2022 federal budget
HOUSING CO-OPS: A SOCIAL PROJECT TAKES SHAPEApril 08, 2022
The Fédération de l'habitation coopérative du Québec (FHCQ) reacts favourably to the 2022 federal budget, which aims to increase the number of housing cooperatives through a program dedicated to this housing sector. A total of $1.5 billion, including $500 million in funds and $1 billion in loans, will be allocated to this initiative. This solution comes at the right time in the context of a housing crisis where more and more households are struggling to find adequate housing.
"The federal budget sends a strong message by recognizing the uniqueness of the co-operative housing model," said Patrick Préville, Executive Director of the FHCQ. "The entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of our movement will be put to work to help define and develop this new generation of co-ops. We believe that 6,000 units in five years is an encouraging start and we hope that the Quebec government will also recognize the cooperative difference.
The federation commends the federal government's approach, which includes working with the co-op community, including the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, but also with sector stakeholders. "We would like Quebec to adopt this approach, which we consider constructive, since it allows us to take into account the expertise of the community and thus make projects more relevant and beneficial to the population," added the FHCQ's executive director.
- [Read the full press release from the FHCQ (FR)]((https://cdn.fechimm.coop/uploads/documents/document/476/Budget_2022_FHCQ_Communique_0422.pdf)
Inflation and price increases in housing are rising faster than household incomes, which makes them considerably more vulnerable. The development of new co-ops is therefore excellent news, as it will strengthen the social fabric while increasing the supply of truly affordable housing in a sustainable manner.
In a recent open letter, the FHCQ mentioned the social project that the housing cooperative represents. This new program for the development of a "new generation of co-ops" is certainly a first step in this direction. Housing cooperatives are an important economic lever, since they give economic power back to their members, promote household resilience through a living environment based on mutual aid and contribute to the development of citizens who are more involved in the community.
"It is imperative that housing be taken out of the market logic that has only profit as its objective rather than the well-being of its occupants. Let's think for a moment about seniors whose incomes will not increase. Let's think about the single-parent families who must deal with a single income and whose housing often does not correspond to the composition of their household. And that's without counting the low and modest income households who are far from finding their place in the private market. Housing co-ops meet these needs and more," says Préville.
FHCQ concerned about seniors
With the death toll in CHSLDs during the pandemic and the recent closure of RPAs, the FHCQ sees the federal government's plan as an opportunity to develop a new offering of co-ops dedicated to seniors. The solidarity cooperative, in particular, or any other cooperative model to be imagined would allow for adequate housing for this segment of the population that helped build Quebec. "As the objective of the cooperative is to develop services for its members, they would benefit from adapted services in a healthy, safe and affordable environment, and this, while their income is stagnating, or even declining considering inflation," explains the FHCQ's executive director.