Community Housing : Transformation is Now

2020.08.31 | Sector Growth News

Message from the President, Tim Ross and Stéphan Corriveau, Executive Director

More than 1.7 million households across Canada are living in housing need – this means that they’re living in homes that are either inadequate or unaffordable. Public institutions and governments of all levels have decided to join forces to facilitate the achievement of the common goal of ensuring a home for all.

A year ago, the Centre was set up to support, encourage and facilitate the actions of thousands of community housing groups, working on the ground, to achieve this objective.

A new player in the bustling world of community housing, the Centre is the result of an exemplary collaboration between the main existing organizations. They have long seen the need of increased collaboration to enable the mechanisms already in place to act even more effectively.

Above all, the Centre offers the entire movement the means to intervene in a daring way and explore avenues of action that are not encouraged by traditional programs. In fact, the Centre aspires to be the tool of a true cultural revolution in community housing.

By emphasizing the enhancement of the organizational capacities of the stakeholders, it broadens horizons and envisions the future beyond a simple repetition of past actions.

Too often over the past 25 years, official policies have prevented our sector from adequately responding to the challenges that society’s evolution brought to housing. The very real consequences of this inability have been the emergence of mass homelessness, a dramatic rise in rents and the spread of unbridled real estate speculation with disastrous social and financial consequences for the vast majority.

It is therefore important to underline the financial contribution and organizational openness that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has shown in this adventure. Without the Corporation, we would not have succeeded in gathering the necessary means to launch the Centre.

The NHS is an expression of the desire to make a real difference in the housing sector. The Centre will act as an important resource in the community housing sector, ultimately playing an integral role in the NHS.

We must, however, remain realistic, because in light of these ambitious objectives, the means available to the Centre are very modest. But, doing a lot with a little is certainly a hallmark of the movement, and the report that follows undoubtedly confirms that we are indeed the heir to the sector’s energy and creativity.

To read the full Annual Report.

Editorial: Celebrating the tireless work of Indigenous Peoples

Editorial: Celebrating the tireless work of Indigenous Peoples

This month, the Centre’s newsletter pays tribute to National Indigenous Peoples Day, which occurs on June 21, the Summer Solstice. This year marks the 25th anniversary of its celebration in Canada. And June is also National Indigenous History Month. To mark the occasion, we would like to tip our hat to the Indigenous organizations that have entrusted us with their projects.

Faith in action: turning asphalt into apartments

Faith in action: turning asphalt into apartments

Faith-based organizations are often asset-rich but cash-poor. With a little help, however, they can take action to support the supply of affordable housing in their communities, and thus address issues such as loneliness and homelessness. This is the story of Co:Here Housing in Vancouver, born out of a partnership between Grandview Church and the Salsbury Community Society.

Birch Housing takes stock for the future

Birch Housing takes stock for the future

How do community housing organizations ensure survival, growth and anticipate the future? These are issues that Birch Housing, which has been in operation since 1975 in the Toronto area, has been thinking about. It inspired them to go undergo a process to better understand their situation and to reposition themselves with a mission, clearly defined vision, values and directions, with a view to ensure not only survival but growth.

Village Urbain aims to ‘professionalize’ cohousing projects

Village Urbain aims to ‘professionalize’ cohousing projects

Cohousing could be a remedy for the social isolation experienced by many—young and old—and could reduce the human footprint on the planet. But this type of community is still uncommon in Canada and can take many years to develop. The non-profit Village Urbain is currently developing a cohousing project destined for the greater Montréal area, and aims to “professionalize” this unique form of community.

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