Client Profile: Humber Co-operative Development Corporation

May 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

The Humber Condominiums is Options for Homes’ latest development on the market. Options calls The Humber “an affordable modern condominium surrounded by nature and convenience.” And we’re sure the condo on Wilby Cres. in Weston Village will be!

The relationship between Options and Iler Campbell dates back to the ’90s when Brian Iler helped the founder of Options establish a financing model that provides down payment support to purchasers, making home ownership affordable to people who mostly wouldn’t otherwise be able to get into the housing market. That was 25 years ago. Nowadays, the need is even greater. In addition to the benefits to purchasers, the model moves some renters into ownership, which frees up more space in a tight rental market. Over 3,000 new homes have been built using their innovative model, creating great communities of people living in quality homes that are more affordable.

How does the model work? For each community being developed, a co-operative corporation – whose members and directors are made up of the prospective homeowners – is created to acquire the land and build the condominium. The homeowners elect the directors of the co-operative. Options acts as a consultant to the co-operative, working with the homeowners to create their community. At monthly meetings before moving in, owners are given the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions affecting the new community being created. The condominiums are sold at cost (that is, no profit is added) before construction. And purchasers are offered up to 15% of the purchase price in down payment support, which is administered as a shared-equity mortgage. There are no scheduled payments on this loan, which is repayable at the time of sale (or whenever a purchaser wants!) and both the purchaser and Options benefit when the value of the condo appreciates.

Condo units are made even more affordable by eliminating costly building amenities, such as pools and gyms, any by reducing marketing and administrative costs. When all this is added up, the Options model can bring a one bedroom condo that might have sold for $445,000 down to just $390,000, allowing many people who might never have thought they could own a home become home owners. Options brings home ownership within reach for households with a wide range of income levels and demographics, from young families to those downsizing from larger homes.

We’ve been alongside Options, providing legal advice and sorting through the legal issues (and paper!), at every stage: from when the co-operative buys land right through to construction financing and conveying homes to co-op members. We’ve watched Options make smart decisions to develop in up-and-coming neighbourhoods – the Distillery, then the Junction and now Weston Village. For more on Options’ role as an “urban pioneer,” check out their blog.

Iler Campbell Office Manager, Julie Khamissa, has been part of our team responsible for ensuring the smooth transfer of ownership of condo units for 10 different Options developments from Kitchener to Markham. Together with her husband, she’s one of two Iler Campbell staff to take the plunge and sign up for The Humber condos. They know that the deal is solid, that the project will be a success, and that Options has chosen another neighbourhood on the upswing. We cannot think of a more ringing endorsement for the work of one of our key clients.

Filed in: Client Profiles, Co-operative Law, Housing

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