Ecovillage Wiki

Meeting re Finances – 2005-02-11

Present: John Vance, Allan Durand, Michael Hale

Topics: Financing process; Green Building; Affordability; Ownership form; Project Plan.

Financing process[]

  • Lenders will look at revenue (existing/future).
  • Pre-leasing assists in leveraging
  • Commercial mortgages are to a maximum of 65%; Residential 75% conventional, 95% high ratio (CMHC)—requires 50% sales.
  • Farm credit is available for anything farm related.
  • Increasing definition
    • Get clarity on each component
      • e.g., For wastewater, initially use the simplest, most cost effective conventional system.
    • Complete working drawings
      • basis for estimating costs
    • Describe phases and link them to achieve synergies in financing.

Green building[]

Alternative building materials are not necessarily cheaper. However, anything that is stackable or easily assemblable (e.g. concrete blocks) allows for many less-skilled workers, and can cut costs.

Other cost saving ideas:

  • Timber frame building—The Timber Frame Builders' Guild [1] will provide expertise and support for groups that wish to build timberframe structures.
  • Extruded materials—Ecrete or recycled materials recast as building materials.


An option that has been recommended is a cooperatively-owned strata property:

  • The cooperative is the developer.
  • Tie cooperative to the Strata Corporation
    • Agreement by strata members to assign shares to the cooperative.
    • The cooperative has a share on title
    • The amount of cooperative ownership can be increased to achieve greater affordability (see next section)


There are a number of options that can be built into any project to provide affordable housing options:

  • Pod house
  • Rent-to-buy option (cooperative owns units)
  • In the ownership model described above, the cooperative can own a greater share, e.g., 30% to achieve relative affordability.
  • Trailers
    • Need replacement clause
    • Can be produced very quickly
    • Attach to grow home concept
    • Approach manufacturer (e.g.Britco) to provide shell ("Habitat" concept).

Project plan[]

  • Update concept plan
  • Feasibility study – address costs in greater detail
  • Identify wastewater treatment system
  • Phasing plan
    • Financial elements
      • People ready to by
      • Estimate of costs (price point)
      • Leases/sales/rentals
      • Cost to complete
  • Leasing plan for commercial (prorate over square footage)
  • Building system (e.g., timber frame)
  • Working drawings
    • Select supervisor
    • Strong structural orientation and credentials
  • Advisors (recommendations given)
  • Tenure options
  • List of due dilligence requirements – John Vance to provide