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People living in co-op housing to lose federal rental support: Co-op group

Last Updated Jun 4, 2015 at 6:50 am PDT

Mayflower Co-op in Surrey (Courtesy of CHF-BC)

Co-op Housing Federation of BC worried co-op renters will end up "homeless" after losing federal rental support

CHF-BC says from now until 2020 roughly four thousand co-op households will lose subsidies

CHF-BC is calling on the province to help fill in the gap by providing additional financial support

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Major changes are coming to some people who live in subsidized housing.
The Co-operative Housing Federation of BC fears the affordable housing crunch is about to get worse for thousands of people who live in co-op housing around the province.

Thom Armstrong, Executive Director with CHF-BC, says the federal government will no longer be providing rent support to those living in co-ops; instead it’s putting the responsibility onto the province.

He calls it a “crisis” that has already started.
“In BC that translates into almost four thousand households who between now and 2020 can’t afford to live where they’ve been making their home in a co-op community in the last 30 years.”

“Imagine 1/3 of the people in your community, your neighbourhood all of a sudden becoming homeless, because a co-op is a community, 1/3 of the people living in a co-op at any given time is receiving that federally funded rent support,” he explains.

He’s pushing for Victoria to pay an extra $3 million next year on top of what it already spends to help fill in the gap. He feels it’s a “modest” amount and is how much the province budgets for office supplies in the legislature.

He says the most vulnerable will be priced out of their home especially in an area with the hottest rental market in Canada.
“We’re talking about the working poor essentially, people with chronic disabilities, we’re talking about single parent-led households.”

The CHF-BC has launched its “You Hold the Key!” to fix the co-op housing crunch campaign. The goal is to get a provincially-funded rent assistance program in place this year.