Foundation grants first loan for affordable housing project

Jan. 13, 2015

London Community Foundation tackles the dire need for affordable housing in the city by granting its first loan to support the creation of 30 affordable housing units in the London, Ontario downtown core area.

Thanks to Donors who have contributed to London Community Foundation’s Loan Fund, a new affordable housing unit in downtown London will be made a reality. The loan will enable Marvin Rivas, owner/operator of Che Restobar to purchase and renovate the 228-230 Dundas Street heritage building creating 30 one bedroom affordable apartments and ground floor commercial space to be operated as a bar/restaurant. Listed as a Priority 1 Heritage Building of the Chicago Commercial architectural style, the redevelopment will include the restoration of the front façade to conserve the features. Construction on 228-230 Dundas Street is expected to start in the spring of 2015.

 London Community Foundation’s Loan Fund is a social investment program that turns donations into capital loans for community and non-profit groups. With access to funding that they typically couldn’t get from a bank, groups can further their mission more efficiently and effectively. Currently the Loan Fund’s main priority is the development of safe and affordable housing in the London community. Offering builders of affordable housing up to $500,000, the loan fund is a social investment that contributes to building a resilient community.

 According to the Foundation’s Vital Signs report, the wait time for affordable housing in 2013 was 1.5 years. Furthermore, though London boasts some of the most affordable housing for buyers, there is a high proportion of Londoners who spend more than 30% of their income on rent!

 Martha Powell, President & CEO of London Community Foundation says that getting people housed is a priority if we wish to reduce the rate of poverty in our community. “Without proper housing people are put at risk of multiple vulnerabilities,” says Powell. “Everyone in our community deserves the right to be safely housed.”

 Martha would like to recognize Greg Playford, Chair of the Foundation’s Social Finance Committee as well as all of the social finance committee members for their efforts in making the Foundation’s first social loan a reality. Additionally, she would like to thank Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the City of London for their support.