BC-based co-op, Propolis Cooperative Housing Society purchases first property to introduce affordable and sustainable housing development in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia, April 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Propolis Cooperative Housing Society, a BC-based non-profit housing cooperative, with a mandate to build affordable and sustainable homes, has successfully acquired its first property located at 422/424 Tranquille Rd in the heart of Kamloops’ North Shore for $945,000.

The property will be turned into a non-market, 6-storey mixed-use development to house residents more equitably. It will include 50 affordable residential units, with approximately 9,300 square feet of commercial space on the ground level. The residential units will be net-zero (using only as much energy as they produce from renewable sources) and incorporate universal design. All residential units will operate as non-profit cooperative housing and are targeted to be priced at 80% of CMHC’s median market rents in Kamloops.

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To acquire the property, Propolis secured a combination of financing from community bonds as well as impact and investment funds. This includes $576,300 in Propolis Bonds of its total target to raise $1.1M. The co-op is continuing to raise the remaining $523,700 to support loan refinancing through its community bond campaign.

Community bonds generate both a social and financial return for investors, and so, Propolis is inviting everyone from everyday Kamloops residents to businesses, organizations and foundations across Canada to get involved. Investment minimums are as low as $1,000, with interest rates up to 3.5 per cent. The additional social funding will support the repayment of two short-term loans Propolis secured from Thrive Impact Fund and Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund of $270,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Commenting on the project and community support, Lindsay Harris, President of Propolis, says “It is humbling to see the rally from community members to support development of more affordable and sustainable spaces in BC. We are so thankful to our +70 community bond investors who’ve gotten involved to finance our property acquisition. Their contributions have enabled us to unlock further capital from impact and investment funds, allowing us to make this timely purchase. By nature of a cooperative, we’ll be able to keep rents below market rates for 100% of our units and build a sense of community at a time when residents are being priced out of their homes.”

Community Bond investor Nancy Flood said: “I’m delighted that Propolis has reached this landmark in its development and am very proud to have played even a very small role as an investor. I admire so much about this project: its goal of providing affordable, sustainably designed housing, and the financial acumen of its leaders. I think that the Propolis Cooperative Housing Society provides a model for what can be done in this and other cities.”

With the property secured, Propolis will now move into the next phase that includes project design led by Nexbuild Construction, and obtaining a development permit. Nexbuild is a dedicated and innovative commercial and residential builder committed to reducing environmental impact by conserving energy, materials and resources. By virtue, the co-op will provide sustainable, long-lasting eco-friendly housing options that everyone can afford. Propolis is aiming for occupancy of their first building by late 2026.

Earlier in April 2023, The City of Kamloops approved a significant contribution towards Propolis’ project. The Kamloops City Council supported the sale and lane closure of an unused portion of Hilltop Ave located directly behind 422/424 Tranquille Rd. This extended the area available for the affordable housing units. Propolis is purchasing the parcel for $1 in exchange for an agreement to operate affordable cooperative housing on the site.

Propolis’ bond campaign is executed in partnership with Tapestry Community Capital, a leader in the community investment and social finance space in Canada. Tapestry has helped administer over $100+ million from 4,000+ community investors for a multitude of non-profit and cooperative projects. For more information about Propolis Bonds, please visit www.propoliscooperative.com/bond-campaign.

About Propolis
Propolis Cooperative Housing Society is a new non-profit housing cooperative organization with a mandate to develop affordable, sustainable, net-zero housing in Kamloops. Propolis incorporated in November 2020 under the BC Cooperative Association Act. The long-term plan of the cooperative is to build a network of affordable net-zero multi-family buildings in Kamloops over the next several decades.

About Propolis Bonds
Propolis Bonds is Propolis’ official capital campaign to raise $1.1 million to purchase its first property for affordable, sustainable housing through community bonds. For more information on our campaign, goals and projects, please visit www.propoliscooperative.com/bond-campaign.

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