Building the Next Generation of Co-operative Housing

  25 February 2022

Our colleagues at CHF Canada posted their federal pre-budget submission earlier today. Please review the summary below and read the document linked at the end of the post.

Building the pathway out of the housing crisis by building co-op housing

Published February 24, 2022

CHF Canada’s recommendations to the federal government in advance of the 2022 federal budget include how to build the next generation of co-op housing.

If housing is to be a human right rather than a commodity, building the next generation of co-op housing must be part of the supply mix as Canada sets itself on a pathway out of the housing crisis.

The cost of housing, both ownership and market rental, is on a steep increase. The result is a growing number of households that are less secure and face growing financial pressures. This is especially true for Black, Indigenous and other households of colour, along with people living with disabilities, lone-parent families, newcomers and others.

Home prices have doubled in the last seven years.

We need to quickly expand housing supply to address the housing crisis, but we must do so in a way that is inclusive of all needs and income levels.

Building the next generation of co-operative housing can help us do just that.  More than a quarter of a million Canadians are members of a housing co-operative, but most of these permanently affordable co-op homes were built more than 25 years ago, through robust federal investment.

More than 6% of renters have been evicted in the last 5 years

A return to dedicated federal investment designed to build and acquire co-op housing at scale, in partnership with the co-operative housing sector, will help meaningfully address the housing crisis.

In 1982, more than 6,500 co-op homes were built.  

In 2020, fewer than 500 co-op homes were built.

Here are CHF Canada’s key recommendations:

  1. Co-Invest to develop 50,000 permanently affordable co-operative homes over 10 years, and even more over time as the sector leverages those assets in the longer-term.
  2. Robustly fund and enable the development of an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy, developed by and for Indigenous people.
  3. Commit to long-term rental assistance to ensure continued affordability for low-income households living in co-operatives and non-profits.

Check out the submission for more details.