Creating a Non-Profit Housing Development Corporation
In British Columbia, the Vancouver Native Housing Society is one of the many non-profit providers whose operating agreements with the government are expiring. This means that when the mortgage is paid off, the organization becomes responsible for the project’s ongoing financial viability. A projected 175,000 units of social housing will lose government funding in 2020, and about a third of those units could be unable to sustain their operations. Staring down its first expiry earlier this year, the majority of the Society’s housing stock falls in that category. The prospect of a tsunami of homelessness for the Indigenous community, and Indigenous Elders in particular, is a daunting prospect. Happily, however, the Society is hoping to redevelop many of its properties to be able to maintain affordability for its present and future tenants—both a challenge and an opportunity. Inspired and emboldened by the success of its social enterprise, Skwacháys Lodge and Gallery, the Society is taking a new approach by creating a non-profit housing development corporation. The Centre has awarded the Society $200,000 to fund its strategic planning process, business plan and feasibility study.