by Louise Elmes, campaign co-ordinator
My first months on the leaky co-op campaign have been an amazing journey. I have been so impressed with the dedication of the co-op housing sector to rally to the cause of helping one another. Co-op members and staff at CHF BC and CHF Canada have all worked hard to keep the issue in the spotlight.
Fundraising continues, with over $40,000 now collected from across the country. We are more than a third of the way toward our $100,000 goal. Postcards addressed to MPs and to the Minister responsible for CMHC are being mailed in by dedicated co-op members. The November 30 AGM was an opportunity to profile how much progress the campaign has made, and where we still need to go to get the Minister’s attention and get a better deal for co-ops who need money for repairs. Several BC MP’s have now called or written to the Minister in response to our request for their support in the fight to have CMHC respond more quickly and more fairly.
Media spotlight on leaky co-ops
Media focused on the leaky co-ops issue at our AGM. Reporters from CBC, CTV and CKNW interviewed the AGM guest speaker, BC’s Minister of Community Aboriginal and Women’s Services, George Abbott, who stated, “the feds should do what the provincial government does.” The province is responding much more quickly to leaky co-ops within their portfolio through BC Housing, doing necessary repairs before buildings deteriorate even more, and providing funding that is not tied to the subsidy provided to the co-op. CHF BC’s executive director, Thom Armstrong, also had the opportunity to speak to media about leaky units sitting empty awaiting Ottawa’s help. “There’s not enough new affordable housing being built and to allow the existing stock to decay and crumble around people’s ears is utterly disgraceful,” said Armstrong.
Call to action!
– collect and send signed postcards and let us know how many are mailed in
– make a donation to the Leaky Co-op Defence Fund