Introducing a New Era of Co-operative Housing in BC

  28 February 2024

In a recent CFRO Co-op Radio interview, CHF BC CEO Thom Armstrong shares his insights into the new era of ambitious initiatives shaping the co-operative housing landscape in British Columbia.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 46:15 — 63.5MB)

Here are five key takeaways from Thom’s interview that highlight the transformative strides being made:

BC Builds

The new BC Builds program will significantly impact on the supply of affordable housing in British Columbia. Contributing to this are innovative approaches like leveraging public, co-op, and non-profit land, along with substantial financing. In particular, combining city participation with provincial and federal funds will deliver a substantial number of affordable homes across the province. An early example is 112 new co-operative homes in downtown Vancouver.

Rental Protection Fund

Through its advocacy and community efforts, the Rental Protection Fund significantly contribute to protecting existing affordable homes in the province. One of its first investments helped preserve 290 co-op housing homes in Coquitlam. The RPF highlights the importance of maintaining a balance between building new housing and preserving existing affordable homes.

“Imagine being focused on new housing supply, so you’re rolling that rug out in front of you, and for every foot of rug you roll out in front, three to four feet are rolling up behind you.”

Thom Armstrong

Community Land Trust

The acquisition of two Coquitlam co-ops and the construction of new co-op homes in downtown Vancouver highlight the Community Land Trust‘s effectiveness in securing affordable housing. In particular, they demonstrate the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing housing affordability.

Vancouver Leasehold Co-ops

Progress on leasehold co-ops in Vancouver exemplifies ongoing efforts to renew and expand co-op homes. The main goal is ensuring valuable land remains dedicated to non-market housing. Expanding the number of co-op homes is also crucial in meeting the demand for affordable housing in the city.

Vision for the Future

Thom’s reflections underscore the importance of the co-operative movement in shaping public policy and investment in affordable housing in BC. While celebrating provincial successes, he also emphasizes the need for national engagement, including a new federal co-op housing program. He invites us to imagine a future where housing is a fundamental human right accessible to all, emphasizing the importance of collective action and advocacy.

This podcast is a report on the exciting recent progress on affordable housing in BC. It is also a roadmap for future action, including the importance of innovative programs, community engagement, and the preservation of existing housing. Don’t miss the original interview to delve deeper into these transformative discussions.

Read the full transcript of this episode