KEY CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Positive Changes in Subsidy Extensions

The end of federal subsidies for low-income households in co op housing is CHF Canada's top advocacy issue. Our You Hold the Key campaign heightened awareness and support for our proposal to protect low-income households at the end of operating agreements.

Federal Budget 2016 included $30-million over two years to help co ops (with federally-administered agreements ending between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018) continue rent-geared-to-income assistance. This is a temporary, stop-gap measure until more permanent solutions are established through the national housing strategy.

CMHC will soon contact eligible co ops with an offer to extend subsidies to March 31, 2018. Co ops will receive a covering letter and a supplementary funding agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the extended subsidies.

The program will offer the same level of subsidy (dollar for dollar) as in the last year of the co op's agreement. For co ops with an agreement that has expired since April 1, 2016, a retroactive payment will also be provided.

CHF Canada advocated on behalf of its members to eliminate unreasonable terms and conditions associated with the extension of operating agreements. Under the supplementary agreement, co ops will be free to refinance, make investment decisions and enter into management contracts without CMHC approval. Co ops will still be required to file an annual information return.

CHF Canada recognizes this is a short term fix for a long term issue. That's why we are continuing to advocate for a long term, fully funded rent-supplement program earmarked for housing co ops as a major component of the federal government's National Housing Strategy.

To learn more our advocacy efforts, visit For more information, contact Tim Ross, Program Manager of Policy and Government Relations at 1-800-465-2752 ext. 222 or

SACHA is Looking to Hire a Facilitator / Consultant - Co-op Community Development

Duties Include
• Providing education in the Co-op sector
• Governance and management training
• Working with Board of Directors from various Co-op housing complexes

Skills Required
• Facilitation skills necessary
• Strong people skills
• Strong communication skills demonstrated in written and verbal reports, presentations, and meeting facilitation
• Delivery on commitments and ability to set clear objectives and deliverable goals
• Ability to work well with and motivate others

• Must have a valid driver's license and a reliable vehicle
• Clear understanding of how Co-op housing works

If you are interested in applying for this position please forward you resume, along with salary expectation, to


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.