Real Estate Developer Pitches Affordable-Housing Plan for Toronto, Vancouver
Authors: David Ebner And Frances Bula
Publisher: The Globe and Mail
Publication Date: March 14, 2018
The federal government is looking at a real estate developer’s proposal to build 50,000 units of affordable housing primarily in Toronto and Vancouver — a plan valued at as much as $14-billion that could become a big part of Ottawa’s national housing strategy.
According to a proposal submitted to Ottawa, the project would be led by the Creative Housing Society, an independent non-profit group to be based in Toronto. Creative Housing was established last fall by Ian Gillespie, a prominent Vancouver real estate developer whose firm, Westbank, is active in Toronto and Vancouver.
The founding partners of Creative Housing, according to the proposal, would be Westbank, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), Allied Properties REIT and an investor such as a pension fund. The project would be open to other investors. The plan is to leverage public money with private-sector investments.
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Westbank is a leading luxury residential and mixed-use real estate development company in Canada. It is a practice dedicated to city building and the creation of beautiful buildings. The core of Westbank’s mission is to create a body of work with a high degree of artistry that helps foster more equitable and beautiful cities. It’s not a typical real estate enterprise, rather, a practice working towards the goal of bringing seemingly disparate elements together, in an attempt to make a meaningful contribution.