The Atkinson Foundation is among the first to commit to investing in a historic partnership between the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) and the Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) to defend affordable rental housing for residents of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood.
Alongside four other investors, $4-million has been committed to the Preserve and Protect Program. This will provide the capital required to swiftly purchase rental buildings that are at risk of being lost to private market real estate forces.
According to Joshua Barndt, Executive Director of PNLT, over the past decade, Parkdale has lost 28 rooming houses to gentrification and renovictions, displacing hundreds of renters – many of whom have now been pushed into homelessness – and disproportionately impacting Black and Indigenous communities, communities of colour and working class residents.
The Atkinson Foundation’s commitment to the residents of Parkdale goes back to our first grant to the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre in 1982. How community members and local organizations there look out for each other and share resources sets a powerful example – and this new partnership is no exception. It furthers Atkinson’s existing grantmaking and anchor institution work in Parkdale, and locks-in local community organizing wins by ensuring current residents can securely remain.
Learn more about the Preserve and Protect Program here.
Photo: PNLT board and community members celebrate the NLT’s first acquisition in 2019. Courtesy of Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust.