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Housing co-ops celebrate the government’s creation of the Co-operative Housing Development Fund

March 28, 2018 (Toronto) – The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) welcomes the investment in a new co-operative housing development fund in today’s budget.  This innovative pilot project will help existing housing co-ops leverage their assets to build more affordable housing and support the development of new housing co-ops.

“Co-ops are celebrating the new development fund announced today that will help empower our communities who want to build more affordable housing and give them the support to do so,” said CHF Canada Ontario Region Council President David Waters. “Given the shortage of affordable housing we need to be looking for innovative solutions to get these communities building again, and make the most of our affordable housing dollars.”

The Fund works by providing successful applicants a small grant and short-term loan. It mirrors an existing Canada Mortgage and Housing Company (CMHC) program. The fund is projected to help an initial 12 co-op housing development proposals. The structure of fund is such that it will be replenished as participating co-ops repay their loan after construction allowing for more co-op communities to access the fund.

The Budget also highlighted the Province’s intention to sign on to the National Housing Strategy and cost-match the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Housing Partnership and Canada Housing Benefit. CHF Canada celebrated the release of the Strategy in November which protected rent assistance for vulnerable members in federal housing co-ops until 2028 and continued federal funding for non-profits. Parts of the Strategy called for the provinces and territories to match federal funding.  Given that Ontario has the second least affordable housing market of any province in the country, and the most number of households in core housing need, CHF Canada has been urging the provincial government to sign on to the Strategy without delay.

“Co-ops have a proven record of building vibrant, inclusive mixed-income communities,” said Harvey Cooper, Managing Director of CHF Canada Ontario Region. “Paired with the National Housing Strategy initiatives we are hoping this might signal the start of a new wave of housing co-ops built in Ontario.”

CHF Canada Ontario Region is the provincial voice of the co-operative housing movement. Its members include over 550 non-profit housing co-operatives and other organizations across Ontario. More than a 125,000 Ontarians call co-op housing home.



For more information:

Harvey Cooper, Managing Director, 416-809-5048 (mobile), hcooper@chfcanada.coop

Simone Swail, Manager, Government Relations, 416-605-4432 (mobile), sswail@chfcanada.coop