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Member-Owner Profiles

On Co-op is proud of the work our membership does to promote the co-operative values every day. To highlight the good work done by these co-op leaders, On Co-op will be featuring an in-depth article about a different member in our e-newsletter. Each monthly profile will be featured here, and past profiles are availbe for download to the right.

All member profiles can be veiwed in the downloads section on the right. 

Member Profile | CHF Canada, Ontario Region

CHF Canada Ontario Region is the voice of Ontario’s co-op housing movement. Its members include over 500 non-profit housing co-ops and other organizations across the province. More than 125,000 Ontarians live in housing co-ops, in every region of the province.

As with most co-ops, our beginnings are grassroots. In the 1970’s a federal social housing program provided funding for development. Community organizers helping tenants buy out troublesome landlords and create communities where those living there are empowered through the co-op model. They organized other people to apply to develop new housing co-ops. In the 1980’s, federations across the province founded the Co-op Housing Association of Ontario (CHAO). In 1996, CHAO merged with the Co-op Housing Federation of Canada.

We focus on provincial matters that affect Ontario Region members. We do government relations work and provide advice, support and education to co-ops. We also make it possible for housing co-ops to thrive as healthy businesses and communities. A recent success we are proud of is Eviction Law Reform, which took more than a decade to develop, get support for and pass. When it finally was passed in the fall of 2013, the bill had all-party support and passed unanimously!

As the affordable housing crisis has gained more attention, governments are getting more involved and we are looking forward to the development of more co-ops. As older co-ops come out of their mortgages, we are encouraging and assisting them to reinvest in their buildings and to look at adding more units. Until the last two decades, co-ops historically have been 25% of affordable housing developments, and we are determined to get back to that!

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On Co-op is a trade association and capacity-building organization that develops, engages, educates and advocates for Ontario's co-op businesses.