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Canada’s housing co-operatives warmly welcome Minister’s announcement supporting low-income households

November 21, 2013 (Ottawa) — The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) warmly welcomed today’s announcement by Minister of State for Social Development Candice Bergen allowing housing co‑ops across Canada additional flexibility to provide rent support for low-income members.

“CHF Canada’s 900 member housing co‑ops welcome the decision announced today on the eve of National Housing Day,” said CHF Canada’s Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. “It allows them to keep subsidy surplus funds to use as rent-geared-to-income assistance for vulnerable low-income households.”

For some time, housing co‑ops under the Section 95 co‑op housing program have encouraged the federal government and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to adopt a common sense approach to the rules around rent-geared-to-income subsidy. “Today’s announcement shows that the government and CMHC are listening,” said Gazzard.

“We are very encouraged that housing co‑ops will be able to use these funds to continue to provide support for vulnerable households,” said Gazzard. “This is a good first step towards addressing the larger, long-term issue facing federally-funded affordable housing.”

Between 2014 and 2019, when the majority of federal operating agreements end, the affordability of 200,000 homes for 500,000 low-income Canadians will be placed at risk. CHF Canada is calling on all levels of government to work with stakeholder groups to protect affordability for seniors, Aboriginal Canadians, persons with disabilities and other low-income people through new cost-shared rent supplement programs delivered by the provinces and territories.

For more information about the campaign to protect co‑op affordability, visit www.chfcanada.coop/eoa.

CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co‑operative housing movement. Its members include over 900 non-profit housing co‑operatives and other organizations across Canada. More than a quarter of a million Canadians live in housing co‑ops, in every province and territory.

For more information:

Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, 613-293-8913, ngazzard@chfcanada.coop

Scott Jackson, Program Manager, National Communications, 778-227-3864 (cell), sjackson@chfcanada.coop