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Winnipeg Housing Co-op Wins Long Struggle to Refinance Repairs

September 6, 2016 (Winnipeg) – Village Canadien Housing Co‑op in Winnipeg announced today that it has secured a $9.3 million mortgage with Assiniboine Credit Union, allowing the co‑op to repair and retrofit 150 homes for low and moderate income Manitobans originally built in 1976.

The new loan will be used by the co‑op to repay its current 13.25% interest rate mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Village Canadien is the first co‑op to take advantage of a new federal program that allows CMHC mortgage prepayments without any penalty, which for Village Canadien would have been nearly $4 million, roughly equal to amount of principle outstanding on the mortgage!

The refinancing required the agreement of CMHC and Manitoba Housing. The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) has been actively lobbying for nearly a decade on behalf of Village Canadien and other co‑ops with similar high interest loans.

“After paying off the balance of our existing mortgage, we will have the $5.5 million needed to restore and improve energy efficiency and comfort of our aging homes, with new roofs, windows and building envelope,” said Village Canadien president Linda Ferguson. “We’re absolutely thrilled! This gives us something more to celebrate at our 40th anniversary celebration later this month. For our members, it means warmer, drier homes and lower hydro bills, and it means good jobs for local trades. We thank CHF Canada for their tireless work helping our co‑op to accomplish this project.”

“We also want to thank Manitoba Housing and our local MP, Terry Duguid,” said the co‑op’s vice president, Frank Wheeler, who also serves on CHF Canada’s board of directors. “And we especially want to thank our new lender, Assiniboine Credit Union. It’s exciting to be partnering with a financial co‑op for this project, and they have bent over backwards to help us.”

“This is great news for the members of Village Canadien and for other housing co‑ops across the country eager to follow this great example of good stewardship of secure, community-oriented affordable housing,” said Nick Sidor, CHF Canada’s Director, Corporate Affairs. “Many of Canada’s housing co‑ops were built in the 70s and 80s and are now due for major retrofits. To date, we’ve helped co‑ops to secure lenders and approvals for over $50 million to renew and retrofit their homes.”

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, 613-297-5139, nsidor@chfcanada.coop

Scott Jackson, Program Manager, National Communications, 1-877-533-2667 ext. 122, c. 778.227.3864 sjackson@chfcanada.coop

David Gawthrop, General Manager, Village Canadien, 204-257-2501

Linda Ferguson, President, Village Canadien, 204-255-1676, c. 204-793-1642

Frank Wheeler, Vice President, Village Canadien, and CHF Canada Regional Director, Manitoba, c. 204-226-4165