Affordable Housing Newsletter June 2023

History of Affordable Housing Project
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) is a faith-based registered charity organization comprised of volunteers, whose mission is to serve the poor with love, respect, justice and joy, and to help shape a more just and compassionate society.

The Society began in 1833 helping people with a foundational philosophy to meet with people one to one to address their needs and the needs of safe, secure and affordable housing. Today, almost 200 years later, SSVP is present in 150 countries with 800,000 volunteers and every year helps over 30 million people. We have been helping people in London for 160 years!

In response to the chronic and acute affordable housing crisis in London, the London Particular Council of the SSVP in collaboration with the Roman Catholic Diocese of London and parishioners of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish secured a parcel of land located on Huron Street at Fallons Lane. The plan is to build a 60-unit apartment building that will contain one and two bedroom and accessible units. The location is ideal with easy access to shopping, schools, transit and a community center. A thrift store is planned for the main floor of the building.

We envision that this will be the first of several affordable housing projects which will be undertaken by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in London. The SSVP owns properties on which two thrift stores are located. The Society has been involved with many affordable housing projects across Canada, and the SSVP in the United States is one of the largest affordable housing providers.

The project, like Saint Vincent de Paul, is wholly volunteer run. We have no staff costs for this project.

Goals and Mission of Project
In pursuit of our mission, we have adopted a triple aim approach focusing on strategies which through one project meets multiple objectives. Our project will address the chronic need for affordable housing in London. Secondly, it will restore dignity to the often-excluded persons with disabilities by providing 13 accessible units. Finally, our project will also conform to the London Plan, the city's blueprint for a more compact and environmentally sensitive city, by building on a site that will allow for the additional use of existing public infrastructure rather than a site that would promote urban sprawl and using the latest environmental best practices.

Our project is innovative as all units in this apartment building will, in fact, be affordable units rather than only a percentage of units being affordable, which is the case with other similar projects undertaken within the London community.
Target Groups
Our goal is to help the neediest groups, of which senior women and refugees along with the working poor have been identified, within London and the surrounding area. Approximately 80 to 100 people will benefit by receiving affordable housing with this 60-unit project which will include 13 accessible units to accommodate individuals with disabilities. We welcome all people regardless of religious affiliation.

Housing Committee Developments We will be working with our architects to build in innovative ideas to ensure tenants will have the lowest possible utility costs. Architects are currently being interviewed to be retained for the project. By the end of May, quotes were received from a select group of four architect firms in London and the final choice will be made shortly.

Meetings have been held with City Hall staff about the proposed development application, and response has been favorable. The target is for the required rezoning, site plan and severance approval to be in place by November 2023.

Fundraising Committee Developments
The Affordable Housing Committee is undertaking a Fundraising Campaign to raise the necessary funds for this affordable housing project, which will include submitting proposals for government funding, approaching major individual donors, and submitting proposals to Foundations and local organizations. Our Fundraising Committee was just recently formed in January 2023 after receiving the signed Purchase Agreement for the land in December 2022.

Recently two distinguished women have agreed to take on the roles of Honorary Co-Chairs of the Fundraising Campaign. They are Shelley Baker, who is involved with the Society of Vincent de Paul at St. Peters Cathedral Parish, and Mary Michniewicz.

Financial Information
The project has been budgeted at a total cost of $19,000,000.

Budgeted sources of revenue include:
  • Budgeted sources of revenue include:
  • $ 4,360,000
  • Mortgage:
  • $12,000,000
  • Foundations and organizations:
  • $ 2,000,000
  • Individual donors:
  • $ 640,000
    As of June 20th, we have received $272,300 in donations which includes:
    • $19,600 in individual donations, although the public campaign has not yet started.
    • $101,000 from foundations and organizations, including Westminster College Foundation, SSVP Ontario Regional Council and the Diocese of London.
    • $151,700 in pledges made over five years. Applications have been made to four other major foundations. A link has been established for online donations at CanadaHelps

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