Introducing Housing Forever Bonds
A community investment product by the Ottawa Community Land Trust (OCLT)
Between 2011 and 2021, over 6,500 “naturally occurring” affordable homes, renting for less than $750 per month, were lost in Ottawa (Statistics Canada). Another 30,000 for under $1,000 per month were lost, too. 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.
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; our first, expected to close in mid-September, will be a 6-unit rental building – with four 2-bedroom apartments, and two 1-bedroom apartments. The OCLT will enter into agreements with Ottawa’s community-driven property managers and experienced non-profit and co-operative housing providers to manage the properties 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.
Beginning in Fall 2023, 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 Fall, 2023. 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 in Fall 2023.
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?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your interest, and we’ll be in touch!