The Canadian dream has always been about getting a good job, working hard, investing in a home, and starting a family. But with the skyrocketing price of housing, owning a home has quickly become an unattainable dream, one that will never be a reality for countless Canadians. Until now. Enter Trillium Housing, who is tackling the problem head on, working with developers to build homes at a price point the average family can afford. On top of that, Trillium’s revolutionary approach provides homebuyers with innovative lending solutions that are real game changers for new homebuyers.

“What Trillium offers is the kind of creative solution the GTA has been lacking for far too long,” observes Trillium Housing partner Joe Deschênes Smith. “It’s the opportunity to own your own home and not likely to have to pay any more than what you would be paying if you were renting – maybe even less.”

This week Trillium hopes Pickering and Durham will help pitch in at its next project, The Maxx Urban Towns, as both Councils consider staff recommendations to defer charges until the end of the project.

Working together with local government and potential homebuyers, Trillium Housing is making 2020 a great time for a lot of families to come home.

“When Municipalities give us a break on charges and fees – this time letting us pay at the end of the project instead of up-front – we take the financing savings from that and all of it goes to finance more Trillium Mortgages”. Said Deschênes Smith. “This costs government a fraction compared to what they spend on landlord subsidies – often to help families with about the same income.”

Trillium bridges the gap between the cost of entry level housing and what a family can manage at their income. The organization partners with mainstream housing developers to develop entry-level product and then helps home buyers with their financing by issuing Trillium Mortgages. What makes the model work is the share equity Trillium Mortgage, a mortgage the non-profit provides payment-free as long as the home is owner-occupied. When the owner sells, they repay the Trillium Mortgage and Trillium also gets its fair share of the home’s appreciated value. It’s truly a WIN-WIN situation.

Financing for the Trillium Mortgage is determined by each buyer’s individual needs. If a family makes a $20k down payment along with a $180k bank mortgage and a $100k Trillium mortgage to purchase a $300k home, they only have to make monthly payments on the $180k mortgage until they decide to sell the home. The fact that there’s no need to make any payments on the $100k Trillium Mortgage portion alone translates into reduced monthly payments of $400-500 and thousands of dollars less per year, based on current mortgage rates. So, over a fiveyear period, the family could end up spending $20-30k less on mortgage payments. Plus, to protect the purchaser if there’s a drop in the market and they’re forced to sell, Trillium assumes 50 percent of any loss — a bigger proportion than its mortgage investment.

“Families want to be connected to their community and most see home ownership as the essential step for that. Housing affordability has never beenmore important to ensure the ongoing health and vibrancy of Canada’s cities.” added Deschênes Smith. “We are building truly inclusive communities.” Once Potential homebuyers have qualified for a Trillium Mortgage, they go through the normal purchasing process and they own their home just like every other home owner in their neighbourhood.
Trillium has a track record on delivering this type of project. At The LOOP for example, the 62-unit, Midtown Toronto stacked townhome development was Trillium’s first with developer-partner VanMar and Trillium Mortgage financing was available for over half the home buyers. On average, families at The LOOP are saving about $500 per month on housing cost. “There are literally millions of people – families – in the GTA with incomes between $40-80,000 per year,” said  Joe. “Homeownership is not affordable for them now, but with Trillium they can attain what was previously considered to be a typical middle-class aspiration.”

For more information on Trillium Housing and to register for the new Pickering community coming soon, visit


A Trillium Mortgage reduces your monthly housing costs and helps you build Family Equity in the long term.