Toronto charity reveals financial struggles

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Not everyone is happy with that

An organisation which works to buy, renovate and resell affordable downtown Toronto properties has posted its first financial report.

The city of Toronto and Humber College have sold the properties, along with land and a 1.2-acre site, to WE Charity Inc for $36 million.

WE Charity says it plans to reuse the properties and re-purpose it into affordable housing.

In the report, WE Charity admits that its dealings with Toronto, as well as a number of other Toronto landlords, have been “challenging”.

In the past year, WE Charity’s banks and investors have incurred $13.5m worth of losses through “unexpected operational inefficiencies and market developments”.

The report adds that the charity is actively exploring other options to improve its finances.

We Charity has “no borrowing facility or access to capital markets”, says the report.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption We Charity describes the downtown Toronto properties as ‘severely depreciated’

In 2015, WE Charity merged with WE Inc., a not-for-profit which invests in disadvantaged inner-city Toronto properties.

Humber College had agreed to sell its 10-storey downtown Toronto property to WE Charity in 2016.

WE Charity also aims to acquire a piece of land near the Union Station railway terminal to develop a five-storey affordable rental building for low-income seniors and others, and 6.75 acres of land to build at least 250 residential units.

WE Charity says it is in discussions with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) about its proposal for the Union Station property.

Good to know

WE Charity Inc: We are dedicated to improving the lives of young adults, 20-30 years old, through affordable housing, community development, youth mental health programs and arts, culture and media development. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation based in Toronto, Ontario. We use our expertise to partner with government agencies to work on projects and projects generate an impact across our mission – doing good with good.

Humber College: Humber College works to provide a high quality, accessible and affordable education for students on Ontario’s East Side. Humber College is a not-for-profit organization. We work collaboratively with our partners to improve student retention rates and lower student costs. We also focus on how we impact our communities. We connect students to accessible and affordable housing, establish co-operative housing at Humber College, support local entrepreneurship and tackle homelessness through our partnerships with Home Depot and MaRS Discovery District. We maintain our commitment to providing academic learning opportunities and giving our students opportunities to experience outdoor space.

Social Housing Corporation: To end the cycle of poverty, Humber Housing Corporation works with housing providers, public and non-profit organizations, public housing authorities and residents to address social housing challenges and create more affordable housing units. Humber Housing Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation. We are working in partnership with governments, partners and housing providers in an effort to end the cycle of poverty, increase affordable housing and reduce homelessness.

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