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Ontario Resolution R2: Protect Ontario’s Housing Co-ops


SUBMITTED BY: CHF Canada Ontario Council

Harvey Cooper
Deputy Executive Director
313-720 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON   M5S 2T9
Tel: (800) 268-2537, ext. 237
Email: hcooper@chfcanada.coop

This resolution is for the meeting of:
All CHF Canada members
✓  Ontario Members

Protect Ontario’s Housing Co-ops


THAT co-ops across Ontario call on the Province and all service managers to fix the funding formula and protect Housing Service Act (HSA) co-ops at the End of Mortgage so these co‑operative communities can continue to provide good-quality, affordable homes to over 22,000 Ontarians.


  1. Across Ontario, there are 254 Housing Services Act (HSA) co-ops. These vibrant co‑operative communities provide good-quality homes to over 22,000 Ontarians.
  2. The future of these communities is at risk if the Province does not fix the funding formula for these co-ops.
  3. As was reported at CHF Canada’s 2018 Annual General Meeting, the first wave of HSA co-ops will start to reach the end of their mortgage around 2021.
  4. The End of Mortgage could be a positive step for HSA co-ops, ushering in a new relationship with regulators. It could be an opportunity to refinance and reinvest in their buildings and potentially to expand.
  5. This is only possible if the current funding formula is changed.
  6. If the funding formula is not changed, service managers can claw back all of the mortgage savings through negative operating subsidies. The negative operating subsidy will inflate over time with no end date.
  7. The HSA co-ops will all be at least 35 years old at the end of their mortgage. These co-ops, like any 35 year-old buildings, need significant reinvestment to keep them sustainable for the future.
  8. For most HSA co-ops it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to save for the needed capital repairs or to refinance their buildings if they are forced to pay negative operating subsidy. Over the long-term, our financial models show that negative operating subsidies could threaten the viability of many co-ops.
  9. CHF Canada believes that there is no justification for negative operating subsidies.
  10. The first wave of housing co-ops reach the end of their mortgage in just a few years. Now is the time to fix the funding formula before it has significant and lasting negative impact on our communities.
  11. Given the affordable housing crisis in this province, Ontario’s co-ops should be focused on how they can help build more affordable co-operative housing for Ontarians, not fighting to keep the existing housing available.
  12. That is why we are calling on the Province to fix the funding formula as a top priority. A sustainable affordable housing system must allow for housing providers to operate in a businesslike manner and invest in their future.
  13. While we are calling on the Province to fix the funding formula which is found in its Housing Services Act (HSA) regulation, the 31 municipal service managers with oversight of HSA co-ops in their communities also have the ability to fix this issue.
  14. Some service managers have already realized that negative operating subsidies will cost them more in the long run, as capital repairs delayed are more expensive to fix over time and that this community housing is a vital asset. These services managers are setting negative operating subsidy to zero for all of their housing providers and working in partnership with them to refinance and reinvest in these communities.
  15. Co-ops across the province applaud these forward-thinking municipalities and call on other service managers to learn from their experience and best practices.
  16. Negative operating subsidies under the HSA are not only a co-op housing issue; the same funding formula impacts many of Ontario’s non-profit housing providers as well. CHF Canada will endeavour to partner with other interested groups to ensure a solution is found and this affordable housing is protected into the future.


Funding for the Ontario Region’s government relations and lobbying activities has been included in the 2019 and 2020 operating budgets.