Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Top 5 Tips for Downsizing

Whether it’s because the kids have all moved-out, or you’re preparing for retirement, we know moving from a larger home with lots of stuff into a condo can be tricky. However, for many people, one of the advantages of condo-living is it provides the opportunity to streamline your space and live a more organized life. Knowing this is one thing, actually doing it may seem daunting.

Don’t worry, Options for Homes has got you covered - here's how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

5 simple steps to make downsizing easier:

1.    Carefully consider your new space

Not only are you entering a new physical space, but you’re coming into a new mental space as well. If you are simply too overwhelmed at the time of your move to make hundreds of small decisions, just make one: rent a storage unit for 6 months to keep things you’re just not sure about. This gives you time to emotionally detach from items so that you can give careful consideration to what you want, and what you’ve found you don’t need. Access Storage has facilities near every new Options development. Mention Options and you will get a 10% discount at Access Storage. Contact reception@optionsforhomes.ca for more details.

2.    Start packing early

Start packing up one room at a time, and give yourself the time to go through all your things. Remember that you’re not only downsizing, but also trying to simplify your life.

3.    Be decisive

For starters, if you haven’t used something in over a year, it’s time for that item to find a new home. Also, look for items that serve the same function. Did you know that the kitchen is the room where we tend to have the most overlap? You probably have multiples of the same exact utensils. Why keep so many? Choose. Be decisive about what stays and what goes.

4.    Recycle wisely

Now that you’ve decided what you really want, what should you do with what you won’t be keeping? You can certainly sell what you don’t need at a garage sale, or you can donate your items to a worthwhile charity or non-profit! Here’s a list to help you choose an organization:

-          Canadian Diabetes Association has been around since 1985, and leads the fight against diabetes through prevention and awareness, helping those affected by diabetes, and by increasing research funding for a cure. One hundred per cent of the proceeds raised by Clotheslines goes towards supporting the Canadian Diabetes Association with diabetes research, education and advocacy. Clothing, footwear, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, toys books and household items can be donated to them. To arrange a free pickup, call 1-800-505-5525 or visit http://www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/clothesline

-          Children’s Book Bank  provides free books and literacy support to children in low-income neighbourhoods in the Toronto area. Children’s books for newborns up to age 12 can be donated and dropped off at 350 Berkeley Street, near Gerrard Street East.

-          Furniture Bank  helps transform empty spaces into homes and provides furniture to families in need. To get a pickup quote, visit http://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-pickup-request/ or call 416-934-1229 Ext. 2.

-          New Circles is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing clothing and skill building opportunities to individuals. Clean, gently worn clothing can be donated at 161 Bartley Drive or call 416-422-2591.

-          Oasis Clothing Bank is a non-profit that helps individuals that are on the road to recovery and accepts gently used clothing and houseware items. To find the closest location near you, visit http://www.clothingbank.ca/fnsec_locations.inc.

-          Pegasus Thrift Store is dedicated to supporting adults with developmental disabilities and autism. Clothing, jewelry, antiques, books and household items are accepted. To donate, please contact info@pegasustoronto.ca or visit their store located at 931 Kingston Road.

5.    Be selective

Once you’ve settled into your condo, be mindful of what you continue to bring into your new space. You want to break the habit of bringing things home just for the sake of having things. Why add clutter to your space and life? If you don’t have the space to store large quantities of products, first, limit how much you buy. Secondly, you can join a lending library where you can share everything from tools to musical instruments. Also, there are many great blogs and books about living minimally. One that we personally like is: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.

Try any of these tips and we’re sure it’ll make you love your new clutter-free condo even more!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A $1238 bottle of ketchup delights Cranbrooke owners at Options BBQ

Did you know that Options returns a portion of the construction surplus back to their purchasers in the form of a rebate cheque? What other developer does that? This past Saturday, July 16th, owners at our Cranbrooke Village condo development attended a Rooftop BBQ where they were surprised with a rebate cheque, totalling, on average $1,278.

Options staff members welcomed guest to a beautiful rooftop terrace (which overlooked the Toronto skyline) and were handed a ketchup or mustard bottle and told to open them. Instead of finding condiment inside to accompany their burgers and hot dogs, they found their cheque!

We want to thank everyone that came to the Cranbrooke Village Rooftop BBQ and those on the board who helped to organize the event. We also want to thank Councillor Josh Colle for his ongoing support through every phase of development.

From left to right: Councillor Josh Colle; Options founder MIke Labbe; Options CEO Heather Tremain
Fun was had by all and according to Cranbrooke homeowner Karen Wallace, "The social gatherings are my favourite moments with Options. It's a great place to live and today was such a nice surprise to catch up with neighbours and receive our rebate cheques."

If you're already an Options owner, don't forget to tell your friends about us for a chance to receive a $200 referral bonus. If you're not already a purchaser - what are you waiting for?!

For more information, visit OptionsforHomes.ca or call us at 416-867-1501.

To view the rest of the photos from the Cranbrooke Rooftop BBQ, please visit our Facebook album here.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Options Nominated for a NOW 2016 Readers' Choice Award

Creating communities, getting people into affordable home ownership and developing the best condos for our purchasers are things that we are passionate about; when we found out that Options for Homes was nominated by Now Toronto Magazine readers for the 2016 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Condo Developer, we were thrilled! 

This is a tremendous honour for all Options staff, partners, purchasers and friends of the Options model. Did you know that NOW has received over 20,000 nominations in 180 categories this year and Options is among the top 9 in our category?

We want to thank everyone who nominated us in this category. But we need your votes! Let’s show NOW Magazine readers that we ARE the best condo developer in Toronto and that affordable home ownership IS possible in this city! The deadline to vote is Friday, September 16th.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Homeowner Profile: Cheryl

Parents always want more for their children, so when Cheryl and her husband had the opportunity to settle in Canada, they applied for immigration papers.

With her husband working in the Oil and Gas industry, Cheryl and her family had moved around quite a bit from India and lived in the Middle East. They had even spent time in Southeast Asia before settling in Toronto.

Moving to Canada was an exciting new chapter for Cheryl, but it was difficult. Not having any Canadian experience made it challenging to find a job. To top it off, they were unable to purchase their own home because they did not have any history with any Canadian banks. Cheryl wanted to improve the lives of her family and decided to go back to school to secure better employment opportunities.

Just when things appeared to be getting better, the worst happened. Cheryl’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away suddenly. She never imagined that the very first piece of property that she would purchase in Canada would be at the cemetery. But like every storm, the sun eventually comes out and Cheryl first caught a glimpse of it when she saw an advertisement for Options for Homes on the subway. She decided to call and inquire if she was really able to become a homeowner on a moderate income with two young children.

Cheryl is now enjoying the security of home ownership, along with an amazing view at the beautiful Cranbrooke Village condominium, located at Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue West. Her dream came true, as it has for many people, thanks to Options for Homes’ unique model, which provides down payment assistance in addition to offering the lowest priced condos in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

How does Options for Homes do it?
Options offers purchasers a loan as a boost to their down payment based on the value of their condo (normally taken by developers as a profit). This Options Contribution reduces the amount for which a purchaser needs to secure a mortgage from a traditional lender. The Options Contribution is also payment-free as long as they live in their home. In this way, Options has been able to help over 2,500 individuals and families across the GTA over the past 21 years, securing cost-effective condos without any ongoing government support and no minimum income restrictions on ownership. Options communities therefore are a healthy mix of people from all walks of life with a broad range of incomes. The key ingredient to the success of their condominium communities is that 90% or more of Options units are owner-occupied which means that the community enjoys the benefits of superior civic engagement and pride of ownership.

What is an Affordable Condominium?
It’s a high quality condominium that simply does not include pricey amenities like pools and gyms. It’s also a condo that is sold without expensive marketing campaigns that often add over $15,000 to the price of the unit. By including things like solar hot water heating and a car-sharing program in every development, Options also ensures that the carrying costs are among the lowest in the city.

Why support the home ownership dream?

Options believes that access to home ownership helps address the larger issue of income inequality in Canada – a growing problem in our society. Additionally, home ownership provides a stable base from which to raise a family, find and keep work and achieve educational goals. Homeownership also creates better community engagement and preservation of wealth through the maintenance of personal and public investments and also helps families move themselves from multi-generational dependency on social housing.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Jasper Condos: Live. Work. Play.

When you’re looking into purchasing your own home, there are a number of questions you ask yourself. Can I afford it? Where is it located? Is it close to public transit? How will I get to work? Are there parks and restaurants nearby?

Providing affordable home ownership opportunities near public transit is important to us. While commuters depend on the GO train to travel to downtown Toronto and Mississauga, the station’s lot is often at over capacity given the demand for parking. The solution to finding affordable housing and relief to your parking woes might be Jasper Condos in Milton.

Live. Milton is one of Canada’s fastest growing communities. Located in the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, Jasper Condos is a new 11-story development that makes affordable home ownership possible for first-time home buyers. Being located so close to the GO station, you can enjoy its small town charm, while having easy access to Toronto and Mississauga. You’ll also have access to a wide range of cultural spaces, conservation parks and other recreational spaces.

Work. Since Jasper Condos is walking distance to the Milton GO station, you’re able to enjoy a bit more sleep, instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and beat the morning rush of drivers, all fighting for a parking spot. You also don’t have to worry about the traffic on the way home and can get home sooner for dinner.

Play. Hike the Bruce Trail, a renowned 885 km trail that passes through central and southern Ontario or enjoy conservation areas such as Crawford Lake and Mount Nemo. Milton also provides facilities such as the Sports Centre, Leisure Centre, Milton Centre for the Arts and the Milton Room Showcase art gallery. Other local amenities include a golf course and shops and restaurants on Main Street.

For more information about Jasper Condos, visit: http://optionsforhomes.ca/milton/.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Location and affordability: the best of both worlds

When people talk about purchasing their own home, one thing that you often hear is location, location, location! The second thing is affordability. That certainly was the case when firefighter and Options purchaser Jason Arias (who was recently featured in the Globe and Mail – read the full article here) was looking into buying a condo that he could afford, but was also close to his daughter Emese’s school.


With only $30,000 saved for his down payment, Jason had his doubts about becoming a homeowner. It seemed like it wasn’t possible, but thanks to the $42,000 Options down payment support (something that he doesn’t have to pay back until he sells his home), his dream became a reality! Jason is now a proud owner of a two-bedroom unit at a building called Cranbrooke Village, which is conveniently located near his daughter’s school.

It’s been exciting being part of Jason’s home ownership journey! There is often a misconception that affordable housing means government subsidized housing. That is not the case. Jason has enjoyed decorating and designing his home. Everything from the flooring to the furnishing has a touch of his personality.

Other cities such as Vancouver have been inspired by Options’ Affordable Housing Model and is using a similar model as a solution to their struggles with housing affordability. To read the entire article about Jason, click here.

If you’re curious about home ownership and want to know more, register for the next free info session here: http://optionsforhomes.ca/register

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Open House THIS Saturday: Prizes, Treats and a SIGNING BONUS!

Join Options for Homes for a special Open House at the Jasper Condos Sales Office in the beautiful Niagara Escarpment community of Milton.  

Located on Main Street near Thompson Road, Jasper Condos is a new 116-suite condo community to be built next door to the Milton GO station. With the convenience of being five minutes from the shops and restaurants that line Main, as well as being easily accessible to the 401, 407 and the Bruce Trail, this location is ideal for both work and play.

On June 11, The Move 93.5FM will be broadcasting live and offering prizes to be won. In addition to cake and refreshments, the first 10 purchasers will win a Presto Card worth 6 months of FREE GO travel (estimated at one round-trip from Milton to Toronto, 5 days per week for 6 months).

Date:                     Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time:                    12PM (Noon) - 5:30PM
Location:             1234 Main Street East, Milton

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Construction has started at Danforth Village Estates!

This past Saturday, future homeowners and Options partners and staff gathered at Knob Hill Park in Scarborough to fly kites, picnic, and celebrate the start of construction at Danforth Village Estates.

Danforth Village Estates Purchasers and Options Partners celebrate construction start!  See more photos on Facebook

Future homeowners were welcomed to the event by their soon-to-be Councillor, Deputy Mayor Glenn de Baeremaeker, as well as heard speeches from Options CEO Heather Tremain, and their Development Co-op Board: President Christine Swiderski, Vice President Rita Monsma, Treasurer Ricardo Cummings, and Secretary Diahann Mahon.

From left to right: Councillor Glenn de Baeremaeker; Board Secretary, Diahann Mahon; Options for Homes CEO, Heather Tremain; Board Treasurer, Ricardo Cummings; Board President, Christine Swiderski.

Following the formal address, food, kite-building, and out-side-of-the-fence construction site tours ensued!

It was a beautiful day, and a great time was had by all.  Congratulations to all the future homeowners at Danforth Village Estates!

Now over 85% sold, Danforth Village Estates will be a new 250-suite condo community near Danforth Road and Eglinton Avenue East.  For information on remaining suites, join us for the next FREE Info Session!  Register at www.optionsforhomes.ca

Friday, 27 May 2016

The 4 common myths that are hurting housing affordability

Raveena, a single mother of one, makes $55,000 a year doing administrative work at a law firm. The rent for her 2-bedroom apartment, which is just steps from the Bloor TTC subway line, is $2,100. While she is eligible for Toronto Community Housing, she has been on the waitlist for 5 years. She thinks home ownership is an unattainable dream, especially with her childcare costs.

In reality, she could be taking advantage of Toronto's Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) and the efforts of non-profit condo developers to access up to $80,000 in down payment support. With that, she could comfortably carry a mortgage of $147, 316 and move into a brand new 1-bedroom + den condo home this year and start building equity.

The greatest hurdle isn't the finances, it's her mindset about what constitutes a "home". But while she saves for a townhouse or semi-detached home, the rising real estate market is outpacing her ability to save.

Many people think condos are geared towards young urban professionals, but here we try to dispel some myths around condo living and show that condos and families do indeed mix.

1. A condo is no place to raise kids. FACT: A vibrant and diverse city like Toronto is an excellent place to raise children, and condo living is the norm in cities like New York, London, Paris and Tokyo where the definition of a good home includes the greater community and access to amenities. Toronto's world famous parks, ravines, community skating rinks, swimming pools as well as culturally diverse community attractions and schools beat the backyard experience every time.

2. Too many condos. FACT: The average density of great Western cities in the world is 10,848 people per sq. km. Toronto is 2,650/sq. km. In her "Unapologetically Urban" presentation at the Canadian Urban Institute, Toronto's Chief City Planner, Jennifer Keesmat affirmed her commitment to density as one of the targets, along with better transportation and preserving the city's green canopy. Condominiums in up-and-coming areas of the city will continue to be an excellent investment.

3. Even a condo is no longer affordable. FACT: Doing away with costly amenities (such as the fitness room no one uses) and million-dollar marketing campaigns, as well as working with newer, more efficient smart-designs, not-for-profit developers such as Options for Homes can bring costs down. This way, we are able to offer condos under $195,000 in the GTA. This means less carrying costs (including mortgage and maintenance fees) as low as $1,094 per month - less than the cost of many 1-bedroom apartments.

4. "Affordable Homes" means government subsidized housing. FACT: The first 3 condos built in the Distillery District were affordable homes. Some were purchased by people who needed a down payment boost, others were purchased by double income households who could afford to live anywhere but saw the tremendous potential of the area. Twenty years later, these condos are still attractive and valuable homes. Options for Homes continues to create successful mixed income communities enjoyed by seniors and singles alike, in a mix of professions from teachers to firefighters.

The government can play a role in supporting affordable home ownership in their municipalities. Adding it to the housing mix alongside with other housing initiatives such as those that are geared to income rental can go a long way in making the city accessible to all. Also, by making land available for purchase to non-profit developers, all governments - from municipalities to provinces to the federal government - can help alleviate affordable housing pressure without direct government funding. Affordable home ownership is a way to leverage all the tools available in the private, public and non-profit sectors to help create vibrant, equitable communities that will help bridge the housing gap as quickly as possible.

As Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain contends, "Toronto is home to all levels of income earners, so it goes without saying that everyone who works to make this a great city should also be able to live here."

With the majority of units bought by families whose average income is $53,000, we are able to help Torontonians realize the dream of home ownership in a vibrant community.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Danforth Village Estates Ground Breaking Photos

On Monday, March 21st we celebrated the Ground Breaking of Danforth Village Estates at Toronto City Hall.  Many of our political, business, and media partners come out to celebrate with us and to put shovels in a big construction cake!  Thank you to all of our guests for joining us.  See photos from the day below.

Affordable Housing Champion and Councillor Ana Bailão addressing the crowd

Breaking "ground"! This wonderful cake represented the construction site at Danforth Village Estates. Cake by: Cake Glam 

From left to right: Deputy Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker representing Central Scarborough where Danforth Village Estates is to be built, Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain, Councillor David Shiner (politician), future homeowner Rabiah B., Affordable Housing Champion Councillor Ana Bailão, Councillor Frances Nunziata

From left to right: Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain; Deputy Mayor Glenn de Baeremaeker; Councillor David Shiner; future homeowner Rabiah B.; Affordable Housing Champion Councillor Ana Bailao; Senior Project Manager at Tridel Mario Cimicata representing the builders of Danforth Village Estates, Deltera; Councillor Frances Nunziata

From left to right: Heintzman Co-op Board President Christine Swiderski, Board member Rita Monsma, Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain

Deputy Mayor Glenn de Baeremaeker addresses the crowd

From left to right: Options for Homes Marketing Co-ordinator Jessica Speziale, CEO Heather Tremain, and Director of Sales and Marketing Mary Pattison

The Options Team and Home Ownership Alternatives' CEO Jens Lohmueller (standing, far right)

For more information and to register for our next free info session to learn how you can become a homeowner at Danforth Village Estates, visit optionsforhomes.ca.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Danforth Village Estates mentioned in Toronto Star article

Thank you to Jennifer Pagliaro and the Toronto Star for coming to the Danforth Village Estates Ground Breaking Ceremony at City Hall yesterday.

Pugliaro mentions Options and the event in her piece anticipating today's federal budget announcement.  Read the full article here:


Monday, 21 March 2016

Affordable home ownership in Toronto breaks ground to create new community

Shovels in the ground part of Options for Homes push to build 525 affordable units in Toronto over the next two years

TORONTO, March 21, 2016 – Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain and Toronto's Housing Advocate, Councillor Ana Bailão, joined future affordable housing owners at Toronto City Hall today to celebrate the ground breaking of Danforth Village Estates, a new affordable home ownership development in Scarborough.

On Danforth Road just north of Eglinton Avenue East, the shovels are going into the ground as work moves into construction stage on 250 suites of affordable ownership housing. Another example from developer Options for Homes proving that homeownership for low-to-moderate income families is within reach in Toronto.

The development, close to the TTC, shops, restaurants, public schools and overlooking a large park featuring walking trails and basketball courts, is made possible through Options for Homes, Canada’s largest non-profit delivery agent of affordable home ownership. With prices that started at $146,000, the Danforth Village Estates show that - with the support of a proven non-profit business model - the option to owning a home could be a consideration for many low-to-mid income earners. The Danforth Village Estates will be built to the high quality standards for which Deltera, Tridel’s construction arm, is known.

“Toronto is home to all levels of income earners,” explains Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain. “So it goes without saying that everyone who works to make this a great city should also be able to live here as well. With the majority of units bought by families whose average income is $ 53,000, we are able to help Torontonians realize the dream of homeownership in a vibrant community.”

A $4 million investment from the City of Toronto's Home Ownership Assistance Program helped make the homes even more affordable. HOAP delivers funding to non-profit housing providers to reduce their up-front construction costs. The funds help pay the cost of city development charges, building permits and planning fees.

"Options for Homes is an important partner in our work to provide more affordable housing opportunities to residents," said Toronto's Housing Advocate, Councillor Ana Bailão. "I am proud that City Council has invested $4 million to make these homes more affordable."

The estimated monthly carrying costs for Danforth Village Estate units with a 25 year mortgage started at $1,166 (includes taxes and maintenance fees). The fact that 88% of the units are already sold shows a strong market need for this type of housing option. Occupancy will begin summer 2017.
Options for Homes is starting construction on delivering 525 units of affordable home ownership at two developments in Scarborough (Danforth Village Estates) and East York (The Village by Main Station). These projects come on top of a robust pipeline of 1390 units already planned to be built.

For example, a new project at Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue is also set to launch in 2016. Shortly thereafter, sales will begin at a downtown site with the aim of delivering affordable homes to an additional 300 families and individuals.

3-D Rendition of Danforth Village Estates

About Options for Homes
Options for Homes is Canada’s largest non-profit delivery agent of affordable home ownership. Now in its 21st year, Options creates ownership opportunities for households with incomes as low as $30,000 per year by providing purchasers with down payment assistance. Since the first development in Toronto’s Distillery District, Options and its affiliates have created homes for over 6,500 households using a unique housing model. Options for Homes is about to break ground on two new projects in Toronto that together will enable 525 families to own their own homes.

Stay connected with Options for Homes online at www.optionsforhomes.ca
Twitter @OptionsforHomes
Facebook www.Facebook.com/OptionsGroup
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/jspeziale/videos

For more renderings or to interview Options for Homes CEO Heather Tremain, please contact:
Anthony Westenberg
Options for Homes
b. 416-867-1501 ext. 239 / m. 416 831-7502

Friday, 11 March 2016

Vancouver development consultant is new head of Toronto-based Options for Homes, affordable home developer

TORONTO, March 8, 2016Heather Tremain, Harvard Fellow and development consultant, has been appointed the new chief executive officer for Options for Homes, Canada’s largest non-profit delivery agent of affordable home ownership.

Tremain replaces Mike Labbé, who founded and led the organization for 21 years.  Mike is now the president and CEO of Options International, established to deliver affordable housing outside of Canada, primarily in Africa.

“I am delighted I was able to recruit Heather to Options for Homes. She brings the right mix of development smarts and social conscience that Options needs to reach the next stage of growth,” Labbé says.

Already, Tremain is setting the bar high stating “within three years, we expect to be delivering 1,000 condo units a year, priced under the average market price of housing in the GTA.  People should have the chance to buy a home, at an attainable price, and build equity for their futures.  With the Options for Homes model, it is possible to make the dream of affordable home ownership a reality. We want to reverse this unfair trend towards wealth inequality in our society.” 

Tremain comes to Options’ Toronto head office from Vancouver, where she was a principal of Urban Fabric Group, a consultancy that advises non-profits on their real estate strategies.  She was also a founder of Vancouver’s first green building development and consulting company, reSource Rethinking Building, which developed an innovative model for affordable ownership. Her projects have received numerous awards from the Urban Development Institute (BC), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), as well as the Mayor’s Environmental Award in Vancouver.  In addition, she was the creator and producer of the internationally broadcast television series, Healthy Homes, seen on HGTV in North America.

In relocating to Ontario, Tremain is returning to the part of the country where she was raised.  “I am excited to be in Toronto. I think the conditions are ripe here to really raise the bar and make beautiful and affordable condominium homes available to even more people in this dynamic city.  In Toronto, I sense that we have all the necessary building blocks to scale up affordable housing production – demand, political support and a strong developer - in Options for Homes,” says Tremain.

Stay connected with Options for Homes online at www.optionsforhomes.ca
Follow Options for Homes on Twitter @OptionsforHomes
Like Options for Homes on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OptionsGroup

About Options for Homes
Options for Homes is Canada’s largest non-profit delivery agent of affordable home ownership. Now in its 21st year, Options creates ownership opportunities for households with incomes as low as $30,000 per year by providing purchasers with down payment assistance. Since the first development in Toronto’s Distillery District, Options and its affiliates have created homes for over 6,500 households using a unique housing model. Options for Homes is about to break ground on two new projects in Toronto that together will enable 525 families to own their own homes.


Media Contact:

Anthony Westenberg
Options for Homes
416-867-1501 ext. 239

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

More businesses looking beyond the bottom line

Options is in the news!  

There’s a great article by Anthony Westenberg in the Toronto Star today on Social Enterprise and the impact the business model is having on the world.  

Following the startling statistic published by Oxfam last week that the 62 richest people have a net worth equal to that of half of the world's population, the article examines how a different business model can behave completely differently.

We’re so honoured that Options for Homes got a mention in the article!  Read it in today’s Toronto Star business section, or here.

Excited Options Purchasers getting ready for the demolition of this old bingo hall to make way for their new homes.  Using a social enterprise model, Options helps purchasers with a wide range of incomes become homeowners.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Cheryl is thrilled her family is putting down roots in their Options condo

Options home owner Cheryl spoke at the grand opening of her condo, Cranbrooke Village, about how Options helped her reach her and her children reach their goal of home ownership in Canada.

Leave us a comment with your Options story!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

6 tips for saving for a downpayment

Saving for your downpayment is the first step in becoming a homeowner - and it can be the most challenging step to put into motion!

Once you get started, however, it's an extremely rewarding exercise that doesn't have to feel like your in deprivation mode.  The key is making saving part of your daily routing in incremental steps.

Are you ready to start saving?

Money and Career Cheat Sheet recently published an article with 6 tips to get you started!

Click here to read the article: http://www.cheatsheet.com/personal-finance/chasing-the-american-dream-6-tips-for-saving-for-a-down-payment.html/?a=viewall

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Year’s Resolutions to get more shovels in the ground for Affordable Homes in Toronto

A new year brings new opportunities and renewed energy and hope. Taking a cue from classic personal resolutions, I’m putting out these work goals and what I believe will help us and our sector get more families into affordable homes in 2016.

1. Lose the Weight – and keep it off!

In affordable housing, we tend to carry a lot of weight: emotional baggage about what past governments have promised and not delivered, the fact that we still don’t have a national housing strategy, a world of rising building costs …the list goes on. 
At Options we resolve to let some of that go.  We won’t revisit old stories or temper our enthusiasm because of what happened historically. We’re focusing on writing new stories and if we need support staying positive we’ll take inspiration from some of our new homeowners who have overcome great challenges as reminder that it IS possible.

2. Get Fit. 

Weight loss is great, but to capitalize on opportunities we also have to be strong. We are committed to scaling up our production of units, and working with others in the sector to find ways that we can collectively scale up.  We believe that this is the year the affordable housing sector will be offered even greater opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives, so within Options we’re investing in building a bigger and stronger team and building our overall capacity to help more families and individuals become homeowners.

3. Be a Better Friend.

Often when you’re so busy improving yourself you neglect your friends.  This year, let’s resolve to seize opportunities for partnership and collaboration across our sector. This is a pivotal moment with a promising alignment of our municipal, provincial, and federal governments around affordable housing. We plan to make the most of this unique opportunity to collaborate on strengthening the fabric of this great city together.

Happy New Year! 

Wishing my industry colleagues an exciting and productive 2016 pushing existing boundaries for the benefit of Torontonians.  

- Heather

Heather Tremain is CEO of Options for Homes, Canada’s largest delivery agent of affordable home ownership.  Now in its 21st year, Options creates ownership opportunities for households with incomes as low as $25,000.00 per year.  From the first development in Toronto’s Distillery District, to a new development under construction in Cameroon, Africa, Options organizations have created homes for over 6500 households using a unique housing model. Options Toronto is about to break ground on two new projects that together will enable 525 families to own their own homes. www.optionsforhomes.ca