Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Wait list work?
To help keep the Cornerstone 100% occupied, a wait list is in effect. Just go to the "Waitlist" tab on this website and enter your name and email address, click on "Submit" and follow the instructions that are emailed to you. You will receive a series of about 8 emails about life lease, and you will also receive a notification of all vacancies and open houses. The open house time/date is usually on a Saturday morning between 10:00 am and 11:30 am. The first person to commit to a suite by means of a $5,000 deposit is offered a lease agreement. This lease agreement must then be accepted by the board of directors.
Note that a Cornerstone resident has first priority when leasing a suite. If you are hoping for a very desirable suite location it may be to your advantage to accept a less desirable one for now, as this will greatly increase your chance of eventually getting the preferred suite.
What is Life Lease? How does it work?
To help build and operate a life lease such as Cornerstone Phase 1 & 2 on a non-profit basis, residents were asked to invest in the project through the Life Lease financing mechanism. The primary goal was, and still is, to build and operate the project in the most efficient manner possible.
Life Lease Entrance Fees, which are 100% refundable when moving out, have been used by Cornerstone to help build the project. Monthly rent is used to pay for the operational expense.
The Life Lease concept has been used successfully on many similar projects throughout the province, including Cornerstone Phase 1 & 2. Life Lease has a proven record of success. The Manitoba Government has implemented the Life Leases Act and Regulations which will apply to Cornerstone, and apply to all new Life Lease projects.
Where does the Entrance Fee go?
Entrance Fees paid by life lease residents goes into the Refund Fund which is held by Concentra Trust, a trustee for the project. The sole purpose of this fund is to facilitate a timely refund of a resident’s Entrance Fee, when the resident moves out.
What Protection does the Life Lease Legislation Offer?
Effective December 1, 1999, the Manitoba Government implemented the Life Leases Act and Regulations, which apply to the Cornerstone. The primary purpose of the Act is to ensure that tenants are given certain information to enable them to make informed decisions and to protect tenant’s funds. The government’s Residential Tenancies Branch has information fact sheets available on the legislation.
Will my Rent Increase?
Cornerstone is operated on a non-profit basis. The primary goal is to operate the project in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Monthly charges will only reflect the actual costs of operating the project. This means that rent increases should be minimal.
What steps do I take?
A $5,000 lease deposit on a specific suite number is required to reserve a unit. When you take this step, you have seven calendar days to change your mind. You may choose to obtain a legal opinion during this seven day period. Cancellations after this 7 day period may result in the forfeiture of your $5,000 lease deposit.
The payment of the full Entrance Fee is required 2 weeks prior to your move in date. For example, if your Entrance Fee is $167,000, you will then be asked to submit a payment of $162,000 (you've already paid $5,000), and this is also forwarded to the trustee (Concentra Trust) for the project.
A resident may terminate their lease with 90 days notice in writing to the board. Their entrance fee will be fully refunded after they have moved out. Should the resident die after occupancy is granted, the estate would then receive a refund of the entire entrance fee at the end of the month following the death of the tenant.
Life Lease - Non-Profit vs For-Profit Developments
The designation of either "Non-Profit" or "For-Profit" applies only to the sponsor, or owner of the land being developed. Church and cultural group sponsors are often involved in the non-profit multi-residential development of property they own. They do so for the benefit of their own, and the surrounding, community. These non-profit life lease projects are very common in Manitoba and throughout the country.
Although the architect, builder, trades people, marketing, etc., work for a profit, the landlord or owner does not make a profit. A “for-profit” landlord/owner will start a large multi-residential building with the intent of earning a return on their investment. The architect, builder, trades people, marketing, etc, also work for a profit, which may mean that the overall costs may be a bit higher than the non-profit sponsor. The “for-profit” owners main advantage is that they are usually able to proceed to the construction phase more quickly than the non-profit sponsor.
The Life Leases Act applies to both for-profit and non-profit life lease projects in Manitoba.
Life Lease - Does my Entrance Fee go up in Value?
Many life leases in Manitoba are sponsored by a non-profit organization. These non-profits usually set up their life lease complexes so that future residents also benefit from the "non-profit" aspect. This means that the entrance fee paid, is the entrance fee that is eventually refunded, and is the same amount when a new resident moves in. There is no increase or decrease in the value of the Entrance Fee.
The entrance fee remains unchanged for second, third, or subsequent occupants of the suite. The "non-profit" aspect cascades from one occupant of the unit to the next! The "non-profit" benefit is enjoyed by all residents, for many decades. Cornerstone Phase 1 & 2 are operated and re-leased this way.
Occasionally there are non-profit life leases that allow the residents to assign (or sell) their lease for market value. The first occupants benefit from the "non-profit" sponsors efforts, and they benefit a second time when they assign (sell) their life lease and move out. The second, third, and subsequent occupants pay market value for the leased unit. This means they may experience an increase, or decrease, in value for their suite. Cornerstone Phase 1 & 2 are not operated and re-leased this way.
Who may move into Cornerstone Phase 1 & 2?
There are no membership requirements to become a resident of Phase 2. Cornerstone is open to anyone that meets the criteria regarding age (55+), pays the Entrance Fee and rent, and abides by the rules and regulations as set up by the board and the tenants association. All lease agreements are subject to board approval.
In 1979 church leaders from four Reformed Churches in Winnipeg founded the Association of Reformed Christians in Action (A.R.C.I.A.). The main purpose of A.R.C.I.A. was, and still is, to provide needed services for the senior members of the supporting churches, and surrounding community in Winnipeg. Age appropriate accommodation is one of the perceived needs. The property at the corner of Knowles Avenue and Gateway Road was acquired with that thought in mind. The 55+ community of Northeast Winnipeg is well served by Cornerstone Phase 1 & 2.
Condominium or Life Lease - which is better?
First, it should be noted that both the terms "Condominium" and "Life Lease" describe the financial vehicle whereby a resident occupies a living space such as a bungalow, two story, apartment style, townhome, etc. etc.
Neither the "Condominium" or "Life Lease" financial structures are superior to the other. Both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your life’s circumstances.
Both are similar in that they allow for relatively carefree occupancy, and allow you to simply "lock the door" and go away for awhile, and not worry about your premises.
They're different in that ownership of a condominium means you own your suite and a share of the common area used by everyone. As a condo owner you will have voting rights in the corporation, and you may choose to be elected to the board. You actually own real estate which can rise or fall in value depending on current markets.
The "owner" or occupant of a life lease does not own their living space or the common areas. A couple of tenant representatives may attend, and be an influence at board meetings, but the board has final decision making authority. In fact the tenants of a life lease may not be members of the board. A life lease residents exposure to the volatile real estate market is minimized, although not completely eliminated.
A refund fund facilitates a full refund of the resident’s entrance fee. There is no need to sell the premises when you wish to move. Beneficiaries of your estate usually find the life lease model very easy to deal with. With 90 days notice, they simply assign the unit to the board (owner) and 100% of the entrance fee is refunded.
A typical life lease resident is 55+, prefers to live with people that share a similar interest, enjoys having many amenities in the building, and no longer cares for the real estate equity risk that home ownership would entail.