Minto’s Approach to More Affordable and Attainable Housing

LIVE Minto | 2024-06-03

The idea of having a place to call your own is more than just a financial milestone; it’s a cherished dream for many. But with rising costs and population growth exceeding new housing supply, finding affordable and adequate housing has become more and more challenging.

Minto, we recognize the significance of owning or renting a home and the barriers that often stand in the way. That’s why we’re dedicated to supporting various initiatives aimed at making this dream a reality for as many people as

possible. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the programs and strategies we’ve implemented to help make housing more affordable and attainable. From recent product updates to exciting new investment opportunities, we’ll share how we’re committed to offering innovative housing options and fostering vibrant, inclusive communities.

Partnering with Government to Create Affordable Rentals for Seniors

With population growth exceeding new housing supply in Canada, finding affordable and adequate housing — particularly for seniors — has become a challenge. For many years, Minto has looked for opportunities to address this situation. 
One example of this commitment is with our Richgrove Village development in Toronto. This development began as a collaboration with the municipality, resulting in the development of 139 affordable seniors’ rental units. It was made possible with city funding, an exemption from development charges and property taxes for the affordable units, and a reduction in parking requirements. In 2023, this program will include 235 additional rental homes as part of federal investment in the Rental Construction Financing Initiative — one of the National Housing Strategy programs tackling the housing supply shortage in Canada.
Richgrove Village is proof that affordable housing is not only possible, but it can also be extremely liveable. The property is designed to build a strong sense of community and belonging among its residents, with ample common spaces to promote mingling between seniors and the diverse single and family demographics that live there. It also features many indoor and outdoor amenities such as a media lounge for socializing, a fitness studio, laundry room, pet wash, a community BBQ, and more.
Upon completion of all phases of the Richgrove project in 2026, the community will consist of 808 suites made up of 88 condo town homes, 239 affordable rental suites, and 481 market rental suites.
Investing in Affordable Housing Developments in the Greater Vancouver Area
Minto currently has interests in seven developments in Greater Vancouver (including Victoria), two of which are located in the Cambie Corridor. Four of these developments (totaling ~900 units and gross investment of ~$750M) will have 20% of the units operating as affordable (as defined by the City of Vancouver). 
Meeting the Needs of Affordability with Innovative Product Design
At Minto, we know the real estate landscape is continually changing, and with that, so are the needs of home buyers. In recent years, we’ve witnessed a shift in what buyers are looking for in a home and it’s been our mission to ensure we’re staying ahead of the curve and adapting to these evolving demands.
Here are some of the recent product updates we’ve made to reflect what we’re seeing in the market and to ensure we’re meeting the needs of today’s homebuyers:
In Toronto, we recently launched a collection of urban townhomes at Westshore featuring an exciting new concept called hybrid stacked towns. Westshore units range from 472 square feet for a one-bedroom flat to 1,282 square feet for a three-bedroom townhome, including some upper-level suites offering a separate main floor bedroom and private bathroom to support multigenerational families and those using mobility devices.
In addition, Union Village in Markham was developed with numerous multi-generation options with ground floor and third floor guest suites, in-law suites, and elevator options for aging in place. Similarly, Park & Main, features additional interior 3 bedroom options on back-to-back towns and an additional bedroom and elevator option on the traditional towns.
In Ottawa, we recently made a return to Stittsville with Abbott’s Run, a new development featuring a brand new six bedroom townhome product. The team also redesigned layouts to include a four bedroom interior unit with the option of having a bedroom and bathroom in part of the basement, instead of a finished rec room space. This means both end units and interior units could have up to five bedrooms adding even more flexibility for multigenerational families at a lower price point.
The goal is to afford housing options for a variety of people, from singles, couples, and families with children, to seniors and multigenerational families.
Matthew Brown
Director of Product Development, Minto Communities Canada

Three-Storey Singles

Another big change to Minto’s product design for the Ottawa market is our three-storey singles. Drawing inspiration from our urban towns, these singles serve as a stepping stone for homeowners who want to move up from a townhome to a single detached home.
The three-storey singles, the Astoria and the Brighton, feature an oversized garage with room for side-by-side parking on the driveway, a ground-floor family room, a main living area on the second floor, and bedrooms and laundry on the third floor. There are three floor plans available — two with a three bedroom option and one with four.
Providing Discounts on Homes for Public Servants in Westlake, Florida

‘Welcome Heroes’ Program
In early 2020, Minto communities USA extended its “Welcome Heroes” program, a special discount made available to working teachers, police officers, firefighters, military, healthcare, and government workers. 
Public servants who bought a new Minto-built home in the Westlake community received a 3% discount off the base purchase price, with more than half of buyers taking advantage of the program, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively.