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36 Affordable Housing Units Coming to At-Risk, Low-Rent Building in Parkdale

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Thanks to a community land trust and a financial partner, 36 much-needed affordable housing units are coming to Parkdale.

On Monday, the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) and the Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) announced the acquisition of an at-risk low-rent residential building at 22 Maynard Avenue containing 36 apartments in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood — a move that’s said to help protect the area’s affordable rental stock. 

Over the past decade, Parkdale has already lost 28 rooming houses to gentrification and renoviction, displacing nearly 350 renters.

This move signals growing momentum from the PNLT in implementing community-driven solutions to Toronto’s ongoing housing crisis.

READ: Budget 2021: Liberals to Allocate $3.8B for Affordable Housing, Building, and Repair

With this acquisition, the land trust has grown its community ownership in the area from 15 to 51 units of affordable rental housing — the equivalent of 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.  

The acquisition of the at-risk, three-storey building was made possible through VCIB’s Preserve and Protect Guarantee Program, 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 PNLT 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 PNLT, supported by over $2.6M in guarantees put forward by investors, including local foundations.

“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 Joshua Barndt, Executive Director of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust.

“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,” said Barndt.

“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.”

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