Blog Sixteen: Standing room only at Halston Hills All-Burnaby Co-ops You Hold the Key Campaign meeting!

(BURNABY) Wow! Packed! Nearly 70 people jammed into the common room at Halston Hills Co-op for the first big public meeting of the campaign. And these folks are motivated – representing nearly a dozen different co-op communities, they wanna know how they can get involved and pressure the provincial government to fund and deliver a rent supplement program to replace expiring federal subsidies for low-income co-op members. Lil Cameron, our host co-op’s president, doesn’t mince words about what will happen if nothing’s done.

“If we don’t get another agreement, we’re going to have people who can’t afford to live here, right? But if they can’t afford to live here they are not going to be able to live anywhere else either,” she tells the audience.

“It’s not only 31 units of our co-op that it is going to affect; it is going to affect everybody as we evolve.”

CHF BC Executive Director Thom Armstrong is pretty candid too, especially when it comes to telling the crowd the federal government has pretty much bailed on housing and how not to expect any big, nation-wide co-op programs like they saw back in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“That train has left the station and they burned the station down after it,” he says.

During the brainstorming session, lots of good ideas were tossed around – all of them aimed at getting the attention of Rich Coleman (Minister Responsible for Housing). The Twitter feeds and the Facebook pages are already starting to buzz. It’s like someone kicked a beehive.  

And stay tuned – there will be more to follow as the campaign ramps up.