“The big question we’ve had in the sector since Covid started has been housing charges and arrears,” CHF Canada’s programme manager for co-op and planning services, René Daoust, who organised the town hall, said in a statement. “We see from our surveys that it’s not bad, and in some cases it’s a bit better than before.
“We were prepared for increases in arrears, but surprisingly that never happened,” Homestarts‘ manager of co-operative housing operations, Kathleen Tilson, told CHF Canada. She added that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by Covid-19, had helped in this respect.
While there has not been specific support for either the co-operatives themselves or the federation, CERB enabled housing co-op members to gain the income they needed to pay their housing charges. As a result, co-ops themselves have been quite resilient. There have been calls for CERB to be transitioned into a universal basic income (UBI) that would last beyond