African Canadian Community Fights to Save Co-op Housing

Nicole Waldron and supporters attending the "Close the Housing Gap Rally" in Toronto. (Credit: pridenews.ca)

Nicole Waldron and supporters attending the “Close the Housing Gap Rally” in Toronto.
(Credit: pridenews.ca)

Lincoln Depradine of Pride News Magazine is reporting that Trinidad-born activist Nicole Waldron is campaigning to save Co-Op Housing in Canada.

Waldron, is a part of larger coalition that includes members of the African Canadian community, who are fighting to save thousands of Ontario’s most vulnerable residents from potentially losing their cooperative housing units. Waldron is also Ontario Region Council President of Canada’s Co-operative Housing Federation, also referred to as CHF.

Depradine reports:

“The CHF and other groups and individuals, including prominent politicians, are concerned about the future of affordable housing in Ontario, where nearly half of the province’s 550 housing co‑ops receive funding from the federal government to provide rent-geared-to-income (RGI) subsidies to low-income households.

Agreements under which this funding is provided have begun to expire and there is no commitment yet to replace this support.

Waldron and other advocates for housing co‑ops say, that without government intervention, some 7,000 households could lose the RGI subsidies, and they are on a public campaign to raise awareness of the issue.”

Harvey Cooper, Managing Director of CHF Canada’s Ontario Regions, attended the “Close the Housing Gap Rally’’ at City Hall and spoke on the issue saying,

“The funding needed to maintain the co‑op share of these subsidies is minimal, approximately $4.5 million over the next five years; but, the impact it would have on these households is fundamental.

Keeping people in their communities by maintaining rent supplements is one of the most affordable and effective ways to fight the growth of poverty in Ontario. We hope that the provincial and federal government will come to the table to find a solution.”

Waldron added that government inaction is simply not an option, as every Canadian has right to affordable housing; a right and not a privilege.

Read more at Pride.

This post was written by Reginald Calhoun, editorial assistant for the Burton Wire. He is a senior Mass Media Arts major at Clark Atlanta University. Follow him on Twitter @IRMarsean.

Follow the Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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