Co-ops in a COVID-19 time: Virtual town hall recap

  25 April 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first virtual town hall on April 22nd, exploring what housing co-ops need to know during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event attracted more than 180 co-op members, making it the best attended event in CHF BC’s history.

We dove deep on the big questions challenging your co-op operations; what assistance is available from various levels of government; how to conduct board and member meetings in our new (virtual) normal; as well as how CHF BC is helping.

We shared some good news on the eligibility criteria for the BC Temporary Rent Supplement program. Check out our summary and be sure to apply before April 30 if you are eligible.

There was also news for another group of anxious co-op members. Thanks to a generous contribution from BC Housing, CHF BC will continue to provide housing charge assistance until September 30 for co-ops left out of the original extension of CMHC operating agreements.

Our focus wasn’t on how to survive, but how to thrive and do whatever’s necessary to emerge from these challenging times stronger than ever.  And the response from members has been gratifying.  Dierdre Bradshaw, President of Twin Rainbows Housing Co-op, wrote to say “We really appreciate all that CHF BC is doing for co-ops during this crisis.”

If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch the virtual town hall recording here.  And don’t worry, we’ll be scheduling regular events on line to keep you in the loop.

While your attention has been focused on keeping your co-op communities safe and healthy, our focus is on supporting you. CHF BC will be helping co-ops that want to hold online meetings. We will also be hosting more virtual town halls, webinars and education events online.  All online events will be free of charge to members during the months of April, May and June.

We know this pandemic affects us all, and we are inviting co-ops that aren’t facing financial distress to contribute to a stronger community. If you’ve been encouraged and supported by our efforts, please consider donating the online event fee we would have charged to a worthy cause, like:

CHF BC’s Domestic Violence Relief Fund
A local food bank
• Our partners in the community housing sector, like SisterSpace, run by Atira Women’s Resource Society

Finally, don’t forget to check out our COVID-19 resources page, which is being updated regularly, to learn what you should do to successfully navigate these uncertain times.