Development Model in 2 Components:


(1) Community of 20-30 Homes

  • Co-housing model for an intentional community of neighbours

  • Condominium ownership of dwelling units with Tarion New Home Warranty

  • 70% home ownership at market purchase rates, plus monthly condo fees

  • 30% geared-to-income rental units owned by the church with some occupancy preference given to groups like aboriginal women, people with mental illness, refugees, people in need, or other groups the Church wishes to prioritize.

  • Church retains ownership of all land until units are sold, and acts as the developer with the help of an experienced Project Manager who would also manage financing based on pre-sales agreements

  • Church uses profit from eventual sale of land (70% of units), to fund 30% rental housing units and partly to fund other opportunities on the site

  • Housing community would compliment many other potential site uses

  • With the assistance of a Project Manager, the Church would be able to see this portion of the development through to completion at little or no cost, and without loosing charitable status


(2) Commercial/Social/Arts/Worship

  • Depending on the site location and options for tenants, the church could chose to use this portion of the site in a variety or combination of ways, allowing for overlapping of complimentary uses in some indoor and outdoor spaces. For example, some of the common space used by the co-housing members could also be rented for other uses.

  • Partial or full reuse of existing church structure if appropriate

  • Opportunities for a combination of market rate rental for commercial or office use

  • Opportunities for seed commercial, social service, social housing, arts community, or worship space tenants at lower than market rents (no land costs + no profit = lower than market rental rates)

  • Building work could be executed at a cost to the Church, but with the benefit of owning rental space for years to come. Alternatively, a purchaser for retail space could be lined up to finance this component of the project and the church would be paid for land value by receiving a smaller commercial, social, arts or worship space.

These two components could move ahead separately, they could share in the City approvals process, or they could be developed simultaneously.

We are in a unique time in the history of churches in Canada with shrinking congregations and increasing property expenses, surplus land, and the challenge to find new ways to live out faith in an ever evolving cultural context. Cohousing communities could be part of the solution for church communities who wish to develop under-utilized land to further their missions and goals. A cohousing community, within a mixed use development, would be grounding, provide continuity and a volunteer base for complimentary uses, as well as financing and momentum.