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Introducing Housing Forever Bonds

A community investment product by the Ottawa Community Land Trust (OCLT)

Read more below, or complete this brief form to hear when the bonds are launched in 2024 – and to get on the early waitlist!

The Challenge

Between 2011 and 2021, over 6,500 “naturally occurring” affordable homes, renting for less than $750 per month – and over 30,000 homes renting for less than $1000 per month – were lost in Ottawa (Statistics Canada). That’s 31 homes lost for every one new affordable home created. These losses are primarily attributed to redevelopment, demolitions, and rising rental costs. This is preventing Ottawa from keeping pace with the demand for affordable housing supply. As a result, individuals are being displaced without alternatives.

In fact, for every affordable home created in Ottawa, at least 31 are lost (Statistics Canada).

The Solution

The OCLT is addressing this challenge by acquiring existing properties where the majority of rents are below Average Market Rent (AMR). We’re turning these units into non-profit affordable housing. Over the next year, we plan to acquire at least three properties, placing them under community ownership. We secured our first property in October, 2023 – a 6-unit rental building – with four 2-bedroom apartments, and two 1-bedroom apartments – now preserved as affordable, forever! The OCLT will enter into agreements with Ottawa’s community-driven property managers and experienced non-profit and co-operative housing providers to manage each property on a day-to-day basis.

Blending Capital to make Acquisitions Possible

The OCLT targets properties where conventional mortgages will cover 65%-75% of the acquisition cost, and where the remaining equity / down payment of 25-35% can be raised through impact investment, like community bonds. The OCLT also welcomes non-repayable capital to make housing even more affordable.

Together, as a community, we can make Ottawa a more affordable place to live forever.

Beginning in early 2024 (February – March), OCLT will be raising $1.6M to establish a revolving fund, enabling the continued acquisition of multi-unit residential properties, beginning with at least 3 by Spring 2024, to provide affordable rental homes for individuals and families in Ottawa.

What are Housing Forever Bonds?

A Housing Forever Bond is a community bond. Community Bonds are a way for OCLT to leverage its community of supporters (that’s you!) to invest in financing the purchase of affordable rental housing and preserve mixed and vibrant communities in Ottawa. They are similar to a government bond and are paid back to investors after a period of time. Our community bonds will be issued under the name of the OCLT Housing Forever Bond, and will be managed by Tapestry Community Capital, our community bond partner. Tapestry has supported numerous organizations in raising over $100 million from thousands of investors; they will manage the investments and interest payment process for the lifetime of the bonds.

What Investments will be available?

We’re finalizing the details of a bond series to be offered beginning in late winter (February – March 2024). We expect that investors will be able to choose from three investment options, beginning at $1,000, with higher bonds oriented to institutional and corporate investors. Rates of return will likely vary between 3.5% and 4.5%, with principal returned at either 3, 5 or 7 years (with reinvestment possible at that time). Note that all terms are subject to change until the offering is made public.

Be in the know!

Do you want to be among the first to know when the bond offering goes live? Have questions in the meantime?

To sign-up for info when the bonds launch in 2024, or to get on the early waitlist, please complete the brief form at this link. If you had earlier sent us an email with your interest, we’ve got you on our list! Thank you!