The Greater Toronto Area, much like many parts of Canada, is facing a pressing shortage of affordable housing. Governments are collaborating with public, private, and non-profit sectors to tackle this issue. However, despite their potential, non-profit organizations have not been given the chance to lead effective strategies in addressing the housing crisis.


One major challenge faced by non-profit developers, despite their experience, is the lack of upfront equity needed for essential start-up stages like design, community engagement, and numerous planning approval requirements. This contrasts with private developers who have easier access to private investor equity/capital and pre-sale dollars in the case of condominiums.


A solution to help non-profit housing providers build more affordable homes


To bridge this gap, WoodGreen, with the support of a $1 million TD Ready Challenge Grant, is launching an Affordable Housing Equity Jenga-Fund. This revolving startup bridge financing initiative aims to provide loans and equity to non-profits, empowering them to lead partnerships with private developers and lenders. The fund, named after the Swahili term for “building together,” will enable non-profits to develop much-needed affordable housing at scale.



The Jenga-Fund is envisioned ideally as a combination of government guarantees, incentives in the form of land and grants, and a mix of public and private patient/impact investors resources.


The fund will enable non-profit, public and private housing sectors to build together


The goal is to foster collaboration among all stakeholders in the housing ecosystem, leading to faster and more cost-effective affordable housing development. Through partnerships between non-profits, private developers, builders and various industry players, the fund aims to create a platform to optimize government funding and incentives, available developer expertise, private & impact financial funds, and utilize building innovations to get more housing built now.



Ultimately, the Affordable Housing Equity Jenga-Fund is designed to provide upfront funding to kickstart projects quickly, with the goal of exiting once long-term financing is secured. The intent is to enable faster recycling of equity dollars, thereby speeding and scaling up new affordable housing development. With the support of key stakeholders and partners, the initiative aims to create an affordable housing development ecosystem/sub-industry with the necessary economies of scale, risk mitigation, integrated delivery, and a financially viable development pipeline.

For more information, please contact

Mwarigha, Vice President, Housing Growth & Asset Sustainability

[email protected]