RESOLUTION R1: BUILDING AND PROTECTING THE FUTURE OF CO-OP HOUSING IN ONTARIO
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Managing Director, Ontario Region
313-720 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5S 2T9
Tel: (800) 268-2537, ext. 237
This resolution is for the meeting of:
all CHF Canada members
✓ Ontario Members
- THAT CHF Canada Ontario Region members call on the 42nd Parliament of Ontario to partner with housing co-operatives to build more affordable co-op housing;
- AND THAT the Province of Ontario prioritize working with CHF Canada to fix the funding model for Housing Services Act co-ops at the end of mortgage.
OUR REASONS FOR THIS RESOLUTION ARE:
- The 2018 Ontario Members’ Meeting is the day after the Ontario provincial election, and just a few months before the municipal elections. At our 2017 meeting we called for all members to work together to ensure the voice of housing co-ops is heard during the elections. We are playing an active role in the provincial campaign, and together we will play an active role in the municipal elections in October.
- No matter which candidates are successful in the elections, it is clear that many low- and middle-income Ontarians continue to confront a severe shortage of affordable housing. We know that housing co-ops are an important part of the solution.
- Following the 2018 elections, CHF Canada, working with the regional federations and co-op members across the province, needs to ensure that all new Members of Provincial Parliament and Councillors understand the co-operative housing model and the value we add to communities across Ontario.
- Co-ops at CHF Canada’s 2017 Annual General Meeting committed to leveraging their assets to help build more co-operative housing, and to invest in new co-op development. Ontario’s housing co-ops are ready to start building again; we need the Province to come to the table as a partner to make this vision a reality.
- At the same time, we also know that in the not-too-distant future, many housing co-ops in Ontario will face a critical juncture. The first Housing Services Act (HSA) co-ops will start to reach the end of their mortgage around 2021.
- The end of mortgage could be a positive step for HSA co-ops, ushering in a new relationship with regulators, an opportunity to refinance and reinvest in their buildings, and potentially expand. This is only possible if the current funding formula is changed.
- The funding formula was created before the Social Housing Reform Act, 2000 was introduced. It was never intended to continue after the end of a co-op’s mortgage. However, when provincial co-ops’ operating agreements were replaced with legislation in 2000, the formula was no longer tied to the mortgage and could potentially continue on indefinitely.
- Co-ops fought the introduction of the Social Housing Reform Act at the time and for many years after. While some changes to the funding formula were made in 2005, they did not address the negative operating subsidy at the end of mortgage.
- With the first wave of housing co-ops reaching 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
- If the funding formula is not changed, it will create large negative operating subsidies for most HSA co-ops that will make it extremely difficult for them to save for capital repairs, or refinance their buildings. Over the long-term, our models show that negative operating subsidies could threaten the viability of many HSA co-ops.
- CHF Canada believes that there is no justification for negative operating subsidies.
- Prior to the 2018 election Ontario’s Ministry of Housing began consultations on social housing modernization. CHF Canada will press the Ministry to restart this work after the 2018 provincial election and call upon the government to fix the funding formula as a top priority. A modernized social housing system must allow for housing providers to operate in a business-like manner and invest in their future. Neither of these will be possible with the current funding formula.
- Negative operating subsidies under the HSA are not only a co-op housing issue; the same funding formula impacts Ontario’s non-profit housing as well. CHF Canada will endeavor to partner with the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association and other interested groups to ensure a solution is found.
WE THINK THIS WILL COST:
Funding for the Ontario Region’s government relations and lobbying activities have been included in the 2018 and 2019 operating budgets.