Up to 300 low-income co-op households will benefit from the B.C. government’s $2 million in assistance to make their homes more affordable. This funding will bridge the shortfall resulting from expired federal operating agreements.

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“The funding, which will be administered by the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, will provide vital support for up to 300 low-income co-op members whose housing may be at risk,” said Suzanne Anton, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “While this is outside our jurisdiction, the B.C. government has decided to step in and help low-income residents during this period of transition.”

The provincial funding is intended to support co-ops whose federal operating agreements expired prior to April 1, 2016, and who are not eligible to receive an extension from the federal government. There are 22 co-ops that fit this criteria.

Eligible co-ops can apply to the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC to receive financial assistance to ensure housing remains affordable for their low-income members. This assistance helps to ensure low-income co-op members do not pay more than 30% of their income towards housing. Assistance is estimated to be an average of $300 per month per member/household.

“With federal operating agreements now expired, this provincial funding will help co-ops continue to provide affordable housing for their members,” said Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan.

“This will mean a great deal to hundreds of low-income co-op families and individuals whose housing charges are geared-to-income,” said Thom Armstrong, executive director, Co‐operative Housing Federation of British Columbia. “We’d like to thank the B.C. government for recognizing the need to help the most vulnerable people in our co-op communities by making their homes more affordable.”