Our Approach

Not-for-profit, Cooperative, and Indigenous organizations have a vital role in providing secure and sustainable affordable housing for low to moderate income individuals and families. Despite having significant potential to increase housing through the acquisition, development or redevelopment of their aging buildings or underutilized land, these organizations often face barriers, such as a lack of early funding, that may prevent or delay their projects from moving forwards.  The Vancity Affordable Housing Accelerator Fund helps organizations overcome these barriers by providing grants and financing for the early-phases of a development project to help them become construction ready and accelerate to completion.  

Full Support

We offer a comprehensive suite of supports to accelerate the development of community-owned affordable rental housing for low to moderate-income individuals and families.

-Grants and technical support for vision and concept development, feasibility assessments and business planning.

-Capacity building grants to help organizations undertake pro-active affordable housing development.

-Flexible, nimble and low-cost loans to support pre-construction costs for affordable housing development.

Affordability

We focus on mixed-income projects that deliver homes to renters who are currently excluded from the real estate market and are facing housing insecurity.  We aim to support projects that will provide rental homes for households with low-to-moderate incomes, ensuring they pay no more than 30% of their gross income on housing costs.

Climate Ready

Projects will ideally pursue step 3 of the BC Energy step Code or greater, provide at least 10% accessible units, and have adequate access to public transit.  At a minimum, the design should include a 25% decrease in energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions outlined in the requirements of the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) or the 2015 National Building Code (NBC) (“basecase”), or a 15% decrease relative to the 2017 National Energy Code for Buildings.

Community Ownership

Our objective is to preserve and increase the amount of land, buildings, and rental homes owned by the community to maintain affordable housing for current and future generations. We do this by exclusively supporting not-for-profit organizations, co-operatives, and Indigenous organizations undertaking affordable housing development.

Local Impact Investment

We offer an impact investment opportunity for individual and institutional investors – including Foundations, other Credit Unions and Businesses – who want to use their capital to address local affordable housing needs while generating a fair financial return.

Nimble & Flexible Capital

The Vancity Affordable Housing Accelerator Fund helps organizations advance their project to construction and completion by providing affordable loans during the early phases of a development project – the acquisition and pre-construction phases.  Organizations can use these loans to move onto the next stage of development faster and to gain access to other forms of capital, such as construction and take-out financing.

By being flexible and responsive, our loans can help projects get off the ground faster and contribute to greater project financial viability.