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Kindred Credit Union: Affordable housing GIC to fund local housing projects


12 October 2023

Kindred’s Affordable Housing GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) is a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle that provides both financial and social benefits to investors and the community by addressing the pressing issue of safe and affordable housing.

Safe and affordable housing has been a growing concern in the Waterloo Region for a number of years, and is one of the focus themes of Kindred Credit Union’s Community Inspiration Framework. This region is a metropolitan area in southwestern Ontario, Canada, with a population of 587,165 (and growing) according to the 2021 Canadian Census.

The demand for affordable community housing, as measured by the waitlist, continues to rise. In 2022, 42.3% of renter households in the Waterloo Region were paying more than 30% of their income on rent, which is considered the point in Canada at which housing is unaffordable.

In response to the need for affordable housing, Kindred Credit Union partnered with the Waterloo Region Community Foundation (WRCF) and launched the Affordable Housing GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) and Loan product in October 2022For investors, this unique GIC offers an opportunity to earn a competitive rate while supporting lending for organisations facilitating long-term, owned or rented, permanent affordable housing projects for residents in the Waterloo Region.

Ian Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Kindred:

 “We’ve been honoured to partner with WRCF to deliver this unique investment product that has a strong connection to Kindred’s purpose and values. We have a commitment to inspire peaceful, just, and prosperous communities, and we believe this partnership is an innovative way to fund affordable housing developers in providing more long-term, permanent affordable housing in Waterloo Region. Plus, it continues to provide a way for members to participate in addressing an important social issue and connect their values with their finances.” 


Uptake and Impact  

Since its inception, the value of Affordable Housing GIC deposits has grown to USD 5.34 million with 75 investors. This first-of-its-kind investment vehicle provides both financial and social benefits to investors and the community by addressing the pressing issue of safe and affordable housing. In less than a year of availability, the product’s impact has already made a positive difference.

The first project funded included 30 apartment units, along with commercial space, social service support, and a commercial kitchen for community use. More recently, another project focused specifically on older adults. This involved the transformation of a building that will be designated solely for housing adults age 60+ from Waterloo Region’s waitlist for those experiencing chronic homelessness.

This strategic partnership has responded to the needs of the local community and addressed a social problem. WRCF conceptualised the investment idea, while Kindred provided the financial and technical expertise needed to develop and market a GIC and a loan linked to affordable housing.

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