Thanks to the hard work of Catalyst Community Developments and Vancity Community Foundation leveraging their own assets in support of affordable housing, 31 units of below-rental market housing were built at Rivermark at River Park Place in Richmond.
The City of Richmond has an Affordable Housing Strategy which requires that 10% of the total residential area for any new development is dedicated for below-market rental housing units.
For-profit developer, Intracorp, needed help to fulfill this requirement quickly. They approached Catalyst Community Developments to purchase, own, and operate a series of affordable housing units in their Richmond development, but there was a catch. Catalyst needed to find $800,000 funding and they needed it quickly.
Catalyst approached Vancity Community Foundation and our credit union. The Foundation approved an impact investment in the form of a letter of credit so Catalyst could purchase the homes with the guarantee that Vancity would cover the deposit if Catalyst didn’t close on the purchase. The letter of credit was provided to Intracorp, which meant both the Foundation and Catalyst kickstarted an affordable housing solution without putting any money down.
You could call it a win-win-win scenario: Intracorp fulfilled their commitment to Richmond's Affordable Housing Strategy, Catalyst expanded their portfolio for affordable housing, Vancity Community Foundation leveraged their own assets in support of affordable housing, and — of course — several families and individuals in a low-moderate income bracket now have an affordable place in Richmond to call home.
Vancity members put their money where it builds affordable housing. Since 2011 the Vancity Affordable Housing Accelerator Fund, with the support of 560,000+ Vancity members, have helped build 4,450 units of affordable rental units in BC.
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