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Housing co-ops call for new federal rental assistance to replace expiring support for low-income households

December 5, 2014 (Ottawa) – The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) repeated its urgent call for funding in the next federal budget to replace expiring rental assistance for low-income households in federally-funded housing co‑ops. Otherwise, the health and security of co‑op members who are seniors, new Canadians, aboriginal people and persons with mental and physical disabilities will be threatened.

Echoing its August submission to the Pre-Budget Consultations of the Standing Committee on Finance entitled Living Within Our Means: Affordable Solutions for Canada’s Co‑operative Housing, CHF Canada called for the government to take the steps needed to ensure that these vulnerable Canadians can remain in their homes. “Co‑ops will be faced with significant re-investment costs when their agreements expire,” said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. “They are ready to take on those costs and the new debt that will be required to restore aging infrastructure. We are asking the government to partner with the co‑ops: we will take care of the buildings; governments must take care of the people.”

“The government has taken a small, short-term step towards addressing this problem, and allowed Section 95 housing co‑ops with money in their subsidy surplus fund to keep the money at the end of agreements. But not many co‑ops will be in that position, and it is not the lasting solution co‑ops need,” said Gazzard.

CHF Canada and regional co‑op housing federations are working together on a campaign called “You Hold the Key – Fix the Co‑op Housing Crunch”. The campaign asks governments to create and fund long-term, cost-shared rent supplement programs, to be delivered by provinces and territories (and municipalities in Ontario).This funding can be phased in over time, as existing agreements expire.

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:

Nick Sidor, Director, Corporate Affairs, 1-800-465-2752 ext 231, or 613-230-2231 or nsidor@chfcanada.coop

Scott Jackson, Program Manager, National Communications, 1-877-533-2667 ext 122 or 778-227-3864, sjackson@chfcanada.coop