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Housing crisis and cost of living: housing co-ops, a path forward ;solution?

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The new complex is to be built at 2444 Eglinton Avenue East, in Scarborough.

Radio-Canada< p class="text-medium leading-6 text-gray600 light:text-gray600 dark:text-gray400">Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

The City of Toronto is investing millions of dollars in a new real estate project that will include more than 600 cooperatively managed apartments.

This new complex would become the largest major cooperative subdivision project in the province, affirms the Municipality.

A longtime resident of one of Toronto's oldest housing co-ops says living in such housing offers peace of mind in a world where the cost of living is ever-rising.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">I saw my kids trying to find an apartment in Toronto. Apartments in Toronto are incredibly expensive, says Jennifer Hazel.

However, according to the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, this type of housing was especially fashionable between the 1970s and 1990s. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in from governments, it is specified.

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And if the City of Toronto announces its colors with this project, the Ontario government also affirms that it is in favor of an increase in the number of cooperatives.

Last month, the City of Toronto announced a partnership with Civic Developments, Windmill Developments and Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto to build a residential complex in Scarborough, in the city's east end. .

This project […] is one of the largest affordable housing projects in Ontario in the last 25 years and the largest cooperative subdivision project in the province, reads the press release published on January 9.

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Two of the three towers of the 2444 Eglinton Avenue East complex must be managed as a cooperative.

The project is to include three apartment buildings and a total of 918 housing units. Two of the three buildings will be cooperatives, for a total of 612 units. The City has invested approximately $40 million, it states.

A housing cooperative is a group of people who form a business to provide housing services for themselves. […]

Democratic management is the lifeblood of a healthy cooperative and the people who live in the cooperative, and who collectively own and manage the housing, are voting members. The members elect a board of directors from among themselves and authorize it to manage the day-to-day affairs of the cooperative so as to meet all the requirements of its charter, municipal by-laws, agreements and policies.

All members of a cooperative share the benefits and responsibilities of cooperative living, making it more than one simple place to live.

Source: Website of the cooperative at 100 Bain Street, in Toronto

A housing cooperative, how does it work ?

The coop at 100 rue Bain, in East York, is one of the oldest in the province, according to Ms. Hazel, who lives there and is part of the residential council. We're celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, she says.

She adds that people who move there tend to stay there.

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John Sharkey (left) and Jennifer Hazel have lived in the housing co-op at 100 Bain Street for decades.

I moved in here when my son was two, he is now 35 and my daughter just moved here in December. I have grandchildren [who live] here too, she explains.

John Sharkey has lived there since the 1980s. He particularly appreciates the community effect inherent to the cooperative management method. It is an astonishing and rich experience to live here. It really, really is.

I am particularly attracted to the self-management process. We are always encouraged to be part of these committees.

A quote from John Sharkey

Mr. Sharkey and Ms. Hazel agree on one aspect in particular: living in a cooperative provides great peace of mind. That means we get affordable housing, they both repeated during the interview.

Amina Dibe, senior manager of government relations at the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada, agrees. People who live in co-ops end up staying there for 20 or 30 years. So there's definitely an aspect of stability and that's a really attractive benefit in a country [where having a roof is becoming] more and more expensive.

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Amina Dibe is a senior manager of government relations at the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.

According to her, in Ontario there are about 550 cooperatives, where 125,000 people live.

Most housing cooperatives were established between the 1970s and 1990s through partnerships with governments and targeted programs for the construction of this type of housing. […] This funding […] declined after the 1990s.

Ms. Dibe adds that she believes there is renewed interest from governments. Over the past couple of years, there has been a recommitment by several levels of government to try to build more co-op housing, as it is a very stable form of housing for many Canadians.

Rob Flack, Ontario's associate housing minister, says the only solution to the crisis, he believes, is to increase the number housing in the province. We need to put more shovels in the ground, build more houses, all kinds of houses.

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Rob Flack is Ontario's Associate Minister of Housing.

He There are 15 and a half million people [in Ontario] and we will quickly reach 20 million. We need all kinds of housing. However, the cooperative model […] is an important element of this strategy and it must develop.

Mr. Flack maintains that his government is helping the province's cooperatives. He highlights a Jan. 18 announcement that the Ontario government will pay the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CCHF) $646,790 over three years.

With information from Talia Ricci, fromCBC

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