Co-ops celebrate good news in federal budget - March 23, 2016

Federal budget a major step forward for You Hold the Key campaign

Housing co-ops across Canada are celebrating a federal budget that promises short-term relief for low-income co-op members caught in the

co-op housing crunch and the active re-engagement of the federal government in the housing field.


The budget allocates $30 million over two years, starting in 2016-17, so that federally administered social housing providers – including housing co-ops – can continue to provide rent assistance to low-income members as existing funding agreements expire.  This reflects what we have been asking for since day one of our You Hold the Key campaign.


“We thank the federal Liberal government for this commitment,” said CHF BC Executive Director Thom Armstrong. “And we thank our members and partners here in BC and across Canada for their steadfast support of the You Hold the Key campaign.”


While the budget includes good reason to celebrate, Armstrong notes that there is still work to be done.  “The two-year federal commitment is a temporary measure.  Now it's up to us to make sure that the provincial government steps up to the plate to deliver a long-term rent supplement program for our most vulnerable members.”


There were other very significant investments in affordable housing in today’s budget, much of it relevant to co-operative housing. CHF BC welcomes the new investments in energy and water efficiency retrofits and renovations for social housing. This will help housing co-operatives keep their buildings in good shape and ensure they are as energy efficient as possible.


Equally welcome is the increased funding for provincial governments that will allow them to invest in affordable housing, including rent supplements that could benefit co-ops.  


The budget also invites stakeholders to work with Ottawa to help develop a National Housing Strategy to protect and grow the affordable housing stock. CHF BC looks forward to working with its partners to ensure that housing co-ops are well represented in that important discussion.



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