Housing

Video: Community Land Trusts – everything you’ve wanted to know

August 9th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Community land trusts – What do they do? How are they formed? How can you find out more about this type of organization to try to start one in your own community?

A video of Iler Campbell lawyer, Claudia Pedrero’s webinar on the topic is now online. In the webinar, Claudia goes over the community land trust model, and how this form of organization can, and is, being used as a grass-roots model for community stewardship of land and community assets. Drawing on her work both as a lawyer and a board member of a Toronto community land trust, she explains how community land trusts differ from non-profit organizations, and how community land trusts are presenting themselves as an alternative form of land ownership and management.

Download a copy of her presentation here.

BC court orders overhoused co-op members to move. Implications for Ontario?

July 25th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

At Iler Campbell we hear all the time from housing providers about the issue of overhousing and underhousing — that is, situations where people are renting units that are bigger than they need (overhousing) and people whose space needs are not met (underhousing).

Underhousing is not surprising — we are experiencing a housing crisis in Canada so having people living in cramped quarters seems an obvious outcome.

Perhaps less obvious is the reverse. Case by case, though, we understand how overhousing happens: in many cases, people moved into their now‑too‑large units years ago when they were living with spouses and children. They’ve celebrated family milestones within the walls; they’ve welcomed newborns into their lives there; they’ve marked their children’s heights on the kitchen wall; they’ve lost loved ones there; they’ve buried pets in the backyard; they’ve invested their sweat and money into improving their homes — in short, they are connected to the living space. Their need for space may be diminished but their need for this particular space has not.

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Client Profile: Women’s Community Co-operative Inc.

July 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

A photo of Women’s Community Co-operative

Women’s Community Co-operative Inc. is a 46 unit mid-rise building in Hamilton. The co-op houses a diverse group of women, some of whom have lived there since the beginning, choosing to age in place and others who have joined more recently. They come from all walks of life and many corners of the world – in short, they are like every other housing co-op in 2019. Despite difference, they have all chosen co-operative living.

Managed by Niagara Peninsula Homes, Women’s came to our firm a couple of years ago to help resolve some interpersonal issues among its members. Like many of our clients, it seemed to the Women’s board that the co-op world had shifted from one where their by-laws were paramount and they could largely operate in isolation from the bigger world. Now there were obligations imposed on them from the outside that they didn’t understand. At the same time, their members were using language of human rights and harassment that made the board uneasy, afraid to ignore for fear of legal implications, but not sure how to respond. The Women’s Board and the co-op staff were routinely drawn into disputes and away from broader community concerns. Their meetings were filled with lengthy discussions about members’ complaints leaving little time for discussing building related issues, City relations, upcoming federation events, and so-on.

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Free webinar: Community Land Trusts – everything you’ve wanted to know

July 17th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Community land trusts – What do they do? How are they formed? How can you find out more about this type of organization to try to start one in your own community? Iler Campbell lawyer, Claudia Pedrero, will discuss the community land trust model, and how this form of organization can, and is, being used as a grass-roots model for community stewardship of land and community assets. Drawing on her work both as a lawyer and a board member of a Toronto community land trust, Claudia will discuss how community land trusts differ from non-profit organizations, and how community land trusts are presenting themselves as an alternative form of land ownership and management.

Join us August 8 at 12:30 PM 

Register to attend here.

Can’t attend but would like to be sent the recording afterwards? Sign up to be notified here. (We’ll send the recording out to all attendees too, so no need to sign up twice.)

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.

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The LTB has become slooooow. Is there relief on the horizon?

May 10th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

Many of our housing clients have been disappointed recently about the length of time it takes to conduct business at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Rest assured, we are doing our very best to push things along as quickly as we can. The LTB acknowledges the delay on its website:

Over past months, parties have experienced service delays at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The LTB continues to work with the government to improve its services. A number of experienced adjudicators have recently been reappointed and recruitment is under way to fill other adjudicator vacancies. On January 1, 2019, the LTB became part of the newly created Tribunals Ontario organization. A review will be conducted of all tribunals, including the LTB, to identify areas for improvement to make services more streamlined, cost-effective and efficient.

This is not new – the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail both reported on the delay, and on the LTB admission of the problem, six months ago. We see no improvement since then.

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