Co-op Housing Solutions for Youth Aging Out of Government Care

  5 September 2023

Our newest partnership with TRRUST (Transition in Resources, Relationships and Understanding Support Together), supports and facilitate a connection between housing co-ops and youth aging out of government care. At the age of 19, these young adults are seeking stability and a safe community. This is especially true as their lived experience to date has often been through a series of foster homes. 

We know that housing co-op communities can be an excellent option. Unfortunately, these homes have not been accessible to young adults for a variety of reasons.


Each year in Vancouver, approximately 100 youth age out of government care and youth agreements at age 19. For many youths, moving out of care comes with fear and anxiety. While they try to figure out how they will meet their basic needs they lose services, support, and connections. Youth-in-care value stability and engagement with community because of their lived experience in multiple homes. 

TRRUST is creating youth-led resources and opportunities for youth in and from care to access supports that help fill the gaps in services after aging out of the system. TRRUST brings people and organizations to the same table to create change within a system that has historically not been able to meet the basic living needs for all youth in and from care” 

Youth leader, TRRUST Collective Impact

TRRUST is a collective impact initiative which began in April 2014 and a shared effort. It comprising over 60 organizations and 250 members.. These include non-profit organizations, government agencies, and young people with lived experience in care. The common interest of all TRRUST members is to achieve system-wide improvements in outcomes for youth transitioning out of government care in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Role of Non-Profit Housing Co-operatives

a tall building with a red sign on the side of it

The Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) is the organization representing and serving housing co-operatives in British Columbia. Housing co-ops provide an affordable housing option. They also offer a unique opportunity for youth leaving care to become part of an active community.

In July 2023, CHF BC and McCreary Centre Society, the backbone organization of TRRUST, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), to facilitate co-op housing opportunities for youth aging out of care. 

The Project

We aim to build connections between participating youth and housing co‑ops at all stages from introductions to move-in and beyond. TRRUST and CHF BC have agreed to work toward the following outcomes: 

  1. Housing co-ops with established communities will adopt policies to set aside a certain number of priority placements from their waitlists for youth who have aged out of government care,. These policies are subject to agreed membership, occupancy, and affordability guidelines.
  2. New housing co-ops developed through CHF BC’s Community Land Trust will allocate a minimum number of homes per development for youth who have aged out of government care. These will also be subject to agreed membership, occupancy, and affordability guidelines. 
  3. TRRUST partners will provide support to CHF BC, housing co-ops and the Community Land Trust. They will offer support to youth who are housed through this agreement to facilitate successful outcomes for participating youth and housing co-ops. This may include facilitating access to education, employment, mental health and financial assistance, and other supports as identified.

Focus Group and Information Session

Housing co-op boards of directors interested in this project are invited to join us for an information and focus group session. This event will take place on Tuesday, October 3 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. You will gain awareness of the project and be able to provide input on how to build connections between participating youth and co-ops at all stages of the process. We hope to identify how best to determine the suitability of certain co-op communities to participate in the project. We also want to explore how to navigate any potential challenges. 

All co-op members residing in co-ops that have expressed an interest in the project are invited to attend. The purpose of the session is primarily for information gathering. 

The focus group will be hosted by Michelle Cooper-Iversen, Chief Operating Officer at CHF BC and Erica Mark, TRRUST Project Manager. Join for us for dinner and an engaging discussion. While preference is for in-person, we will be able to host members who prefer to attend virtually.

Vancouver Island members interested in attending in person will receive an expense reimbursement of up to $500 for travel and an overnight stay. We encourage members to carpool if possible. 

Please RSVP by September 30 using the form below.