About the Business
Innisfree Housing Co-op provides affordable homes and a safe place for its members. The property is a 70-unit townhouse consisting of 3-bedroom units. Currently, Innisfree is managed by Community Housing Management Network (CHMN), a network that provides day-to-day management services to over 40 co-operatives and non-profit housing providers in Ontario and Nova Scotia.
About the Loan
In November 2020, VCIB partnered with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), offering a minimum of $100 million to finance affordable housing initiatives by September 2021. A year later, VCIB soared past this initial target providing $183 million in financing for affordable homes over the past year.
Innisfree Housing Co-op’s financial partnership with VCIB stemmed from this agreement – VCIB provided Innisfree with a $2.9 million non-revolving term loan to finance critical capital repairs, along with an $800,000 line of credit for further repairs on the property.
About the Impact
Innisfree Housing Co-op’s complex required major repairs. The roads through the 71-unit affordable housing property had sinkholes, the doors and windows let in gusts from outside, and the toilets, faucets, and tubs often leaked. Don Jones, CHMN’s onsite property manager, explained; “The members had been suffering for years because the [previous] property managers didn’t have the knowledge or just couldn’t be bothered to get things done.”
As Canada’s first and only values-based bank, VCIB works together with CMHC to find innovative financing solutions for Housing Co-operatives. To support with these repairs, VCIB’s financing allowed Innisfree Housing Co-op to allocate their funds where they deemed most important.
“We wouldn’t have been able to offer our decent home standard if we had restrictions on how we used the loan. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is,” concluded Jones.