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Conservatives Backtrack, Allow Co-ops to Renegotiate Mortgages

Conservatives Backtrack, Allow Co-ops to Renegotiate Mortgages

Posted on January 29, 2013

OTTAWA– In response to Liberal pressure, the Conservative government has backtracked and agreed to provide reasonable mortgages and refinancing for housing co-operatives, said Liberals today.

“Today marks a long-overdue victory for housing co-ops across the country that will now have the ability to restructure their government-held mortgages following months of adamant opposition from this government,” said Liberal Housing critic John McCallum. “It was ridiculous that affordable housing mortgages had become a government cash cow, so I am very glad to see we were able to change the Conservatives’ minds.”

Until today the Conservative government had stubbornly asserted that housing co-operatives seeking to restructure their government-held mortgages, many with interest rates as high as 13.25%, were out of luck. Yesterday, in their response to a report by the House of Commons Special Committee on Co-operatives – a committee that was brought about by a Liberal motion – the Conservatives said they will now allow a ‘discounted pre-payment penalty’.

“The government must now promptly and clearly define the new eligibility criteria so that the co-ops stuck with mortgages up to four times today’s lending rates can begin to benefit,” said Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives Mauril Bélanger. “Also, if the Conservatives let the federal money tied to co-op housing agreements expire, thousands of low-income families, seniors, persons with disabilities and Aboriginal Peoples could find themselves homeless.”