Housing co-ops meet in Calgary to protect thousands of low-income households at risk from expiring federal funding

CALGARY, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Participants in the 2013 annual general meeting of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) are gathering in Calgary this week to address the impending loss of housing subsidies for over 500,000 Canadians, over 50,000 of whom live in co-op housing.

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.

More than 600 people will arrive in Calgary today from housing co-ops across the country to address this issue, which Canada's big city mayors declared last week was their top priority.

In Alberta, nearly 600 low-income households living in over 64 housing co-ops are at risk, as are more than 20,000 co-op households in communities across Canada.

"We are asking Minister responsible for CMHC, Diane Finley, to address this critical issue," says Sarcee Meadows Housing Co-op board member Sandy Christensen.  "It is our hope that she will work with CHF Canada and SACHA, our local federation, to ensure the most vulnerable Canadians can continue to live in their housing co-operatives."

Delegates at CHF Canada's meeting will vote on resolutions calling on governments to maintain housing affordability for low-income members after the end of operating agreements with renewed federal funding.

"MPs from all political parties have expressed strong support for continued assistance to co-op households," says CHF Canada Executive Director, Nicholas Gazzard. "Such programs would be delivered by provinces, territories, and municipalities."

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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