Finley clears path for more housing renewal with lending changes

OTTAWA, Jan. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) warmly welcomes today's announcement by the Minister Responsible for CMHC of changes to lending programs that will allow federally funded housing co-ops to pursue private financing for needed renovations and replacements.

"We are very grateful to Minister Finley for making this prudent and timely decision," said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. "Partnering with the private sector is innovative and creates the elusive win-win-win solution. This model takes financial liabilities off government books while preserving precious affordable housing and creating valuable construction jobs."

Last year, CHF Canada informed Minister Finley that some housing co-ops, including Mondragon Co-operative Homes in Brampton, were ready to buy out their federally administered mortgages using credit union lending to finance renovations to their aging homes. Today`s rule changes will allow these co-ops to go ahead with their plans.

Dozens of other housing co-ops across Canada that are in serious need of updates will be delighted to hear today's news that they can now proceed with new first mortgages in partnership with Canada's credit unions. This will allow them to replace roofs, doors, windows, heating and other vital building systems to maintain secure, affordable housing for future generations.

CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co operative housing movement. Its members include more than 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.

SOURCE: Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

For further information:

Nick Sidor, Director, Corporate Affairs, 613-297-5139, nsidor@chfcanada.coop

David Granovsky, Government Relations Co-ordinator, 1-800-465-2752 ext. 222, 613-290-7687, dgranovsky@chfcanada.coop

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