Housing co-ops ready to use federal funds

    OTTAWA, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's 2,200 housing co-ops have lots of
ideas on how to use the federal budget's funding for renovation of existing
social housing stock, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada said
today. They just need to know how to apply for it.
    Speaking at a media event at Eastern Ontario Christian Seniors
Co-operative Homes in Nepean, Karla Skoutajan, CHF Canada's Director, Sector
Development, said housing co-ops are pleased at the funding announcement. "Our
members have projects ready to go. We look forward to discussing this further
with the Minister and her staff, and finding out how we can move forward
quickly with this work."
    At the co-op, Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills
Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC) said, "In a time of economic uncertainty, housing is of
particular importance to Canadians," said Minister Finley. "Strengthening the
stock of social housing will help vulnerable Canadians, while also creating
jobs and opportunities now for those in construction and other industries."
    "Housing co-ops have been promoting this idea for several years,"
Skoutajan said about the $1 billion fund to renovate existing social housing
and for energy retrofits. "Our members live in older buildings and want to
renovate so they can preserve Canada's investment in affordable housing.
They've also been leaders in looking at ways save money on energy costs, and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    "Co-ops are ready to start their projects now" said CHF Canada's
Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. "We've been getting lots of calls and
questions. Mainly they want to know how to access the funds."
    CHF Canada is also interested to learn how the funding for new affordable
housing can be used to create new housing co-ops and to add units to existing
    "Housing co-operatives have been providing affordable housing for
Canadians for over 40 years. We think they can play a strong role in helping
respond to Canada's affordable housing need."

    CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co-operative housing
movement. Its members include nearly 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.

For further information:

For further information: Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, (613)
230-2201 ext. 230, (613) 293-8913 (cell), ngazzard@chfcanada.coop; Merrilee
Robson, Program Manager, Communications, 1-877-533-2667, ext. 122, (778)
227-3864 (cell), mrobson@chfcanada.coop

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