Canada’s housing co-operatives have welcomed the federal government’s National Housing Strategy designed to protect low-income members of housing co-operatives and to build new affordable housing for Canadians in need.
Across the country, tens of thousands of low-income co-op housing residents were in danger of losing their affordable homes. Federal and provincial funding agreements that assist more than 20,000 low-income households living in co-operative housing with their rents were coming to an end in large numbers.
This group consists mostly of seniors, single-parent families, new and Indigenous Canadians, and those living with disabilities. The strategy announced detailed plans to protect long-term affordability for 385,000 low-income residents of community housing, including co-operatives.
After a decade of work by CHF Canada and housing co-ops across the country, the funding for the National Housing Strategy has now been budgeted through 2028. It will also assist the same number of households that are currently assisted.
“After years of uncertainty, we welcome the federal government’s detailed plan on how it will protect the affordability of co-operative housing for our low-income neighbours,” said CHF Canada president Nicole Waldron. “We are pleased to see that the government sees the value of protecting, preserving and expanding co-operative housing, and we look forward to partnering on solutions to the housing crisis.”
The strategy also included plans to build new affordable housing, including an expansion of community housing of 50,000 new units. Housing co-operatives own an estimated $5.6 billion in assets and are well positioned to support the expansion of affordable, co-operative housing.
“It is important that we not only protect what we have, but we also need to grow in order to help more Canadians access an affordable place to call home,” said Karla Skoutajan, acting executive director of CHF Canada. “We look forward to working with the federal government to ensure that these initiatives are rolled out in a timely and seamless manner.”