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CHF Canada’s response to the 2024 Ontario Budget

Published March 26, 2024

The Province of Ontario has tabled budget 2024, titled Building a Better Ontario. CHF Canada and the co-op housing sector recognize the intention of the Ontario government to accelerate the construction of homes. The new Housing Supply Action Plan will be another opportunity to ensure the acceleration of housing construction in Ontario includes co-op housing.

CHF Canada and its members are deeply committed to increasing the supply of co-op homes. We stand ready to work with the Ontario government to identify and implement effective, long-term solutions to the housing crisis that benefit people currently living in community housing and Ontarians in need of community housing options, including co-op housing.

Canada is losing affordable housing at a faster rate than we can build new housing. In Ontario, just under 50,000 deeply affordable homes were lost between 2016-2021 through demolition, conversion to condo, or increasing rents at turnover. With fewer and fewer housing options, households are moving away and businesses are struggling to fill jobs. A Community Housing Acquisition Fund, starting with a targeted pilot fund, will move rental homes into community ownership through non-profits and co-operatives, protecting their affordability forever.

The co-op housing sector is ready to build. The government has taken significant action to increase market housing supply in Ontario. But without similar commitments to co-op and non-profit housing, those most negatively impacted by the housing shortage may never benefit from this action.

A fully funded For-Indigenous By-Indigenous housing strategy is needed to address the housing disparities experienced by Indigenous people and the lasting impacts of racism, colonialism and intergenerational trauma.

We must also ensure our existing affordable housing communities, home to over 268,000 households, can continue to provide good-quality homes into the future. These homes were developed over decades on a scale that has not been replicated in over 30 years. These communities need to be financially viable and able to renew their buildings to continue to provide vital housing for low- and moderate-income households.

“Co-op housing has proven to be a stable, affordable form of housing in Ontario for over 50 years. CHF Canada is ready to partner with the government to provide more Ontarians the opportunity to live in co-operative housing,” states Tim Ross, Executive Director of CHF Canada.

“Preserving affordable co-operative housing is an essential complement to constructing new co-operative housing. The most affordable housing available to us is the affordable housing that already exists,” adds Dallas Alderson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at CHF Canada.

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