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Housing co-ops welcome federal re-engagement in affordable housing

March 22, 2016 (Ottawa) – “The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada and its 900 member housing co‑ops thank the Liberal government for today’s budget commitment which provides transitional funding for low-income households living in housing co‑operatives,” said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard.

Budget 2016 allocates $30 million over two years, starting in 2016-17, to help federally administered social housing providers – including housing co‑ops – to continue to provide rent-geared-to-income housing as existing funding agreements expire. This measure reflects what housing co‑ops asked for in a two-year long campaign.

“We appreciate this assistance and also look forward to working with governments to develop a long-term solution so that low-income households living in co‑ops and other social housing are protected both now and into the future” said Gazzard.

More than 62,000 households across the country live in mixed-income housing co‑ops developed through federal programs. Of those, more than 21,000 have low-incomes and pay an affordable rent because of federal funding agreements. These include seniors, new Canadians, persons with mental and physical disabilities, Aboriginal people, and lone-parent families.

CHF Canada also welcomed the government’s significant investments in energy and water efficiency retrofits and renovations for social housing, including co‑op housing. This will help housing co‑operatives keep their buildings in good shape and ensure they are as energy efficient as possible. Equally welcomed was the increase in the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) initiative. With more than $500 million over the next two years, the IAH will allow provinces and territories to invest in affordable housing according to local needs and pressures, including rent supplements.

“Canada’s housing co‑operatives appreciate the federal government’s invitation to stakeholders to help develop a National Housing Strategy to protect and grow the affordable housing stock,” concluded Gazzard. “We look forward to the next opportunities to be part of this important process.”

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.

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For more information:

Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, 613-293-8913, ngazzard@chfcanada.coop

Dallas Alderson, Program Manager, Policy and Government Relations, 613-715-3323, dalderson@chfcanada.coop

Scott Jackson, Program Manager, National Communications, 778-227-3864, sjackson@chfcanada.coop