Conservative Cuts to Low-Income Co-operative Housing Units Hurt Struggling Canadians

OTTAWA– The Conservative government’s decision to end funding to low-income co-operative housing units will hurt struggling Canadians and must be reversed, said Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives Mauril Bélanger today.

“More than 50,000 Canadians rely on the federal government’s rent-geared-to-income subsidy in order to pay their co-operative its monthly rent,” said Mr. Bélanger. “Without this support, housing co-operatives will be faced with two untenable choices: raise rents to market rates, which those living on fixed incomes – including many families, seniors and people with disabilities – simply cannot afford, or ask other tenants to pay higher rent.”

Rent-geared to-income subsidies, which allow co-operatives to offer units to people who otherwise would not be able to afford a home, were a key aspect of the federal government’s operating agreements to build co-operative housing. Despite the fact that many of these agreements have begun to expire and most will be gone by 2020, the Harper Conservatives have signaled no interest in maintaining the subsidy.

“By remaining silent on this issue, the Conservatives are allowing tens of thousands of Canadians – most of whom live in our largest urban areas – to go to bed each night worried that they may soon be without a roof over their head,” concluded Mr. Bélanger.