Welcome Guest!
In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away.
or Create an Account




Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative
#1
A new co-op has been formed with the goal of providing affordable residential and commercial space in the region. Unlike the usual housing co-op (such as, say, Bread and Roses), the co-op members are not necessarily residents. Instead, there are community stakeholder members as well as tenant member.

https://www.unionsd.coop/

The community members fund the operation of the co-op through the membership fees ($500 one-time fee) and the (optional) purchase of preference shares for individual buildings. A member would be able to purchase from $1,000 to $10,000 of preference shares for a building. 


The intent is to purchase mixed-use buildings with residential and retail components, to create engaging spaces, and to work with other local organizations to provide affordable housing. The partner organization Union has selected for the first building is Reception House, which provides housing for government-supported refugees.

Some coverage in the Record here:

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/927...te-market/

While I do like the All in for 2020 initiative to reduce homelessness, I am more excited by this project as it is intent on taking concrete actions to provide affordable housing.
Reply


#2
(04-11-2019, 02:50 PM)0tomh009 Wrote: A new co-op has been formed with the goal of providing affordable residential and commercial space in the region. Unlike the usual housing co-op (such as, say, Bread and Roses), the co-op members are not necessarily residents. Instead, there are community stakeholder members as well as tenant member.

https://www.unionsd.coop/

The community members fund the operation of the co-op through the membership fees ($500 one-time fee) and the (optional) purchase of preference shares for individual buildings. A member would be able to purchase from $100 to $10,000 of preference shares for a building. 


The intent is to purchase mixed-use buildings with residential and retail components, to create engaging spaces, and to work with other local organizations to provide affordable housing. The partner organization Union has selected for the first building is Reception House, which provides housing for government-supported refugees.

Some coverage in the Record here:

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/927...te-market/

While I do like the All in for 2020 initiative to reduce homelessness, I am more excited by this project as it is intent on taking concrete actions to provide affordable housing.
(04-04-2019, 02:04 PM)urbd Wrote:
(04-04-2019, 09:19 AM)panamaniac Wrote: Jacob Kaufman, father of A.R. .


Ok thanks for the clarification, now elaborate please - so Jacob lived there? Was Jacob the founder and then A.R. took the company over?

This is a great initiative.  I hope they get lots of support from the community.
Reply
#3
(04-11-2019, 02:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote: A new co-op has been formed with the goal of providing affordable residential and commercial space in the region. Unlike the usual housing co-op (such as, say, Bread and Roses), the co-op members are not necessarily residents. Instead, there are community stakeholder members as well as tenant member.

https://www.unionsd.coop/

The community members fund the operation of the co-op through the membership fees ($500 one-time fee) and the (optional) purchase of preference shares for individual buildings. A member would be able to purchase from $100 to $10,000 of preference shares for a building. 


The intent is to purchase mixed-use buildings with residential and retail components, to create engaging spaces, and to work with other local organizations to provide affordable housing. The partner organization Union has selected for the first building is Reception House, which provides housing for government-supported refugees.

Some coverage in the Record here: https://communityedition.ca/new-kw-co-op...in-canada/

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/927...te-market/

While I do like the All in for 2020 initiative to reduce homelessness, I am more excited by this project as it is intent on taking concrete actions to provide affordable housing.
I'm quite excited about this initiative as well. It feels like it could start to make a difference in the short-term, without waiting for the slow process of government policies to be updated and improved to address some of these issues.

One point of clarification though, shares are available from $1000-$10000 per property purchased (The above post says $100 I believe).
Reply
#4
(04-11-2019, 04:12 PM)dtkmelissa Wrote: I'm quite excited about this initiative as well. It feels like it could start to make a difference in the short-term, without waiting for the slow process of government policies to be updated and improved to address some of these issues.

One point of clarification though, shares are available from $1000-$10000 per property purchased (The above post says $100 I believe).

Thanks for spotting my mistake -- I fixed that now!
Reply
#5
I'm not sure I understand this new initiative. It will be a co-op that acquires and leases residential properties like a sort of "co-op landlord"? Or will each acquired property be part of the co-op with premises leased to co-op members?
Reply
#6
I think a benevolent co-op landlord is the best description. I don't think the tenants will be expected to participate in the running of the buildings.

Of course this is based on just my reading, but I look forward to meeting some of the people from the Union team and learning more.
Reply
#7
I went to the first public meeting for Union; there were about 40 people in attendance.

My assumption about the buildings is correct: it's not like Bread & Roses or the co-op residences, where the residents need to do work in addition to paying rent. It is very much the benevolent landlord model. Union is looking to partner with organizations that provide affordable/accessible housing to do the actual renting; the first building is expected to provide housing for Reception House (which in tern provides affordable housing for recent refugees).

Members who purchase preference shares can earn annual dividends (the target is 3%), and the goal is to repurchase those shares roughly ten years later, so people will get their investment back. The preference shares will not make anyone rich, but the intent is to preserve the capital while providing affordable housing and also space for small local businesses.

I plan to join up in the near future, and I hope some others from this forum will consider doing the same.
Reply
#8
We also attended. It's an interesting idea and we're considering joining.
Reply
#9
We signed up last month as we're quite excited about this initiative. It's not going to solve housing affordability on its own of course, but I appreciate the model and look forward to seeing what can come out of it.
Reply
#10
It's definitely not going to solve the problem on its own, but I like the fact that I can make an impact. Not many people will be able to or willing to donate $1000 or more to an affordable-housing charity, but I do believe that Union can find many people locally who are willing to invest in such a venture, even if the (financial) returns from it may be minimal.
Reply
« Next Oldest | Next Newest »



Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

About Waterloo Region Connected

Launched in August 2014, Waterloo Region Connected is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. Waterloo Region Connected provides user-driven content fueled by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships - North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

              User Links