Getting to Affordable

How do the numbers work for achieving affordable housing in our region?

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay > 2024 Events > Getting to Affordable Recap

Getting to Affordable:

How do the numbers work for achieving affordable housing in our region???

Wednesday, June 5, 4:30-6:30 PM

One of the Institute’s four priority areas is Social Finance & Housing.

Getting to affordable housing requires creativity amongst multiple partners. It was wonderful therefore to have attendees from Grey County, towns of The Blue Mountains and Collingwood, Municipality of Clearview, Meaford, City of Owen Sound, not for profits Local Community Led Housing Groups, and local residents tuned in to learn about 6 key strategies for increasing the supply of affordable housing units, and discuss what we should be doing in our communities! 

This virtual event provided a platform for a robust public discussion on the pro-forma project inspired by the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay’s Affordable Housing Summit and Workshop last November. The project, a collaboration between Rental Rescue, the University of Toronto (U of T), and TISGB, took place over the winter was partially supported through EllisDon. 

Please review The Welcome Presentation from this event.

The graduate student team from U of T’s Rotman School of Management, working closely with Bo Pelech, executive in residence and Krystal Valencia, founder of Rental Rescue, researched what could be built on four sites located in Collingwood, Owen Sound, and Meaford based on zoning bylaws. This produced a robust pro forma that identified the costs related to developing a multi-unit purpose-built rental building on each site, identified the cost savings by using modular building techniques vs traditional stick-built structures.  Also identified was funding shortfalls and how local investors though a community bond with several tranches could assist in the financing.

View the Intro presentation. 

View Jack Vanderkooy presentation. 

Social Finance & Affordable Housing Group

Bo spoke to a project of an approximate 50,000 sq ft development for $30m, or around $600,000 per unit was analyzed the learning could be generally applied to any low-rise development.  Their work focused on using a variety of necessary inputs to define the equity/debt ratio required for the project. Included in this analysis they identified the potential cost savings of 5-10% by using modular building techniques vs traditional stick-built structures.

View Krystal’s presentation.

View Bo’s presentation.

SGB SItes Analyzed

Six key strategies:

      • Exploring design elements within the development itself
      • Potential to reduce of hard and softs costs associated with construction method
      • Potential to impact equity/debt ratio
      • Mix of affordable and market rate for operating costs occupancy, including structured process in place to maintain affordable 
      • Capital Stacking (grants, community financing bonds. flexible/conventional debt), are possible
      • Benefits of a regional approach supported by community driven groups of citizens who really want to do something about affordable housing in their municipalities

Key questions to the speakers included:

How do you keep the rents affordable?” Renters pay 30% of the income based on their notice of assessment on existing units.  New build 50% of the units will be affordable, and that comes from CMHC and they are rented at 80% of the median market rent.

“What are the benefits of a citizens group?” Community has to know more about the affordable housing issue by means of communication and engagement. A municipal task force with elected officials with a diverse representation of the community to fully understand the housing needs.  It has to be a as opposed to an Advisory Committee of Council.

“What is the importance of a Community Bond?” It has potential to making the math work on the equity side of the build for a private developer to include affordable units in perpetuity within their development.


To hear and learn more, check out the REPLAY to experience the entire learning event,  and also be sure to visit the Institutes’ Affordable Housing Toolkit.

STAY TUNED and CONNECTED as the Institute have big plans for the Deeper Dive follow-up fall event to develop a regional plan for affordable housing, so sign up for our newsletter and if you have not signed up do so here.

A very big thank you to our speakers!

Summary of Opportunities

We believe that Southern Georgian Bay can meet today’s needs of the planet, its people, and economic vitality…without compromising the needs of future generations.

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