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Canada invests in new lending institution to spur affordable housing

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Through the Government of Canada’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, $20 million is being invested in a new lending institution called HPC Housing Investment Corporation (HI-C). Using this financing model, HI-C will create and offer bonds in capital markets to investors at long-term fixed interest rates, generating funding for affordable housing providers and their projects.

“HPC Housing Investment Corporation’s innovative approach offers more financing options for affordable housing providers,” said Shayne Ramsay, Chair and President, HPC Housing Investment Corporation and CEO, BC Housing. “Regardless of size or funding need, HI-C provides the financial expertise and underwriting required to bridge the gap between housing providers and debt investors. I am pleased to see the expansion of this model to support the development of social and affordable housing across the country.”

The first round of financing is complete and valued at approximately $33.1 million for two projects in B.C. and Alberta:

Railyard Housing Co-op – Community Land Trust (CLT) – Vancouver, BC:

This 15-storey, 135-unit affordable housing building was formerly part of the east end Olympic Village. In partnership with the City of Vancouver, CLT offers homes targeted to low-to-moderate income families, couples, seniors and individuals, with more than 10 homes provided at shelter rates. HI-C is providing take-out financing for this project at a 40-year fixed rate.

Parkdale Housing Development Project – Capital Region Housing Corporation – Edmonton, AB:

This property is comprised of two buildings providing affordable housing to 136 low-to-moderate income families, couples, seniors and individuals in north-central Edmonton. HI-C is providing take-out financing for the two buildings, which were fully occupied at the end of 2018.

“With the federal government’s strategic investment in affordable housing providers this will undoubtedly open up new growth opportunities in the housing sector, and facilitate the development of more affordable housing stock in our city,” said the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “This forward-thinking solution is exactly what the National Housing Strategy’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund is all about. I am looking forward to seeing the results of our government stepping up to help HI-C effectively meet the growing demands for affordable housing not only in the Great Vancouver Area, and B.C., but across Canada.”

The federal government’s initial $20 million commitment will create a new $400 million pool of funding for projects across Canada. CMHC worked closely with HI-C to provide guidance, feedback and education on the development of this new lending institution and financial funding model.

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