Short-term funding promises long-term solution to co-op housing crunch

VANCOUVER, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - Finance Minister Bill Morneau offered some much needed help for low-income co-op residents in today's federal budget by pledging $30 million for short-term rent assistance.

And that's a big relief to nearly 4,000 low-income and other co-op households including seniors, people with disabilities, single-parent families and new Canadians.

The Co-operative Housing Federation of BC is applauding the federal commitment to help fix the co-op housing crunch.  "This short-term relief as federal housing agreements come to an end lifts an enormous weight off the minds of thousands of vulnerable co-op households in B.C.," said CHF BC Executive Director Thom Armstrong.

Ottawa's commitment to fix the co-op housing crunch now puts the onus on the provincial government to work out the details of a new rent supplement program for low-income co-op members to ensure that their homes remain affordable, said Armstrong.

"We're confident that we can work with our federal and provincial partners to introduce a sustainable long-term solution at a very modest cost to taxpayers."

The Liberal government's commitment to fixing the co-op housing crunch is also welcome news right across Canada. There are more than 21,000 low-income co-op households in Canada whose homes are affordable because of federal agreements that are about to expire.

"The budget also represents an unprecedented re-engagement in the housing field by the Liberal government in Ottawa," said Armstrong.

Other significant measures include:

  • A doubling of the funds transferred to provinces through the Affordable Housing Initiative
  • Retrofit funding to improve water and energy efficiency in existing social housing
  • More investment in affordable housing for seniors
  • Low-cost loans to build new affordable rental housing

CHF BC is a co-operative association made up of member housing co-ops and related organizations in B.C. The association represents 264 co-op communities (comprising more than 14,500 households) across the province.

The federation works in partnership with CHF Canada, 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 background on the "You hold the key: fix the co-op housing crunch" campaign, please visit the CHF BC website at: www.chf.bc.ca/keycampaign.

SOURCE Co-operative Housing Federation of BC

For further information: Thom Armstrong, Executive Director, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, Phone: 604-879-5111 #143, Cell: 604-868-8952, Email: tarmstrong@chf.bc.ca; Or: Don Hauka, Campaign Co-ordinator, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, Cell: 604-787-9155, Email: dhauka@chf.bc.ca

RELATED LINKS
www.chf.bc.ca

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