguments, and domestic strain worsened by unstable conditions.
  4. Regression into homelessness from downstream impacts like job loss or eviction.

Harms to Your Communities Social Cohesion

  1. Fewer opportunities for community gathering and socializing. With unfurnished homes, people are unable to host neighbors, friends, or community groups for events that build social ties.
  2. Reduced participation in community organizations and associations when people are focused on the basic need of acquiring furniture. Civic engagement declines.
  3. Loss of local culture and traditions when holidays, celebrations, and rituals cannot be properly observed in an unfurnished home.
  4. Breakdown of support systems and collective efficacy if people become isolated in their homes without furniture. This reduces community resilience.
  5. Disempowerment and disconnection from the community if people feel shame about inviting others into an unfurnished home.
  6. Inability to reciprocate hospitality if community members cannot adequately host or shelter others in times of need without basic furniture.
  7. Children have fewer opportunities for play and friendship if homes lack kids’ furniture, impacting social development.
    Less awareness of challenges like furniture poverty if it remains hidden from view, reducing mobilization around needs.
  8. Overall erosion of trust, belonging, and unity within a community as basic furnishings remain inaccessible to many neighbors.

Obtaining essential furniture enables people to fully participate in the social fabric of their community. By addressing furniture poverty, bonds can be rebuilt and social capital strengthened from the ground up.

starting a furniture bank


  1. We went to look for other articles and research that has been done on this subject, which is summarized below. We looked at the gaps in their research and tried to create apples to apples comparisons.
  2. All of the articles mentioned show a lot of love for IKEA so we did our own test. If you are a furnishing a home or an apartment on a budget, is IKEA your best option? It’s easy to spend money when you have it, so we challenged ourselves to find an equivalent package of furniture to get those costs. 
  3. At Furniture Bank, we provide furnishing kits from public and private donations. We tried to form an equivalent for our offering to families with limited financial resources. 

When researching the costs of furnishing a home, we found that many sources tended to overlook some important parts. In order to cover all essential items including furniture, we have summarized these other costs in an Everything Else category.

What this article doesn’t quantify is the cost for more than one bedroom or larger families with kids as well as the associated delivery costs and taxes. In Canada, for example, most comapnies add an additional $800 when tax and delivery are added. If you are trying to assemble a household from different resale options including used furniture stores, the delivery costs can be even higher if it means multiple deliveries and possibly renting a car or truck. 

Furnishing a home: what should you budget?
A new apartment checklist
The research says you should plan on a budget of $8353 for a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment!

Research Average

ALL Essential Furnishings
$ 0

ALL Furnishings Included

ALL Taxes Included

ALL Delivery Costs 

ALL Assembly Costs 


Ikea April Essentials

We took our essential furniture list and went to IKEA with the intent of simulating a the cost of furnishing a house exclusively from IKEA. We also took the time to consider design, colour and consistency of product. How your home looks and feels is very important too! 

Lowest cost to furnish with IKEA?

One person apartment

IKEA home essentials
$ 0

First buy the furniture...

While there are going to be endless combinations with IKEA we came up with a single person apartment that needed to be fully furnished. Using the same set of items as our other research sources, the total to furnish an apartment from IKEA came to $2323.56 before taxes, plus shipping costs. The total came to $2,760.12!

left to pay

Then assemble your furniture!

Unlike the other articles, where furniture is mostly preassembled – IKEA offers low prices in part for putting the assembly on you. For comparison we are adding in assembly cost. IKEA offers an assembly service via Task Rabbit. We asked for estimates of this same basket of goods and received a number of 5 to 6 hour quotes at $70 to $85 an hour.
Estimate $425 ($375 + Tax) of additional assembly cost.  

Balancing outcomes for your Housing Program

12 Benefits of Homing Solutions

  1. Provides essential furnishings to fully utilize new home
  2. Creates a comfortable, welcoming environment
  3. Fosters a sense of security and ownership
  4. Enables restful sleep and family bonding
  5. Eases financial stress during transition
  6. Promotes social inclusion
  7. Supports children’s school success
  8. Helps celebrate milestones and traditions
  9. Offers independence and restores dignity
  10. Amplifies benefits of stable affordable housing
  11. Allows residents to fully inhabit and personalize their space
  12. Nurtures mental wellbeing during major life transition

Housing First
Furnishings Second
Homing Solution complete

17 Risks of Housing Only

  1. Impaired child development
  2. Poor health and safety
  3. Financial hardship
  4. Limited employment options
  5. Social isolation and loneliness
  6. Loss of dignity and self-worth
  7. Deterioration of mental health
  8. Physical pain and exhaustion
  9. Family instability and conflict
  10. Regression into homelessness
  11. Reduced community participation
  12. Erosion of social capital and cohesion
  13. Cultural loss and disempowerment
  14. Inability to provide hospitality
  15. Fewer opportunities for children’s friendships
  16. Lack of awareness and mobilization
  17. Overall breakdown of trust and unity