Thunder Bay housing co-op subsidies at risk if feds don't renew funding

Thunder Bay council wants the federal government to keep funding co-operative housing, as the city risks losing more than 130 subsidized housing units over the next 15 years.
Margaret Morris, with her granddaughter, Matilda, told council in December she couldn't afford to live in the Superior View co-op without a housing subsidy. Superior View is scheduled to lose its federally-funded housing subsidies in 2018. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Thunder Bay council wants the federal government to keep funding co-operative housing, as the city risks losing more than 130 subsidized housing units over the next 15 years.

Council passed a resolution at its Monday night meeting in light of the fact these federal funding agreements will eventually expire. But, so far, the government has not committed to renewing them.

Coun. Iain Angus said there will be consequences for both tenants and the city if that doesn't change.
Thunder Bay Coun. Iain Angus says the city is already paying a larger and larger share of social housing costs. (CBC)

"One is that rents will have to go up, which means that some people will not be able to remain in the existing housing that they have," he said.

"[They may] find themselves in inappropriate housing or the pressure will be on the municipal sector to pick up the tab."

Angus said the city is already paying a larger and larger share of social housing costs.

The specific motion expressed support for the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada's "You Hold the key: Fix the Co-op Housing Crunch" campaign, and requested the federal government reinvest savings from expiring co-operative housing agreements back into maintaining rent-geared-to-income housing.

Council meeting roundup

Other council items discussed at Monday night's meeting include:

  • Council voted to clear a procedural hurdle and sign off on plans for a four-unit condominium complex to be built at 1154 John Street Rd.
  • Council affirmed its commitment to removing city trees that interfere with power lines.  In doing so, it rejected a motion to hold off removing trees on Broadway Avenue and to top the trees instead.  The defeated motion was originally tabled in December, following deputations from two Broadway Avenue residents.

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