Infrastructure spending will help Canadians, co-ops say

    OTTAWA, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Co-operative Housing Federation of
Canada endorsed today's call by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for
new infrastructure spending.
    "Thousands of unemployed construction workers and the millions of
Canadians living in core housing need will welcome this call by municipalities
for new spending on affordable housing," said Nicholas Gazzard, Executive
Director. "Housing co-operatives across Canada support the FCM's
recommendations to stimulate the economy and get Canadians back to work. And
let's remember that construction projects generate more than twice their value
in overall economic activity." Gazzard pointed out that CHF Canada, and many
others, are also calling for new investments in housing.

    Housing co-ops have urged the government to:

    - Provide repayable federal loans for affordable housing repair and
      renovation through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's direct
      lending capacity,
    - Create a $30 million loan fund for energy-saving building retrofits for
      federal co-ops, and
    - Increase the funding for the Affordable Housing Initiative, a federal
      housing program, and allocate $250 million a year for 5 years targeted
      towards new affordable housing development.

    The FCM's plan addresses the funding need for retrofits for public and
non-profit rental housing, as well as new funding for Canada's Affordable
Housing Initiative. The announcement comes a day in advance of the
federal-provincial economic summit in Ottawa.
    "As the FCM points out, infrastructure spending can help the hard-hit
construction, forestry and manufacturing sectors. An investment in affordable
housing could put construction workers back on the job and help all those
Canadians who are in desperate need of affordable housing. This is exactly
what Canada needs," Gazzard said.

    About CHF Canada:

    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),; Merrilee
Robson, Program Manager, Communications, 1-877-533-2667, ext. 122, (778)
227-3864 (cell),

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