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Canada: Cooperative Housing Development Programme launched

WINNIPEG, May 7, 2024 – The Canadian government has launched the Cooperative Housing Development Programme. The programme’s launch was presided over by Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, and Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, alongside the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada [CHF Canada] Board President, Cassia Kantrow and Executive Director Tim Ross.

The Cooperative Housing Development Programme is the first dedicated federal investment in the construction of cooperative housing in over 30 years. Delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the program will consist of approximately $500 million in contributions and $1 billion in loans to build coops across Canada. Projects that support the creation of Indigenous-led cooperative housing will be eligible.

CHF Canada is committed to ensuring the programme’s success through decades of expertise, deep connections with its members and strong linkages to other sector leaders and organizations, especially regional cooperative housing federations. We will work to ensure this program is a further step in growing the development capacity of the cooperative housing sector.

Cooperative housing was part of how Canada addressed its housing needs in the 1970s and 1980s. The coops that were built decades ago provide affordable, secure homes to a quarter of a million Canadians today. Now, facing another housing crisis, coops are once again ready and able to build, with the investments coming from this new programme.

“The launch of the Cooperative Housing Development Programme will kickstart the development of the next generation of cooperative housing. More individuals and families will be able to access the security, affordability, and inclusion that cooperative housing offers,” stated Ross.

“Dedicated investment in cooperative housing acknowledges its unique value in providing not only affordable homes, but also in nurturing strong communities where people of different incomes and backgrounds are welcomed,”added Kantrow.

“Having a secure home in a supportive community made all the difference for me when I was a young single parent. Cooperative housing changes lives, and I am overjoyed that more people will be able to have what I had, thanks to the Cooperative Housing Development Programme.”

“By focusing on people over profits, cooperative housing is able to keep housing affordable for the long term. This is the largest investment in coop housing in 30 years. It will help build thousands of new homes and create a new generation of cooperative housing across Canada,” stated Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

CHF Canada is the national voice of cooperative housing, representing 2,200 housing cooperatives, home to a quarter of a million people in every province and territory. Cooperative housing is a well-documented success story. For over 50 years, coops have provided good-quality, affordable housing owned and managed by the community members who live there.

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