Co-ops welcome Liberal commitments on energy retrofits and promise of more housing announcements



    OTTAWA, Sept. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Housing co-operatives today welcomed
Liberal leader Stéphane Dion's promise of funds to help co-op members and
other Canadians renovate their homes to conserve energy. In a discussion with
housing co-op members, the Liberal leader also promised to reveal his plans
for social and co-op housing later in the campaign.
    "Housing co-ops have been leaders in sustainability," said Thom
Armstrong, Executive Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC.
"The announcement of green mortgages and the Low-income Homes Retrofit
Partnership Fund will help older co-ops improve their energy use and combat
climate change. The cost savings will help lower-income Canadians. Meeting
both of these important goals in one announcement is very good news."
    Co-op members who met with Dion at Pine Ridge Housing Co-operative in
Burnaby also urged the Liberal leader to make a commitment to help the
4 million Canadians who need affordable housing.
    "Time is running out to help these people," said Nicholas Gazzard,
Executive Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.
"Communities across Canada are seeing more and more homelessness, and many
more Canadians are living in poor quality housing or paying more than they can
afford. We are asking all parties in the federal election how they plan to
address this crisis. We look forward to Mr. Dion's upcoming announcements and
to hearing from the other parties in this election."
    In the October 14 federal election, housing co-op members are asking
candidates for:

    
    - permanent federal funding for new affordable co-op housing
    - new federal investments to preserve or redevelop old, damaged and leaky
      co-ops
    - more rent-geared-to-income subsidies so co-ops can house more
      low-income Canadians
    - a loan fund to help co-ops invest in energy savings and environmental
      sustainability.
    

    There are 260 non-profit housing co-ops in BC providing just over
14,000 affordable co-op homes to their members. CHF BC is the provincial
federation representing BC housing co-ops.

    CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co-operative housing
movement. Its members include nearly 900 non-profit housing co-operatives,
representing 56,000 co-op homes.




For further information:

For further information: Thom Armstrong, Executive Director, CHF BC
(604)879-5111 x143 or (604) 868-8952, tarmstrong@chf.bc.ca; Darren Kitchen,
Government Relations Director, CHF BC, (604) 879-5111 x144,
dkitchen@chf.bc.ca; Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, CHF Canada, (613)
230-2201 x230 or cell (613) 293-8913, ngazzard@chfcanada.coop; Merrilee
Robson, Program Manager - Communications, CHF Canada, 1-877-533-2667 x122 or
cell (778) 227-3864, mrobson@chfcanada.coop


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