Housing co-ops join big city mayors saying expiring federally-funded housing assistance is the No. 1 priority

CALGARY, June 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Delegates at today's annual meeting of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) in Calgary are expected to pass a resolution calling for all levels of government to solve the threat to 500,000 Canadians whose federally-funded rent assistance is set to expire.

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. In Alberta, over a thousand low-income households living in 64 housing co-ops are at risk, as are more than 20,000 co-op households in communities across Canada. Add non-profit and Aboriginal housing to this, and the impact is multiplied many times over.

More than 700 people are meeting today at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary to address this issue, which Canada's big city mayors declared last week was their top priority.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Responsible for CMHC and MP for Simcoe-Grey, Kellie Leitch, is scheduled to address the conference at 10:30 am.

"This issue is our top priority," says CHF Canada President Anne Davidson.  "It's time for governments to work together with housing stakeholders to ensure that this successful source of community-oriented affordable housing is preserved."

"MPs from all political parties have expressed strong support for continued assistance to co-op households, so we are optimistic, but there is no time to waste," says CHF Canada Executive Director, Nicholas Gazzard, who was identified this year as one of Ottawa's top 100 lobbyists.

Also on today's agenda is honouring members for their successes and commitment to co-operative housing.   Recipients will include local co-op activist Carol Davis, Charles Darrow Housing Co-operative in Aurora, Ontario, and Stuart Thomas, principal of Terra Housing in Vancouver, BC.

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

For further information:

Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, 613-293-8913 (cell), ngazzard@chfcanada.coop

Scott Jackson, Program Manager, National Communications, 778-227-3864 (cell)

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