From a teenager fighting rental conversion to CEO of a national agency: Alexandra Wilson's dedication to co-operative housing honoured

    MONTREAL, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ - In 1974, when Alexandra Wilson was still
a teenager, she led her fellow tenants in a fight to protect their heritage
apartment complex in the Riverdale neighbourhood of Toronto. The tenants
stopped the Bain Apartments from being redeveloped by buying the complex and
converting it to a non-profit housing co-operative that is still providing
affordable rental housing today.
    That accomplishment and the many that followed are the reason Alexandra
Wilson will be named Honorary Life Associate by the Co-operative Housing
Federation of Canada. The presentation will take place this evening during CHF
Canada's annual general meeting at the Westin Harbour Castle Convention
    Today, Alexandra is Chief Executive Officer of the Agency for
Co-operative Housing. The Agency started in 2006 and administers federal
co-operative housing programs in BC, Alberta, Ontario and PEI.
    She has given her time and expertise to many aspects of co-operative
    After first working as Bain co-op's property manager, Alexandra joined
the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto. During her time as managing
director of CHFT, membership doubled and hundreds of new co-op units were
    When the federal government planned to end funding for non-profit co-op
housing development, Alexandra was part of a team that proposed a new co-op
housing program more affordable for government. The government approved the
new ILM program that pioneered the use of index-linked mortgages in Canada.
    After three years working in the International Affairs department of the
Canadian Co-operative Association, she joined CHF Canada as executive director
in 1990.
    In 1995, the federal government announced its intention to devolve
responsibility for its housing programs and the co-operatives developed under
them. Recognizing that this would harm the national co-operative housing
movement, CHF Canada presented a proposal to government for an innovative,
arm's-length agency to administer co-operative housing programs.
    After a national lobbying campaign by co-op members across Canada, the
federal government stopped the devolution of co-op housing programs in most
provinces. The Agency for Co-operative Housing took on the administration of
federal co-op programs in 2006.
    Alexandra has been an active housing co-op member in both Toronto and
Ottawa. She has served as CHF Canada's representative to the International
Co-operative Alliance's Housing Committee and serves on the Board of Directors
of The Co-operators.

For further information:

For further information: Merrilee Robson, Program Manager,
Communications, (778) 227-3864(cell), (416) 861-8755 (CHF Canada conference
office, June 11 - 14),

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