In Cahdco’s ongoing effort to develop more affordable housing alternatives, partnerships have emerged as a driving force of change. In our recent event, we partnered with The Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and the Ottawa Community Land Trust (OCLT), to hold a meeting on “How to Increase Affordable Housing in Ottawa in Partnership with Market Developers.”

 

On the morning of Wednesday, October 4th, a discussion was led by Mike Bulthuis, Executive Director at OCLT, and Lindsay Blair, Director of Real Estate Development at Cahdco. 

 

Photo: Left to right: Lindsay Blair, Suzanne Le, Rodney Wilks and Mike Bulthuis. From Cahdco

Photo: From Cahdco

 

To share their expertise on collaborations between Non-Profits and Market Developers, the event featured a casual interview with Rodney Wilts and Suzanne Le.  

 

Rodney is a Partner and a Deep-Impact Developer at Theia Partners. His team is currently working with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, and Cahdco on Odatanhaway, a mixed-market two-building development providing both affordable and market rentals.

 

Suzanne is the Executive Director of the Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI). Suzanne and her team are currently working with Dream Asset Management Corporation to develop Dream Lebreton, a 601-unit development in Lebreton Flats with over 40% of units affordable.

 

Photo: Cahdco Board Member, Professor Benjamin Gianni

Photo: From Cahdco

 

While approaching a developer can be difficult, Susan expressed that the Dream Lebreton project began with a Request for Proposal from the National Capital Commission and CMHC that required potential development partners to partner with non-profits to create affordable housing. CMHC Federal Lands Initiative and Co-Investment Program were used for Dream Lebreton.

 

On the market developer side, Rodney spoke on the level of comfortability and confidence involved in funding a project. While developers are excited to push projects, they must stick themselves out there as non-profits find their capital.

 

CMHC funding timelines slow down the non-profit project of these partner developments and create a challenge between non-profit housing and market partners. Attendees agreed that more framework was necessary to encourage these projects. Groups like Cahdco have been working on this support through projects such as Toolbox+

 

Overall, the event was a great learning opportunity and an insight into the realities of non-profit and market developer collaboration. If you’re in Ottawa and passionate about affordable housing, Cahdco will be hosting similar events every months along with the Ottawa CLT and the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa.

Panel Discussion: Federal Budget 2024 & Affordable Housing

Join  us at our latest panel discussion on the federal budget and what it means for affordable housing!