HOMEFINDER: Co-op housing an affordable option

B.C. and Canada-wide, co-op housing facing budget cuts

Since 1989, the Friendship Housing Co-operative in Sidney has provided affordable and market housing for a wide variety of people.

Located on Fifth Street, the Friendship Housing Co-Op is a collection of units ranging in size from two to four bedrooms. Fiona Jackson, communications director with the Co-operative Housing Foundation of B.C. says it’s one of 262 co-ops in the province and the 34 on Vancouver Island. Most of those, she continued, are located throughout Greater Victoria.

Most housing co-ops, explained Jackson, are occupied by a mixed population of people. Some are seniors, others are single parents and still more are adults. Some can afford to pay market rents and other cannot — so some of the units in each co-op similar to Friendship in Sidney are subsidized. This mix, she said, helped create a diverse community living in each complex.

As members of a housing co-op,  people get security of tenure, meaning they can stay as long as they pay their housing charge and follow the rules.

Residents are also expected to take part on the local board of directors, helping create a better sense of ownership. In the case of Friendship, it is a non-profit business, managed by its members.

Yet, said Jackson, the future of funding sources to ensure subsidized units, or more attainable housing, is up in the air as federal funding dries up.

“Housing co-ops used to be funded by the federal government, between 1970 and 1990, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,” Jackson explained. “Today, a lot of co-ops in B.C. and across Canada are coming to an end of those federal funding agreements.”

In Friendship’s case, Jackson said their funding agreement is not scheduled to run out until 2023. For others, those agreements are ending now and in the coming years.

“In B.C. between now and 2017, 1,500 co-op households face a crisis,” she said. “By 2020, it’ll be up to 3,000 in this province alone.”

Jackson said many of those households include the disabled, seniors, single parents and people on a fixed income. Losing rent subsidies could force some tough decisions.

The CHF BC, said Jackson, is running a campaign called You Hold The Key – Fix the Co-Op Housing Crunch. She said the organization has been talking to provincial cabinet ministers and other politicians, hoping to curb the loss of many of the subsidies. They are seeking a provincially-funded rent supplement program for low income co-op members.

“Having affordable rental housing is the key.”

To learn more about co-op housing in B.C. and the You Hold the Key campaign, go to www.chf.bc.ca.

 

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

Just Posted

Fire-ravaged North Saanich restaurant not likely to re-open until spring

Voicemail greeting from owner of Deep Cove Chalet thanks those who have reached out after Oct. 28 kitchen fire

Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Car centric roads and infrastructure invite cyclist-motorist incidents, says cycling coalition

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

Woman thrown from mobility scooter in downtown Sidney collision

Pickup truck attempting a right turn struck woman in crosswalk

Greater Victoria hotels named best in Canada

Beacon Inn at Sidney ranks third in 3-star category, Magnolia and Abigail’s also named

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Students protest Starbucks’ supplanting local coffee at UVic

The Finnerty Express’s and their Salt Spring Island coffee supplanted by Fall 2019

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

Most Read