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____ Wednesday October 21, 2015 ____

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Looking Forward:Co-operatives

Canada's Housing Co-ops Look Forward to Working with New Liberal Government

Ottawa - The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) and its 900 member housing co-operatives across the country congratulate Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government on a remarkable election victory. They also congratulate all Members of Parliament elected yesterday in Canada's 42nd General Election.

"After a long campaign, Canadians have elected a new majority government with a strong mandate to implement a platform which includes renewing affordable housing infrastructure and preserving the affordability of co-operative housing," said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. "Co-op members met many of these new MPs at candidate events in communities across the country. We are confident that these Members of Parliament heard our concerns and will support the protection of Canada's housing co-ops."

More than 21,000 low-income households across the country live in mixed-income housing co-ops where they pay an affordable rent because of federal funding agreements. Even more live in other non-profit housing with similar funding agreements. They are seniors on fixed-incomes, new Canadians, persons with mental and physical disabilities, Aboriginal people, lone-parent families and others. However, this funding is scheduled to come to an end; for some co-ops and non-profit housing organizations, it already has.

Affordable housing was widely recognized as an important campaign issue, especially by Canada's mayors, many of whom expressed concern specifically over the loss of these federal funds for social housing, including co-ops. During the campaign, housing co-ops welcomed the Liberal Party's platform commitment to renew funds for co-operative housing whose funding agreements are expiring, along with its pledge to support the development of more affordable rental housing.

"Canada's housing co-ops look forward to working with the new Liberal government to turn this commitment for renewed funding into a reality, with a new rent supplement program for co-op homes whose federal funding agreements are expiring. This will ensure vulnerable individuals and families living in housing co-ops will continue to have safe and affordable homes," said Gazzard.

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.

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