“It is a huge issue. There are 4000 low income co-op households in B.C. whose affordability will just tank.”
The clock is running out for thousands of low income co-op members who might be out of house and home if governments don’t table more rental subsidy funding.
Co-operative Housing Federation of BC Executive Director Thom Armstrong says while federal subsidy agreements began running out a few years ago they will peak next year.
“If nothing is done we would conceivably be adding 4000 households to the province’s already swollen waiting list for affordable rental housing.”
Armstrong says the federal government has put in bridge funding until 2018, and then downloaded the whole problem to the province.
“Federal government recently introduced a transition period to extend those subsidies until 2018 so we can work out a more permanent arrangement with the province.”
Does he think the province will be able to find the money?
“I am concerned, but I have to be optimistic that neither the province or the federal government is willing to see 4000 low income households risk homelessness.”
He says developers are also eyeing the co-op properties.
“Circling especially around areas like Marine and Cambie and other transportation hubs. There is a lot of interest in co-op land. Some of which is leased from the city so that seems to be safe for the time being but some is owned by the co-op.”
Armstrong says next year with the bulk of the subsidy agreements expiring will be when “the crisis becomes real.”