519-814-7570

6 Wellington St.
Stratford, ON
N5A 2L2

Success Stories

KLM Properties

KLM Properties

615 Queen St. E, St. Marys ON
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1-866-547-4600
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KLM Properties

Who?

Mark King, Geoff Loucks and Scott McIntosh are lifelong Perth County residents in business to create a better life for the County’s working poor. Together they formed KLM Properties, located in an 1858 heritage home in St. Marys.

The Big Idea

KLM is buying, converting and building affordable rental housing, specifically for households earning $36,000/year or less. Their business goal is to rent units at-or-below local Average Market Rent (AMR), based on Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation data. “We’re a for-profit company trying to help people along the way,” says Mark.

 The broader issue is the acute need for affordable housing in Perth County. “The real estate market in general is geared to building ‘expensive’ and selling ‘expensive’,” says Geoff. “Or building and renting ‘expensive’, which makes a tight market even more difficult for working families, single parents, seniors and special-needs residents. So that’s the market we’re serving.”

County-wide Plans

KLM’s first significant project was converting an idle commercial building into compliant residential units for Community Living in St. Marys – a year-long renovation that required extensive modifications and zoning changes. “We were pleasantly surprised at how supportive Mayor Strathdee, town council and staff have been,” says Geoff. “There was a lot to do but they saw the need and helped us work it out.”

 To date, KLM has done five apartment conversions, built six new semi-detached units, have two more semi’s under construction, and are next looking into multi-unit buildings. That’s 13 units thus far, with a goal of another thirty in the next three years. All affordable, all toward a greater community good.

Perth Community Futures

KLM’s main challenge is that in addition to property and construction savvy, this is a numbers game – despite historically low (even negative) central bank rates, real estate financing is pricey. “The formulas for rent, debt, equity, security and liability become unworkable,” Scott explains. “Banks are looking for 12-13%, and even short-term construction loans are 6-7%. So while there’s no shortage of potential tenants, making the numbers work is our biggest hurdle.”

 So after seeing a newspaper article about PCF, the guys got in touch. “Meghan and the team were really helpful with candid input, creating a business canvas and focusing our plans,” says Mark. “They arranged an interest-only loan for the first year with workable terms for the next 15 years, and brought in Libro Credit Union who agreed to offer residential mortgage rates as a special case.”

 “Libro is a community-based financial organization,” says Matt Aarts, a local Account Manager at Libro. “So we are excited to partner with KLM and Perth Community Futures to improve access to affordable housing in our area.”

Need & Impact

KLM has financing in place to build the next four units but have 17 tenant applications on file. “And there are reportedly 74 men, women and children between Stratford and St. Marys who are homeless and staying in motels and friends’ basements,” says Mark. “We’re not the answer, but we can help.”