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CHF Canada welcomes Ontario budget promise to work on extension of affordable housing program

Toronto, Ontario, May 2013 – The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) and Ontario’s housing co‑ops welcome the Province’s commitment in today’s budget to “work with the federal government in the development of an extension to the Investment in Affordable Housing program” (IAH).

The federal budget released on March 21st committed, beginning in 2014, to a five-year renewal of the existing IAH that is jointly funded with the provinces.

“While the funding promised under the renewed IAH program will be modest, we are pleased that the provincial government has recognized that spending on affordable housing is an important investment in Ontario’s future,” says Barb Millsap, President of CHF Canada’s Ontario Region.

Millsap notes that, with over 156,000 Ontario households on affordable housing waiting lists, the need is enormous and says that this investment will make a meaningful contribution to enhancing housing affordability in the province. “It also makes good economic sense,” Millsap points out. “Money spent on affordable housing will save money on other social services such as health and policing, and it is well known that the construction of affordable housing is a quick and effective way to stimulate the economy.”

In a pre-budget submission to the Province, CHF Canada made a number of low- or no-cost suggestions to enhance the production of affordable housing. These included enacting inclusionary zoning legislation and making government lands available for affordable housing. “In the months ahead, we will be pressing the provincial government to take action on these recommendations,” says Millsap.

CHF Canada’s Ontario Region represents and serves over 500 housing co‑ops in the province, home to some 125,000 Ontarians. Co‑operative housing has a solid track record of over four decades of building and providing safe, secure, affordable housing in member-owned communities.

For more information:

Harvey Cooper, Manager of Government Relations

416-366-1711, ext. 237 or 416-809-5048 (cell)