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