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Federal budget prioritizes housing: $1.5B sets the stage to build the next generation of co-op housing

Published April 07, 2022

For Immediate Release (Ottawa, April 7, 2022) – Today, the federal government released its 2022 budget, which includes commitments designed to help meaningfully address the housing crisis. In particular, the budget commits to launch a new Co-operative Housing Development Program, with $500 million in funding and $1 billion in loans, as well as an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.

“Today’s federal budget is a turning point, as it acknowledges the unique value of co-operative housing and commits to its expansion,” states CHF Canada’s Executive Director, Tim Ross. “Starting with 6,000 new homes over the next five years, we are optimistic the new Co-operative Housing Development Program will kick-start the development of the next generation of co-op housing at a scale that will help solve the housing crisis. Co-op housing is affordable, secure and enables the development of strong, inclusive communities, all of which we need more than ever.”

Equally important, the budget commits the federal government to working with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, and the co-op housing sector broadly, to co-design the new co-op housing program. This will help ensure it quickly and effectively delivers new co-op homes in communities across the country.

The budget also provides $300 million over five years to co-develop and launch an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy. Housing co-ops are hopeful that today’s commitment of $300 million is the first step towards further, dedicated investment in affordable housing for Indigenous people living in urban, rural and northern communities.  Indigenous people disproportionately experience housing need, and investment that is proportional to addressing these needs will be critical going forward.

The budget also expands the Rapid Housing Initiative, targeted to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, with an additional $1.5 billion over two years.

Important, positive changes to key National Housing Strategy programs, including the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, were also outlined in the budget. These have the potential to further support the development of affordable, non-market housing, including co-ops.

CHF Canada is the national voice of co-operative housing, representing 2,200 housing co-operatives, home to a quarter of a million people in every province and territory. Co-operative housing is a well-documented success story. For over 50 years, co-ops have provided good-quality, affordable housing owned and managed by the community members who live there.

For more information please contact: Dallas Alderson, Director, Public Affairs and Policy, 613-715-3323, dalderson@chfcanada.coop

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