B.C housing co-ops ‘face a horrible choice’

Housing co-operatives across B.C. are facing uncertainties as federal government subsidies come to an end, and restrictions squeeze their other options.

But for some of Vancouver’s 108 non-profit housing co-ops, their saviour may be in the form of real estate investing speculation.

Most of the 264 housing co-operative across B.C. are in Metro Vancouver, with about 6,000 Vancouver residents living in co-ops. Some of these co-ops are along West Side real estate.
“Housing co-ops face a horrible choice,” said Thom Armstrong, executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C. in a report by Vancourier.  “The co-ops either have to cover the rental subsidy themselves or stop maintaining the asset.”
About 70 per cent of the federally-funded co-ops signer under operating agreements with the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. will have expired before 2020 and 2017. Many of which ran for 30 or 35 years and housed single mothers, new immigrants, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Armstrong also estimated that approximately “$20,000 to $80,000 per door” is needed to provide much needed upgrades and to keep the decades-old structures liveable, adding that “a total of $400m to $500m in reinvestment is required.”

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