250,000 Canadians Call the Co-op Their Home

Co-op Housing Federation of Canada Supports Unique Housing Options

Shelter, or adequate living standards, is a basic human right, together with others such as the right to education, and freedom from discrimination. As we celebrate Co-op Week from October 15-21, we pay tribute to our friends at the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada), which supports its membership of more than 900 not-for-profit housing co-ops across the country.

Source: CHF Canada

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a household is in “core housing need” if it does not meet standards of adequacy, affordability or suitability, and if the household would need to spend 30% or more of its before-tax income to find acceptable local housing. With more than three million Canadians currently in “core housing need”, housing co-ops provide a solution that addresses a real and pressing need in our communities.

The Flag Shop has known about the important work of CHF Canada since we began working together over a decade ago, providing everything from custom banners, pennant strings, lapel pins and paper flags, to lawn signs, buttons and lanyards. Our President, Susan Braverman said, “Vancouverites are fully aware of the ongoing housing crisis here in the Lower Mainland.  However, affordable housing is also a real and serious problem in the rest of the country.” She added, “We just can’t miss the opportunity to share with our readers the important work of CHF Canada in helping provide affordable housing for its members.”

30′ vinyl banner made for a housing co-op in Toronto.

Over 150 housing co-ops installed banners to celebrate 2012 IYC. This banner was installed in Vancouver.

One of the unique aspects of the co-operative business model is that members are in control of their own co-op, on the basis of one member, one vote, giving life to co-op principles such as “Autonomy and Independence.” In the case of a housing co-op, this means there is no outside landlord imposing the rules. This allows co-ops to truly serve its own needs because the people who live in these co-ops govern themselves.

Fulfilling its mission to inspire, represent and serve its membership, CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co-operative housing movement. More than 250,000 Canadians live in housing co-ops in every province and territory from coast to coast to coast. Housing co-ops, with the help of CHF Canada, make an enormous and commendable impact on meeting the basic human rights to adequate living standards.

Springfield Seniors Housing Co-op in Winnipeg is an example of a new co-op development. Source: CHF Canada

Source: CHF Canada

In different parts of the world, the co-op housing model takes on many forms. Here in Vancouver, the majority of housing co-ops are rentals established in the 1970s and ’80s under social housing programs, improving the well-being of people with lower to moderate incomes. As housing co-ops continue to evolve, different types are emerging, such as equity housing. Equity housing co-ops involve the purchase of shares by the member, representing the value of the home.

As we get closer to Co-op Week, we want to recognize CHF Canada for its part in addressing such an important need. Thank you for inspiring and empowering people to participate in influencing their own future through social and economic advancement, and for demonstrating just how much can be accomplished through co-operation.

Source: CHF Canada

The Flag Shop is proud to be the source for official Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada and ICA Co-op Marque branded products! For more information about our co-op product line, please visit our co-op products website: thecoopstore.ca. To learn more about The Flag Shop and see our complete product line, please visit our main website: www.flagshop.com.

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