OTTAWA, June 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Members and supporters of housing co-operatives from across Canada met today at the Ottawa Convention Centre to face threats to federally funded rental assistance and to explore ways to expand and strengthen Canada's successful model of member-owned, community-oriented co-operative housing.
Over 700 people are registered for this week's annual meeting of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada), which features workshops, speakers and voting for a national board and resolutions.
Business at today's meeting included a resolution endorsing a political campaign entitled "You Hold the Key - Fix the Co-op Housing Crunch" calling on CHF Canada and regional federations to lobby all levels of government to establish cost-shared rent supplements to replace expiring federal agreements which currently help more than 50,000 low-income Canadians.
Some federal operating agreements have already expired, and many will end in the next few years, jeopardizing seniors, disabled, working poor and new Canadians living in non-profit and co-operative homes.
Another resolution today calls on members to adopt an interpretive statement of an international 'Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade', an action plan for the growth and promotion of co-operative enterprise which includes a defining set of elements distinguishing co- operatives from other business models, as adopted by the members of global apex organization representing co-operatives: the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
CHF Canada's Executive Director, Nicholas Gazzard, also serves as president of Co-operative Housing International, a the housing sector body of the ICA. According to Gazzard, the five key themes in the Blueprint—participation, sustainability, identity, legal framework and capitalization—are "absolutely relevant" to housing co-operatives in Canada.
CHF Canada is 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.
SOURCE: Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada