The You Hold the Key Campaign is a joint partnership of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) and CHF Canada dedicated to protecting our most vulnerable members. For more information about the campaign in BC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-879-5111; for more about campaign activities across the country visit CHF Canada's campaign website.
On November 20, 2016, CHF BC learned that the BC government will extend $2 million in assistance to the 22 coops with CMHC agreements that expired prior to April 1, 2016. These co-ops were not covered by the subsidy extension recently announced by the federal government. This additional assistance will make housing charges more affordable for more than 300 low-income households until September 2018. It will be administered by CHF BC on terms very similar to the co-ops' former section 95 agreements with CMHC.
On March 23, housing co-ops across Canada celebrated a federal budget that promises short-term relief for low-income co-op members caught in the co-op housing crunch. Budget 2016 allocates $30 million over the next two years to provide rent assistance to low-income households as existing funding agreements expire. This reflects what we have been asking for since day one of our You Hold the Key campaign.
The federal government also put more money in Budget 2016 to help the province handle this extra responsibility. Now it's time to make sure the provincial government steps up to the plate to deliver a long-term rent supplement program for our most vulnerable members. Watch this space for updates as we move towards a successful conclusion to the campaign. And remember, you hold the key!
As individuals we can learn about the issues, and talk to friends, family and elected officials.
At the co-op, we can pass resolutions in support of the Key Campaign. It's a simple four-step process:
126 co-ops (representing over 7,413 households) have already passed a resolution. Add your co-op's name to the list of those that have "Shown Some Resolve":
Co-op support for the campaign is strong.
Thousands of seniors, people with disabilities, new Canadians and others on limited or fixed incomes face a crisis as their homes become unaffordable. Between now and 2017, over 1,500 of these vulnerable housing co-ops in B.C. will lose rent-geared-to income subsidies as their federal housing agreements end. By 2020, this number will climb to 3,000 households. One quarter of all the housing co-ops in B.C. will be impacted.
Housing co-ops support diverse, mixed-income communities; but without ongoing rent assistance, their low-income members will be at risk. If these members have to leave their co-op homes they will be facing the most expensive rental market in the country.
As federal housing agreements end and buildings age, we must work together to preserve these valuable homes and vibrant communities
We are calling on governments at all levels to act together to maintain rent-geared-to-income assistance for low-income co-op members in BC and across Canada. We've partnered with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to put pressure on governments to support a provincial rent assistance program for those co-ops whose federal operating agreements are ending.
Learn more from our campaign mini-mag.