Canadian housing co-ops welcome federal investment in housing affordability

A total of CA $462m in funding will be allocated over an eight-year period

The Canadian government has announced the second phase of its federal plan to protect housing affordability for 20,000 low-income co-op households.

The Federal Community Housing Initiative forms part of the government’s National Housing Strategy, launched in 2017. The two-phase CA$55bn (£33.16bn) programme aims to remove 530,000 families from housing need and cut chronic homelessness by 50% over the next decade.

Phase one of the scheme extended rental assistance for federally administered community housing to 31 March 2020, while phase two extends this assistance to 31 March 2028. A total of $462m (£278.56m) in funding will be allocated over the eight years of phase two, which will enable community housing organisations to maintain affordability for Canadians.

The government will also allocate funding for other forms of community housing, providing similar security of tenure for a total of 55,000 households.

Announcing the second phase Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development, said: “With the phase two announcement we are another step closer to realising the vision of the strategy. Protecting households from losing an affordable place to live is a concrete action towards making sure Canadians have housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.”

Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of families, children and social development (housing and urban affairs), added: “For decades the co-op housing sector has been an important partner in the delivery of federal housing investments.

“Sustaining this relationship and meeting the needs of residents supported by this housing model is critical to the success of the National Housing Strategy. Phase one was just the beginning, but an important first step in making sure thousands of Canadians have secure access to affordable housing. Phase two aims to strengthen the co-op housing sector, help providers achieve greater efficiencies and better respond to residents’ needs.

“Both phases are intended to work together to strengthen the co-op housing sector over the long term.”

Frank Wheeler, president of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, said: “We welcome the federal government’s investment in protecting housing affordability for individuals and families in co-operative and community housing. Today’s announcement will provide these vulnerable households the comfort of knowing that their housing is secure for many years to come.”

CHF Canada executive director Tim Ross added: “We commend the federal government for confirming this important step, and we look forward to further strengthening our partnerships to tackle the housing crisis. We know that the 1.7 million Canadians are still in core housing need, and they want the affordability, security and communities that co-ops provide.”