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Housing Co-ops Rally on Parliament Hill – Call on Governments to Fix Looming Housing Crunch

June 4, 2014 (Ottawa) — At a rally on Parliament Hill today, Canada’s housing co‑ops called on all levels of government to ‘Fix the Co‑op Housing Crunch’: expiring federal housing assistance that threatens the housing of thousands of low-income Canadians.

Representatives and supporters of Canada’s housing co‑ops joined federal MPs to speak at today’s rally about this looming crisis. When federal housing agreements end between now and 2020, rental top-ups for over 50,000 low-income Canadians in 2,200 mixed-income housing co‑ops across the country will also end.

“Governments, including the federal government, can make things right by working with us to protect the existing co‑op homes for vulnerable people,” said CHF Canada President Anne Davidson. “They all hold the key to helping us fix the co‑op housing crunch.”

“The solution is simple,” said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. “We need governments to work together to help us safeguard existing homes for vulnerable people, including seniors, Aboriginals and the working poor. This can be done using long-term, cost-shared rent supplement programs, to be delivered by provinces and territories – and by municipalities here in Ontario.”

“Thousands of co‑op members are worried, particularly older people on fixed-incomes, across the City of Toronto,” said Tom Clement, Executive Director of the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Toronto. “They are concerned that governments are withdrawing from their responsibilities to provide assistance for the most vulnerable people in our co‑op communities.”

“Federal housing assistance is not a luxury, it is a necessity. If we don’t have the support we need, some of us could become homeless,” said Krystyl Randall, a member of an Ottawa housing co‑op. She relies on rental assistance and spoke at today’s rally.

For more information on the national campaign, go to www.chfcanada.coop/youholdthekey

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

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