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Housing co-ops welcome bold investment in childcare, alongside measures to help address homelessness and provide rental assistance

Published April 19, 2021

For Immediate Release (Ottawa, April 19, 2021) – Today, the federal government released their budget focused on economic recovery, which includes an ambitious plan for childcare. It also includes a commitment to expand the Federal Community Housing Initiative, which provides rental assistance for low-income households living in federally administered co-op and non-profit housing. The budget further commits to expand the Rapid Housing Initiative and the Reaching Home program, both targeted to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“The Federal Community Housing Initiative is a lifeline for low-income households living in co-op and non-profit housing in many communities,” says CHF Canada President, Tina Stevens. “This expansion of the Initiative will ensure that more low-income households in federally administered co-op and non-profit housing can live affordably, bringing needed housing stability and security to those households, and the co-op and non-profit communities in which they live.”

CHF Canada supports the increased investment in the Rapid Housing Initiative in order to deliver more supportive and affordable housing for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.  However, without dedicated investment to preventing homelessness through the provision of more affordable housing, especially a sizeable amount dedicated to Indigenous households, the pathway to homelessness—with all of its social and economic costs—will be relentless.

“We must do everything we can to end homelessness. But we must also invest in the prevention of homelessness through growing the stock of affordable housing, including co-ops,” states CHF Canada’s Executive Director, Tim Ross.

CHF Canada is hopeful that the Budget’s expansion of the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund could be designed in a way that specifically supports the development of co-op housing, along with the commitment to convert office spaces to affordable housing.

With housing out of reach for so many Canadians, now is the time to invest ambitiously in permanently affordable housing, like co-ops, which is not subject to speculative market forces.  A housing system that works for all Canadians must include co-operative housing.

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.

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