The Co-op Housing Programs

The co-ops on Vancouver Island were built under three different
Federal Co-op Housing Programs, the last of which was cancelled in
1992 without being replaced. Although a provincial housing program
may allow some co-ops to be built in the future, at present,
unfortunately, someone must move out of a co-op before anyone can
move in.

The Co-op Housing programs provide government assistance to lower
the cost of the mortgage and to subsidize housing charges for those
who cannot afford market rents. Some of this assistance comes from
Canada Mortgage and Housing, and some comes from British Columbia
Housing Management Commission.

The cost of co-op housing to taxpayers is lower than that of any
other form of non-profit housing. According to Canada Mortgage and
Housing's Evaluation of the Federal Co-operative Housing Programs,
published in February 1992, annual operating costs in housing co-
ops average $2191 - $2858 per unit, compared with costs of $3104 -
$3246 per unit for other non-profit housing and $4611 per unit for
public housing projects.

The main reason for this is member participation. By helping to run
the co-op, members lower the co-op's operating costs. In its
Evaluation, CMHC estimated that the value of the time contributed
by members to co-op housing activities ranges from $905 to $1430
per household each year.