New lending institution by federal government helps build affordable housing

Aug 21 2019, 5:01 pm

The federal government says it continues to support a new lending institution that provides construction financing for affordable housing projects across the country.

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According to a release, HPC Housing Investment Corporation (HI-C) will create and offer bonds in capital markets to investors at long-term fixed interest rates, which will generate funding for affordable housing providers and their projects.

An infusion of $20 million has been put into this new institution, and it will create a $400-million pool for projects.

The first recipients, through the first round of completed financing valued at $33 million, are two projects in Western Canada, as previously announced.

A new 15-storey, 135-unit affordable housing building, dubbed Railyard Housing Co-Op in Vancouver’s Olympic Village, was completed last year. HI-C is providing take-out financing over a 40-year fixed rate.

As well, in Edmonton, the Parkdale Housing Development Project — two buildings with 136 affordable housing units, completed in 2018 as well — will use HI-C take-out financing.

“HPC Housing Investment Corporation’s innovative approach offers more financing options for affordable housing providers,” said Shayne Ramsay, chair and president of HPC Housing Investment Corporation and CEO of BC Housing, in a statement.

“Regardless of size or funding need, HI-C provides the financial expertise and underwriting required to bridge the gap between housing providers and debt investors. I am pleased to see the expansion of this model to support the development of social and affordable housing across the country.”