Skip to content

The Ottawa Community Land Trust (OCLT) has launched the Housing Forever Bond campaign with the goal of raising $1.7 million.

Funds raised from this campaign will go towards
a) repayment of our line-of-credit and patient capital on the recent 887 Kirkwood acquisition, and
b) establishing our revolving fund, enabling us to pursue a 2nd and 3rd appropriate property in 2024.

By purchasing a Housing Forever Bond, you can get back your initial amount of money plus earn up to 4.5% in interest while making a real impact on the preservation of affordable housing in Ottawa.

Keep rental housing in Ottawa affordable and buy a Housing Forever Bond today!

Project Details

  • 2021: Ottawa Community Land Trust founded; board established and one staff hired
  • 2022-2023: Sponsorships and grants received: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Community Housing Transformation Centre, Catherine Donnelly Foundation, Community Services Recovery Fund and Ottawa Community Foundation
  • 2023: Membership opened – Close to 100 members as of May 2024; community outreach ongoing
  • 2023: First residential rental building bought, a six-unit apartment on Kirkwood Avenue
  • 2024: Launch of Housing Forever Bonds
  • 2024 onward: sell Housing Forever Bonds to raise $1.7 million; continue community outreach; increase membership; acquire additional rental properties
2021
1
0

Founding Year

 

Permanently Affordable Buildings (so far)

Affordable Residential Units (so far)

 

About Us

Our impact so far

Ottawa Community Land Trust (OCLT) is a non-profit corporation that pursues innovative ways of preserving housing affordability in Ottawa. We work with Ottawa-area housing providers and developers committed to keeping housing affordable. We purchase existing rental properties and ensure they are rented at an affordable price forever.

Ottawa, like many cities, is experiencing a housing crisis. We lost more than 30,000 private rental units with rents below $1,000 a month between 2011-2023, and the number of similar units has continued to decline (Steve Pomeroy, McMaster University, 2023). Ottawa does not have a program to preserve low-rent housing.

The local community housing sector created the OCLT and became federally incorporated in January 2021. Overseen by a board of directors and small staff, we are membership-based.

Simply put, as a community land trust, we are trusted to hold land for the community.

Our work to date has been made possible by sponsors and donors. Now, we are developing financial tools, such as community bonds that will enable our efforts to buy more rental properties.

With your purchase of a Housing Forever Bond, we can help keep housing affordable forever.

The Investment

We are creating a revolving fund using community bonds. The goal is to raise $1.7 million to repay the loan for the current rental building on Kirkwood Avenue and to buy at least two more rental properties. The source of the fund is Housing Forever Bonds.

What are Housing Forever Bonds?

Housing Forever Bonds are community bonds — a social finance tool used by charities, non-profits and co-operatives to fund projects that benefit people and the environment. The bonds are like a government bond and are paid back to investors over time. The bonds have a rate of return, of up to 4.5%, a fixed term, and are administered by our partner, Tapestry Community Capital. Housing Forever Bonds will go into a revolving fund that will be used to buy more rental properties.

How will interest be paid?

Interest on Series A, B, and C Housing Forever Bonds will be paid either annually or at maturity, depending on which bonds you purchase.

Is there a deadline to invest?

Housing Forever Bonds will be available until we raise our goal of $1.7 million.

Housing Forever Bonds


Our Goal

$1.7 Million


Funds Raised to Date

$350,000

 

Investment Options

Four types of Housing Forever Bonds are available for purchase as of late May 2024. Investors are invited to reinvest at the end of the term:

Bond Series A

3 Years    3.5%

$1,000 minimum investment

Interest paid at maturity.

Bond Series B

5 Years    4.0%

$5,000 minimum investment

Interest paid annually

Bond Series C

7 Years    4.5%

$50,000 minimum investment

Interest paid annually

Bond Series D

3 Years    0%

$500 minimum
investment

Principal paid at maturity

Investor Package

Download a compressed archive of the full investor package here:

If you prefer, you can download the individual files here:

Project Team

We are a non-profit corporation managed by a volunteer board of directors. The 12-member board is appointed by members at our annual general meeting. As of April 2024, there are nine board members, several of whom are local housing sector leaders:

Kiefer
Lisa
Jovette

Kiefer Maracle is an Indigenous housing specialist with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and has spent the past eight years working to help create, promote, and maintain affordable housing in Ottawa. Starting with a research position at Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation and advancing to a role as a project manager, Kiefer has developed a network of clients and partners that continue to help deliver new housing solutions. As an Indigenous housing specialist, Kiefer now partners to assist First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and providers with their housing projects.

Lisa Ker is the deputy executive director of the Community Housing Transformation Centre. She has worked in the government and community-based sectors for over 30 years, including the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and Toronto Community Housing. More recently Lisa was executive director of Ottawa Salus, and is a former active member of the City of Ottawa’s Housing System Working Group, the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.

Jovette Fournier joined CHASEO as executive director in September 2019. Before that, she was a relationship manager with the Agency for Co-operative Housing. She has over 20 years of co-operative and housing management experience, a degree in social work, and is fluently bilingual. Jovette has a thorough knowledge of organizational and occupancy bylaws, the Residential Tenancies Act, principles and practices of co-op housing, property management, and applicable federal, provincial and local laws and regulations.

Emilie
Ellen
Hilary
Emilie Hayes is the capacity development advisor with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Affordable Housing initiative. In this role, Emilie supports municipal, non-profit, and cooperative housing providers in measurably improving the energy efficiency and affordability of existing and new affordable housing units. Previously, Emilie worked in a variety of roles in the non-profit sector over two decades with a focus on community health, community development, and affordable housing advocacy.

Ellen McGowan is a project manager with New Commons Development and previously served as a project manager with Cahdco. Ellen works with non-profit and charitable client groups to develop affordable housing. With hands-on experience in the non-profit housing sector, Ellen brings a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in affordable housing development.

Hilary McVey is a partner with Deloitte. She is an active community volunteer and has previously held Board roles at Parkdale Food Centre and Fisher Park Recreation Council. She has her Masters in Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership from Carleton University. She helps run Parkdale United Church’s In From the Cold Program. Outside of volunteering in her community, her passions include her love of travel and her pets. She believes affordable housing is critical to Ottawa’s success going forward.

Steve
Karla
Jeff

Steve Pomeroy is a housing research consultant and part-time lecturer at Carleton University and McMaster University. Widely recognized as one of the leading housing policy experts and thought leaders in Canada, Steve has almost 40 years of experience in the housing sector, initially in the non-profit sector, local government and with CMHC before establishing Focus Consulting Inc. in 1994. Since then he has authored over 240 research studies and policy briefs.  Much of his research and policy work relates to affordable housing and homelessness.

Karla Skoutajan has been involved in the co-operative housing movement in Canada for many years including 25 years at the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. Her experience includes assisting with the development of over 1,200 units of non-profit and co-operative housing as well as supporting the governance and management of housing co-operatives across Canada. She has served on the boards of many community organizations including a community legal clinic, a community health centre, a social purpose investment fund, and various affordable housing organizations. Currently, she serves on the board of the Agency for Co-operative Housing. Karla is a registered social worker in the province of Ontario.

Jeff Westeinde is an active investor, entrepreneur and partner in several companies including Nucor Environmental Solutions, Milestone Environmental Contracting, Envirogreen Technologies, Clearly Solar Energy and the THEIA Partnership – a group of companies that tackles some Canada’s most complex environmental issues and develops some of the country’s most sustainable communities.

Staff

Mike
Glenn

Mike Bulthuis, is executive director of Ottawa Community Land Trust (OCLT) and has worked at the intersections of policy, research and community mobilization for 20+ years. He has experience in policy development with the federal public service on issues including homelessness, social finance, social innovation, and infrastructure. Mike has also held leadership positions in the non-profit environment, including the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, and with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. He currently chairs the board of the Centretown Community Health Centre and is a director with the Alliance for Healthier Communities, having earlier served with local and national boards furthering social enterprises, social planning, and public justice.

Glenn Grignon, is operations manager with the Ottawa Community Land Trust, has 36+ years of co-operative housing experience as a member of the Sandy Hill Housing Co-operative. As an IT professional, he has leveraged his skills and interest in housing as the original programmer and architect for the Ottawa-Carleton Social Housing Register along with Durham, Hamilton and Nipissing regional registries. Glenn is a local community volunteer and long-time advocate for the Canadian and international co-operative housing sectors. A firm believer in Harambee.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Ottawa Community Land Trust  (OCLT) is a non-profit corporation, operating as a social enterprise, pursuing innovative ways of preserving housing affordability in the National Capital region. We envision our city as a place where adequate, affordable housing is available to anyone who needs it, and community-based housing providers are leading solutions to make that happen. 

We go about this in two key ways. The first is acquiring existing rental properties to preserve affordability, and the second is securing vacant land to develop various types of affordable housing in the future. 

We are fueling these two objectives through community bonds (ours are known as Housing Forever Bonds), foundation and government grants, and long-term debt financing options.

Additionally, we collaborate with other local groups in the housing space, from developers to non-profit housing providers and housing co-operatives, and with organizations supporting individuals to remain stably housed – all to improve housing affordability and housing security in Ottawa.

At OCLT, we recognize that affordability is relative. Recognizing the common international standard – that households should only use 30% of pre-tax household income on housing

costs – it is important to recognize that affordability is dependent on household income. OCLT aspires to offer housing that is affordable to households within the low and moderate-income categories in Ottawa. 

Notwithstanding the above, within the funding and financing landscape, rental affordability is often defined against the average market rate (AMR) with a community, as determined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). AMR shows rent levels in both new and existing structures, weighing the average of all units combined, whether vacant or occupied. The OCLT considers many factors in determining our rent levels. These may include available funding, unit type and numbers, and subsidies for residents. As an example, balancing both long-term viability and affordability, rent levels at our Kirkwood property will be capped at 80% of AMR.  Through an agreement with the City of Ottawa, we have ensured that new tenants will pay rents geared to income, while City subsidies fill the gap between ability-to-pay and 80% AMR.

OCLT’s first property is a six-unit multi-residential apartment building located at 887 Kirkwood Avenue in Ottawa’s Carlington neighbourhood. Purchased in October 2023, this acquisition represents the preservation of six ‘naturally occurring’ affordable units – effectively the transfer of six units from the speculative market to community ownership – that will remain affordable in perpetuity.  The Kirkwood property was financed through a combination of grants, donations, and debt-based financing.

OCLT’s Housing Forever Bonds are OCLT’s community bond offering. Community bonds are a social finance tool used by charities, non-profits, and cooperatives to finance initiatives with social and environmental impact. Not unlike a traditional bond, a community bond is an interest-bearing loan from an investor with a rate of return and a fixed term. Investors in this case, are members of the community investing in their community.

This investment will serve the express purpose of preserving and creating affordable housing in the Ottawa region forever. Funds raised from the Housing Forever Bond campaign will allow OCLT to pay the remaining debt on our Kirkwood property, finance our 2nd and 3rd properties in 2024, and sustain OCLT and the overall growth of affordable housing in Ottawa. 

We have teamed up with Tapestry Community Capital, a firm that specializes in community bonds and has raised over $100 million in community bonds across 59+ projects,  to create this offering and invest in Ottawa’s future.

When you buy a Housing Forever Bond, you are making a meaningful direct investment into maintaining and increasing the supply of affordable housing in Ottawa. Your kindness and generosity mean individuals and families pay less in rent and are consequently able to save more, and/or allocate funds to education, skills or personal development. This has a profound impact on an individual’s mental and physical health, and contributes positively to the social and economic growth of the greater community. Your capital never leaves this city – it enriches it. Meanwhile, you’re generating a financial return on your investment.

Housing Forever Bonds will be repaid via rent revenue, long-term patient investment, and future bond and financing offerings.

The OCLT is prepared to retire capital at the end of bond terms, as agreed-upon with investors, drawing upon the cash flow arising from property assets. However, we will retain patient capital, when investors concur and according to agreed-upon terms, to continue the organization’s mission. Our modelling anticipates retiring up to 27% of community bond debt within a 5-year window, refinancing debt into mortgage financing. This assumption is based on the potential of numerous bondholders reinvesting, and new bondholders entering into the space – at ratios consistent with long-term Tapestry experience. We also plan to draw less on our mortgage than we are eligible for, and can increase mortgage financing to repay greater amounts if necessary.

OCLT is using a blended capital approach to support acquisitions, including mortgage financing, Housing Forever Bonds and public and philanthropic funding.

Repayment of all OCLT 2024 Housing Forever Bonds will be secured by charges registered on the Real Property held by OCLT – as soon as it is practically possible to do so – subordinate to any commercial mortgage and vendor take mortgage, if any, pari-passu with other OCLT Bonds, and held by a trustee appointed by OCLT pursuant to a Trust Agreement for the benefit of all OCLT bondholders.

For our first investment campaign, and due in part to the added costs of offering RRSP / TFSA bonds, Housing Forever Bonds will not be RRSP / TFSA eligible. However, we do plan for future investment campaigns, and in the future, we will explore options to ensure tax-free gains.

All Bond series are transferable to another OCLT bondholder with approval from the OCLT Board of Directors and a $100 administration fee. Early redemption is only available in extraordinary circumstances, and with the approval of OCLT Board of Directors.

Contact Us

  • For general inquiries, please contact us at info@oclt.ca.
  • For inquiries directly related to bond investments, please contact us at invest@oclt.ca.

Our Partners

Tapestry Community Capital supports non-profits, co-ops and charities in raising and managing community bonds. Since 1998, the Tapestry team has supported projects from renewable energy to co-working to housing, in successful community financing campaigns, helping raise and manage $100 million from over 4,000 investors.

Cahdco develops affordable housing solutions. We specialize in building, advising and developing capacity in affordable housing development.

Stay Updated