Housing Co-ops welcome funding for housing in Budget 2018
February 27, 2018 (Ottawa) – The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) welcomes the spending commitments outlined by the federal government in today’s budget which will help many more Canadians, including Indigenous Canadians, find a safe, secure, and affordable place to call home.
“Today’s budget demonstrates a continuation of the government’s good work to address the housing needs of all groups,” says CHF Canada Acting Executive Director, Karla Skoutajan. “The National Housing Strategy has been spelled out, now we have to ensure the dollars get to the communities that need more affordable housing.”
Communities across Canada are experiencing a lack of affordable housing and co-ops are ready to provide affordable, community-oriented housing. The government’s expansion of the Rental Construction Financing Initiative from $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion in loans over the next three years has the potential to play a substantial role in alleviating the affordable housing deficit. CHF Canada is optimistic that community-oriented housing providers like co-ops will be prioritized in the roll-out of the program and that we will see increased construction of co-op units over the next three years as a result of this program. Additionally, CHF Canada is looking forward to the roll-out of the measures announced in the National Housing Strategy over the next decade.
Women are disproportionately affected by a lack of affordable, stable, safe, and secure housing. In fact, 45% of female-led lone-parent families are in core housing need. CHF Canada supports the measures Budget 2018 and the National Housing Strategy take to address the inequalities faced by women in Canada, particularly in finding a place to live. Housing co-ops have led the way in addressing these inequalities with women making up 58% of the population living in housing co-ops in Canada and with 90% of lone-parent co-op households being female-led.
CHF Canada also applauds the government’s announcement of distinction-based housing strategies for Inuit, Métis, and First Nations peoples which recognize the individual challenges each face with regards to housing as actionable steps towards reconciliation. The government’s announcement of $1.5 billion over five years to fund these strategies demonstrates a financial commitment towards that end.
The National Housing Strategy, launched last November, addressed CHF Canada’s primary advocacy priority – the protection of 20,000 low-income co-op households – with a 10-year solution for low-income co-op households, most of whom are seniors, single-parent families, new and Indigenous Canadians, and those living with disabilities.
CHF Canada is calling on provincial and territorial governments to sign on to cost-matching programs outlined in National Housing Strategy. Tackling Canada’s housing deficits will require a co-ordinated effort between all orders of government, working in partnership with the community housing sector.
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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