Logo - CHF Canada

Federal funding set to disappear, threatening native people in London with homelessness

December 6, 2012 (Ottawa) – Twenty native households will be homeless in the new year unless Diane Finley, the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), steps in to help Native Inter-Tribal Housing Co‑operative remain financially viable. The 62-unit housing co‑op is scattered throughout the Manor and Highland Park neighbourhood in South London, Ontario.

Lawrence Summers, a 62-year old co‑op member, is one of the people that will lose his home if action is not taken immediately. “The fact of the matter is that I will have no place to live in 2013. I have lived here for the past 25 years, and there is nowhere else for me to go,” says Summers.

Native Inter-Tribal Co‑op has five phases with 38 operating agreements that provide rental assistance to the co‑op’s low-income members through CMHC’s Urban Native Program. Agreements under the first two Phases expire in 2013, 2014 and 2015. An independent analysis shows that the co‑op will not be financially viable when federal assistance to its low-income members is cut.

Co‑op President Lloyd “Butch” Stevenson says that it is up to Minister Diane Finley and the federal government to determine if they wish to continue to provide affordable housing to low-income native people. “If they choose to do nothing, 20 families will be homeless,” says Stevenson.

The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) supports Native Inter-Tribal’s request that Minister Finley develop a new stream of rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance for the affected low-income households.

“Nothing else will allow the co‑op to continue to provide affordable housing to these members. The only solution is a new stream of assistance. We expect Minister Finley to show leadership on this crucial issue, and soon. The members of this co‑op are extremely worried about the future of their housing,” said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard.

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

David Granovsky, Government Relations Co-ordinator, 1-800-465-2752 ext. 222, 613-290-7687, dgranovsky@chfcanada.coop

Lloyd “Butch” Stevenson, President, Native Inter-Tribal Housing Co‑operative, 519-615-9106