The Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C. is concerned about the number of tents popping up throughout the province, like this one at the former Palace Theatre in downtown Courtenay. File photo from 2018.

Federation hopes to bring co-op housing to Comox Valley

The number of tents are outweighing the number of ‘For Rent’ signs in some corners of the province. The situation is a major concern of the Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C., which is on a mission to shelter a greater number of people through a thriving co-operative housing movement.

Appearing before Courtenay council Sept. 16, the federation’s executive director Thom Armstrong discussed the concept of co-op housing, which gives individuals a say in how their home operates. Co-ops generally house a mix of ages and incomes. Some are geared to seniors. They can be high rises, heritage buildings, row townhouses or floating homes. As opposed to renting, members pay user charges and own homes together.

Most co-ops are concentrated in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria.

“That’s something we hope to change,” Armstrong said. “Something we’re working very actively to change with the municipal council in North Cowichan. We’d like to extend that effort to the Comox Valley.”

He said more people in the Valley, as a percentage of B.C.’s population, pay more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter.

“In Courtenay proper, that number rises to 51 per cent,” Armstrong said. “When one in five people are paying more than 50 per cent of their gross income toward rent and utilities, that means they’re comprising other facets in their life. Not a healthy situation. It means that many people we are dealing with who are classified as renters are just one bad break, or one lost paycheque, away from homelessness.

“The big problem with co-ops is we don’t have enough of them,” he added. “That’s what we’re trying to do something about through the Community Land Trust.”

The federation created the land trust to help preserve and expand co-op and other non-profit housing. A non-market real estate developer, the CLT is building new co-op homes around B.C. The federation says it will be responsible for assets associated with nearly 3,000 co-op and non-profit homes by the early-2020s.

Just Posted

Three on ballot, two running for Union Bay Improvement District board

Voters will go to the polls to choose new board member on Saturday, Nov. 23

Comox Valley initiative collects items for those in need

Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) is a ‘Kindness Care Package Project’ that… Continue reading

Campbell River to house regional composting facility

A new regional composting facility will be built at the Campbell River… Continue reading

Ecofish founder receives provincial honour

Award was given at Generate Conference earlier this month

Comox Valley tent event a reminder of housing crisis

A Survival Drive that culminated with a tent event generated a large… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read