Community Land, Held Together


WHATS NEW

August 11th 2021

Introducing the “Land, Held, Together“ Capital Campaign


The lack of affordable housing and homeless crisis is deepening. Alternate ownership and deeply affordable housing opportunities are urgently needed.

The Neighbourhood Land Trust (NLT) acquires houses, buildings and land to meet the needs of communities and leases it to charity partners who provide affordable housing, supportive housing and space for community economic development. Our non-profit, community ownership model gives individuals, like you, an opportunity address the housing crisis by taking land out of competitive housing market. In the past year, the NLT acquired 22 housing units in Parkdale, and by early 2022, the Neighbourhood Land Trust will own 205 units of affordable housing in a partnership with the City of Toronto and the YWCA Toronto!

With your support, we can acquire and maintain affordable housing that is community owned permanently, and protect the social, cultural and economic diversity of our communities by redefining how land is used and developed. Be a part of a permanent, affordable housing and ownership solution. Your support will preserve and protect our communities!

The Land Trust’s recent accomplishments have been made possible with the support of partners, foundations, VanCity Community Investment Bank and, people like you, who have rallied around a simple idea. Working together we can buy housing, hold it as community owned, affordable housing – permanently.

Please see our Canada Helps Page to Learn More!

June 25, 2021

City of Toronto to transfer 82 of TCHC’s single family homes to The Neighbourhood Land Trust

On June 25th the City of Toronto announced that in early 2022 Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) will transfer 82 single family homes and small buildings in Toronto’s west end to The Neighbourhood Land Trust (NLT). 

“The Neighbourhood Land Trust is honoured to be partnering with the YWCA Toronto and the City to improve and steward this important social housing portfolio on behalf of communities across the west end of Toronto. Through our unique community ownership model, the Land Trust will ensure that these homes are preserved and protected as permanently affordable rental housing, while also providing tenants new opportunities to participate in decisions about their housing and community.” 

Ayal Dinner, President of the Board of Directors
– 82 single family homes and small buildings that are planned for transfer to The Neighbourhood Land Trust.

The NLT will ensure that this unique social housing portfolio will be preserved as affordable housing in perpetuity; held-together in non-profit community ownership.  We are also proud to announce that we have partnered with YWCA Toronto as the social housing provider for this portfolio, to offer affordable housing opportunities for existing tenants and women-led families. To access our joint press release with the City, click here.

Since 1873, YWCA Toronto has helped women and girls secure housing. The Association will continue its foundational work in affordable housing to help improve tenant-focused services, ensure the units are in a state of good repair, protect and maintain the houses as affordable permanent units, and further expand the capacity of the non-profit housing sector.

The City’s Tenants First strategy ensures this tenant-focused approach and a seamless move of ownership from TCHC to The Neighbourhood Land Trust and Circle Community Land Trust. For more information about the Tenants First strategy, visit the City’s website.

Through this historic initiative we are showing the power of the Community Land Trust (CLT) model to preserve affordable housing in our communities and build more equitable local economies! In addition, through the NLT’s community-based governance model, tenants will have new opportunities to participate in decisions about their housing as well as efforts to build more equitable communities. Tenants will have the opportunity to:

  • Apply to join a Tenant Advisory Committee to be a voice for tenants.
  • Become a member of the NLT, vote in elections and run for the Board of Directors. 
  • Participate in volunteer committees to contribute to local initiatives to build a more equitable community.
  • Attend educational events about affordable housing, community economic development and issues of social equity. 
  • Build new connections with our community of active tenants, members and community partners.

View City of Toronto Tenants First webpage and announcement.

Q & A for Tenants


May 4, 2021

Toronto Star – “This Parkdale group’s ownership model keeps rents affordable, one building at a time. Other Toronto neighbourhoods are paying attention”
BNN Bloomberg – “Institutional investors can help with the affordable housing crisis”

April 26, 2021

36 UNIT BUILDING  PROTECTED AS COMMUNITY-OWNED  AFFORDABLE HOUSING  BY PARKDALE’S NEIGHBOURHOOD
LAND TRUST!

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE

Parkdale’s Neighbourhood Land Trust is proud to announce the successful acquisition of an at-risk low-rent residential building containing 36 apartments in Parkdale, in an effort to help protect our affordable rental stock. Over the past decade, Parkdale has lost more than 28 rooming houses and small buildings to gentrification and renoviction, displacing nearly 350 renters, and this move signals growing momentum from the land trust in implementing community-driven solutions to the housing crisis. With this acquisition the land trust has grown its community ownership in the area from 15 to 51 units of affordable rental housing – equivalent to a 240% increase.

Under community ownership the property will be operated as non-profit affordable rental housing for low-income households. The Land Trust has contracted Parkdale Property Management, a branch of the local charity Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) to provide manage the property.  

“Community land ownership models empower communities to make important decisions about their neighbourhoods that result in tangible impacts. Keeping Parkdale open and accessible to everyone is a priority and that’s why we are protecting and preserving our existing affordable housing stock,“ said Teresa Portillo, President of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

The acquisition of the at-risk three-storey building was made possible through VCIB’s Preserve and Protect Guarantee Program, which was launched by the bank in October 2020. Through the program, VCIB accepts and holds funds from values-aligned investing organizations in an Impact GIC, which are then used to guarantee loans to the land trust for the purpose of rapidly acquiring at-risk affordable rental properties in Parkdale. In this case, VCIB was able to provide an $8.5 million acquisition facility to the land trust, supported by over $2.6M in guarantees put forward by investors, including local foundations.

“While all levels of government have mandates to tackle the affordable housing crisis, currently there are no municipal, provincial or federal programs that specifically support the acquisition and conversion of existing rental housing into permanently affordable housing. As a result, the land trust has turned to impact investors to support our community to preserve and protect affordable housing before it is gone,” said Joshua Barndt, Executive Director of the Neighbourhood Land Trust.

VCIB’s Managing Director of Commercial Impact Banking, Trish Nixon, said:
 “Community is in our name, and supporting organizations, like the PNLT, who are working on the ground to implement community-led solutions is core to VCIB’s values. We are committed to helping the PNLT meet its goal to preserve and protect 100 affordable units in at-risk rooming houses and apartment buildings by 2025. We are delighted to see our Preserve and Protect Guarantee Program in action as it supports the PNLT to safeguard Parkdale’s affordable rental housing.”

The City of Toronto’s Executive Director of the Housing Secretariat, Abi Bond, said: “Protecting the current supply of affordable rental housing is a key part of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, and one of most immediate and efficient ways to help address the significant affordability challenge we face in this city. The acquisition of this at-risk three-storey building is not only preserving affordable rental housing but also demonstrates the value of investors and community land trusts working together.” 

On this momentous occasion the land trust would like to thank our members, Board of Directors, staff and of course our supporters: Major Donors

  • John Murtaugh 

Preserve & Protect Impact Investors 

  • Metcalf Foundation 
  • Atkinson Foundation
  • Echo Foundation
  • VanCity Community Foundation
  • Toronto Foundation
  • Bealight Foundation
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • Fairmount Foundation
  • Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre

General Program Supporters 

  • Maytree Foundation
  • Metcalf Foundation 
  • Toronto Foundation 
  • United Way GTA

March 10, 2021


October 01, 2020

Fixing The Leaky Bucket: A Comprehensive Policy & Program Framework to Preserve Toronto’s Supply of Deeply Affordable Housing

The Neighbourhood Land Trust is honoured to publish a new research report – Fixing the Leaky Bucket: A Comprehensive Policy & Program Framework to Preserve Toronto’s supply of Deeply Affordable Housing.


Download Full Report
Download Executive Summary

Learn more here. 


May 01, 2019

The Land Trust Preserves and Protects an at-risk Bachelorette building in Parkdale!

We are happy to announce that the Land Trust, in close partnership with PARC, has acquired a 15 unit at-risk licenced bachelorette building in Parkdale!  – Read the Toronto Star front page feature and CBC story.

Championed by City Councillor Gord Perks, funding for this project has come from the City of Toronto Rooming House Acquisition Pilot Program, providing $1.5 million in municipal funding for the acquisition, coupled with a further $601,426 from Ontario Renovates for building improvements.

Against huge odds, we have removed this property from the speculative real estate market. We have done this to ensure that the tenants of this building will be safe from harassment, above-guideline rent increases and renovictions.

Most importantly, this success will ensure that existing tenants, many of whom are low-income, will continue to enjoy affordable rental housing. Additionally, for any new tenants being considered in the future, priority will be given to those who have experienced homelessness.

The acquisition is the first affordable housing project of the land trust. In this inaugural project, we are very happy to announce that we have committed to guaranteeing affordable rents in perpetuity.

Finally, this 15-unit Parkdale property will be owned by the Land Trust but will be operated and managed by PARC, (a United Way Anchor Agency), which now provides 71 units of affordable housing for adults who are low-income and or experience mental health and addictions challenges in South Parkdale.

This project is also the result of an incredible mobilization of energy by Parkdale residents. We are working together to fight injustice and build a more equitable City. We are working together to defend our amazing community from an all-out attack by predatory corporate landlords. We are working together to defend our homes and our lives. We are fed up and we getting more and more organized every day!

Thank you to all the Parkdale residents and allies who have contributed to this project as a volunteer, a donor and supporter!

Download the press release here.

Thank you to our funders:

  • City of Toronto
  • Ontario Renovates
  • Government of Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund, with administrative support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Maytree
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • Cota
 

 


November, 2018

New Report: Saving Room: Community action and municipal policy to protect dwelling room stock in North American cities

As our city considers new policies to protect dwelling rooms, we believe it’s important to draw upon the experiences of other cities. To help inform the discussion, we have released the report, Saving room: Community action and municipal policy to protect dwelling room stock in North American cities,” by Emily Paradis, PhD. The report looks at the comprehensive approaches other cities have developed to effectively prevent and respond to the loss of dwelling rooms in their cities.

Learning from these examples, it’s clear that Toronto needs a comprehensive framework that includes the following:

1. Regulations that put restrictions on the conversion, demolition, and renovation of rooming houses;

2. Programs that facilitate the transfer of ownership of private rooming houses to non-profits, and

3. Support for tenant education and advocacy.

Download the Executive Summary

Download the Full Report

This report was created as part of the Parkdale Rooming House Stabilization, Eviction Prevention and Preservation Strategy: an initiative of four collaborating agencies (PNLT, PARC, Parkdale Community Legal Services and Woodgreen) that are working together with tenants to preserve and protect Parkdale’s affordable rooming house stock. Our hope is that this jurisdictional scan on dwelling room protection policy can inform policy development, advocacy and organizing in Toronto.

This report was made possible through the support of the Local Poverty Reduction Fund of the Government of Ontario, which is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Thank you to Maytree for its support with editing and production.

The overall strategy has received additional investment from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, The Law Foundation of Ontario and Cota, as well as over 100 members of the Parkdale Community.