When Don Jones from the Community Housing Management Network (CHMN) took over the property maintenance and management at Innisfree Housing Co-op, he knew the complex needed major repairs.
“The members had been without a decent home standard for years due to the difficulty of getting the right capital plan and funding in place,” explained Don.
“If we were to leave these repairs any longer, the cost of replacement would have been astronomical.”
To support these repairs, Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) teamed up with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to come up with a creative solution to bring the buildings up to CHMN’s “decent homes” standard.
Unlike other financing partners, VCIB encouraged Don and the team at Innisfree to allocate their funds where they deemed them to be most important. When COVID-19 hit and wood prices rose, for instance, Don put off a planned fence upgrade and prioritized air conditioning installations instead.
"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," said Don.
Over the course of the pandemic, it wasn’t only Innisfree that VCIB supported in this manner.
In November 2021, the bank set a first-of-its-kind agreement with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that saw VCIB commit to an ambitious $100M in financing affordable housing over the next year.
Since the initial partnership, VCIB has provided $183 million in financing for +1,100 affordable housing units — nearly doubling its initial $100 million commitment.
As a financial co-operative and a values-based business supporting the needs of more than 560,000 members and their community, Vancity plays a leadership role in supporting the development of the co-operative economy.
In keeping with Vancity’s co-operative roots and values, VCIB supports the co-operative housing movement by offering reliable and flexible financing that meets the specific needs of each housing co-op.
Learn more about how Vancity supports the co-operative economy and visit VCIB’s website to learn more about their financing for housing co-operatives.
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