Groundbreaking partnership to build co-op housing for students between Concordia Student Union and the Chantier de L'Economie Sociale

MONTREAL, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Concordia Student Union is pleased to announce that it has received a letter of interest from the Fiducie du Chantier de L'economie sociale offering matching funding for an innovative new co-op housing project for students.

The project is expected to provide students with housing at 80% of market value, as compared to rents currently paid, which can be as high as 81% ABOVE market. A referendum in March will ask Concordia students if they want to set up an autonomous revolving fund to create affordable cooperative housing for students in Quebec, and approve a $1,850,000 contribution to it from an existing student space fund. If the referendum passes, the Chantier is willing to provide matching funds up to $1,500,000.

"We are excited to bring forward such a groundbreaking initiative, which effectively addresses the housing needs of students at Concordia," said Terry Wilkings, VP Academic and Advocacy with the Concordia Student Union and the spearhead for the project. "Through fostering strong partnerships with existing actors in the social economy, the CSU is able to benefit from experienced organizations to maximize the building capacity of the student housing fund."

"The projects established through the fund will have a positive impact on our surrounding communities by creating permanently affordable housing dedicated to meeting the needs of our students," added Concordia Student Union President Benjamin Prunty.

"Founded in 2007, the Fiducie du Chantier de l'économie sociale is unique among investment funds," said Nancy Neamtan, Présidente du Conseil des fiduciaires de la Fiducie du Chantier de l'économie sociale. "Our goal is to make available financial products adapted to the evolving needs of social enterprises. We are always looking for new partners which share our vision of development and approach to investment, and we're looking forward to working with the Concordia Student Union to make housing more affordable for students. "

"The housing initiative provides many learning opportunities for students which replace the traditional tenant-landlord relationship with cooperative student ownership," added Wilkings. "The overwhelming support we received in our recent by-election on student housing was a strong indicator from students that they wanted us to employ a proactive approach."

"We want to thank the Chantier for this strong public commitment to our project," added Prunty. "Together, we can address the rising costs of rent for students and fight financial barriers to higher education."


SOURCE Concordia Student Union

For further information: For media inquiries contact: Benjamin Prunty, President, Concordia Student Union: 438-881-5879; Terry Wilkings, VP Academic and Advocacy, Concordia Student Union: 514-797-5141


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