Housing co-operatives : a solution to the housing challengeSeptember 11, 2019
FECHIMM wants to help make housing a priority issue during the upcoming federal electoral campaign. Faced with the growing challenge of being able to access decent housing at a truly affordable price is, here as elsewhere in the country, it intends to recall the value and relevance of the cooperative housing model to advance the right to housing.
In Canada, according to the federal government's own figures, 1.7 million households do not have adequate housing. Low and middle income individuals and families are the most likely to find themselves in low quality housing.
For the Federation and its 475 or so member co-operatives, there is no doubt that government strategies must rely on the co-operative formula to ensure the right to housing for all. Co-operative housing, it is argued, is a third option between buying and renting.
"The next federal government must support the social mission of existing housing co-operatives. It must also support the movement in its efforts to truly boost the development of the network", FECHIMM writes in its electoral pamphlet (FR).
FECHIMM’s members’ demands
Under the theme Think co-ops, the Federation's campaign revolves around four resolutions adopted at the general assembly held in April.
Members demand, among other things, the formal recognition of the right to housing within a specific law incorporating objectives and deadlines for the end of homelessness and access to adequate housing for the entire population.
They are also demanding that the federal government increase the budget allocated to the development and rehabilitation of social and community housing in the national strategy by $ 2 billion to create 600,000 new social and community housing units by 2035.
FECHIMM's demands also include the reinstatement of subsidies to low-income households, abolished in co-operatives whose operating agreements ended before April 1, 2016. For other co-operatives still benefiting from subsidies and for future projects, the Federation is calling for the continuation of grants beyond the announced deadline of March 31, 2028.
The important housing issues faced by Indigenous people are also the focus of housing co-operatives who have adopted a resolution showing their solidarity with the needs of Indigenous people. Like the Indigenous Caucus of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), FECHIMM is asking the next federal government to develop a strategy, within ten years, to raise the standards of Indigenous housing to the standards of all Canadians.
In addition to the work that will be done by the members of its political action committee, FECHIMM will also campaign through its electronic tools and social networks. It is inviting members of housing co-operatives to play an active role in this campaign by making candidates from different parties aware of the demands made by the general assembly and by seeking formal commitments from them.
For more information
- See the special section 2019 Federal elections.