NEWS FROM CHF CANADA: Reno/Retro Funding Available for Federally Administered Co-ops

JUL 5 CMHC has announced a one-time investment to be delivered over two years for the renovation and retrofit of existing social and co‑operative housing administered by CMHC.

$77.6 million has been set aside for co‑ops and social housing providers that are funded and administered by CMHC or the Agency for Co‑operative Housing.

What you need to know:

Deadline to apply is August 2, 2016
Work must start within 3 months of funding approval
Projects must be completed and invoices submitted to CMHC for payment no later than March 31, 2018
Your co‑op must be under agreement to qualify (funded and administered directly by CMHC or the Agency).
Applications will be assessed according to need and priority. Interested co‑ops are encouraged to act quickly, as the deadline is less than one month away.

For an overview of eligible renovation and retrofit activities, consult CMHC's application guidelines and more:

Application Guidelines
CMHC announcement
For further information, contact CHF Canada's David Spackman.


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You Hold the KeyURGENT!

Ask your MP to protect affordable co-op housing

Subsidies for co-op housing from the federal government are beginning to end. Without government action, tens of thousands of low-income co-op households are in danger of losing their homes. Many of you sent messages to your candidates during the election, asking them to support a solution to this crisis.

Because of your efforts, a commitment for co-op housing was included in the Liberal party platform. But we still need your help. The upcoming federal budget needs to include dollars to translate this commitment into action, so that low-income co-op residents are protected.

Your MP needs to know that you expect a real solution to this crisis. Don't wait.

Send a message to your MP now!

Welcome to SACHA

The Southern Alberta Co-operative Housing Association, or SACHA, is a regional federation of housing co-operatives that is governed by a Board of Directors who live or work in member housing co-operatives. SACHA, together with the members, forms a community working toward the same goals and operating by the co-operative principles. This partnership of working together, sharing information and supporting one another ensures continuing success.

About Co-op Housing

There are about a quarter of a million people living in housing co-ops across Canada. A housing co-op is a legal association formed for the purpose of providing homes to its members on a continuing basis. A co-op is different from other housing associations in its ownership structure and its commitment to co-operative principles. Co-op housing offers a home, not an investment.

What is a Co-op and How Does a Co-op Work?

Housing co-ops are member-owned and controlled. Co-ops can provide affordable alternative for people on moderate incomes. The people who live in housing co-op’s are members not tenants.
Co-op’s are democratically run and each member has a vote. Members elect from among themselves, a board of directors to manage the business of the co-op. Members elect the Board of directors, approve the annual budget and set policy. The monthly housing charges (rent) are set by the members to cover the costs of running the co-op.
As a co-op member, you have security of tenure. This means that you can live in your home for as long as you wish if you follow the rules of the
co-op. What sets co-ops apart from private rental housing is that they are democratic communities where the residents make decisions on how the co-op operates. .

How to Apply to a Co-op

First, you must decide which co-op(s) you wish to apply to because each co-op has its own application. Contact the co-op to find out how to apply. Some co-ops hold information meetings where you will find out more about that co-op, can ask questions, and can pick up an application. You may be placed on a waiting list if no units are available at the time you apply.
The co-op will consider your application based on criteria that will always include: agreeing to take good care of your home, a willingness to live in a diverse community, and most important: demonstrated financial responsibility. The co-op will always check references as part of your application.
After you have completed an application, you may be invited to an interview where you will be asked some questions. You will also have explained to you your rights and responsibilities of living in your co-op.
If you are looking for housing, please contact the co-operative you are interested in, click here to see the list of co-ops and their availability

Member Rights

The rights of a co-op member include: voting on the annual budget, electing a board of directors, running for the board of directors, receiving audited financial statements, and enjoying a sense of belonging and community.

About Subsidy

Some co-ops offer subsidy to help applicable members pay their monthly housing charges. Non-profit housing co-ops receive money from the government (federal and/or provincial) to help the co-op subsidize a certain number of housing units.
The housing charge for these units is adjusted to the income of the household. If a household qualifies for a subsidy, their housing charge is usually set at 25-30% of the household's income plus charges for utilities.