CHF Canada eNews, January 24, 2017

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CHF Canada eNews
January 24, 2017

Big city mayors push for housing-themed federal budget during Ottawa meeting: co-op housing opportunities highlighted

Tim Ross takes on new role of Director, Strategic Affairs

Nick Sidor transitions to part-time Special Advisor role

Our Movement. Our Future – Discover stage coming soon!

CHF Canada seeks candidates for board, council and finance committee

Plans for 2017? Consider a CHF Canada scholarship or grant to make it happen

CHF Canada
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Ottawa ON K2P 1P9
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New opportunities for innovative public and private partnerships to develop more co‑op housing are looking increasingly promising.

On Friday, these opportunities were front and centre during a panel discussion hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) between Canada’s big city mayors, federal government representatives such as the Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary for intergovernmental affairs Adam Vaughan, and a select group of housing stakeholders including CHF Canada.

The purpose of the event, which included a meeting between mayors and the Prime Minister, was to promote a focus on housing in the next federal budget. "This government clearly appreciates that we can't build livable, globally-competitive cities on top of a housing crisis," said Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton and chair of FCM's Big-City Mayors' Caucus, in FCM’s news release.

The 90-minute ‘Tackling the Housing Crisis’ panel discussion featured a presentation from Vancity Credit Union Vice President Andy Broderick highlighting CHF BC’s new community land trust development in partnership with the City of Vancouver. The Vancouver Community Land Trust is building 358 affordable new homes, including the 278-unit Fraserview Housing Co‑op. Broderick indicated that this multi-sectoral development project had attracted more than $20 million in private capital.

CHF Canada’s Nick Sidor also spoke to the panel about the $100 million in credit union lending leveraged by refinancing to preserve and renew existing co‑op homes. “Co‑operatives are clearly demonstrating that, if properly structured, both development and renewal can attract significant private financing. So, what we have outlined in our proposals for the National Housing Strategy is a co‑op sector wide partnership with governments to create the right structural and financial environment to drive co‑op development forward.”

Sidor also emphasized the importance of protecting housing affordability for the low-income Canadian households currently living in housing co ops. “Let us not lose sight of that first priority.”

CHF Canada thanks FCM for the opportunity to participate in this meeting.

Pictured top (from left): Vancity VP Andy Broderick, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and CHF Canada Special Advisor Nick Sidor at the FCM housing panel on January 20.

Pictured below: Adam Vaughan, Prime Minister Trudeau's Parliamentary Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, with CHF Canada’s Nick Sidor.


CHF Canada congratulates Tim Ross on his move from the role of Program Manager, Policy and Government Relations to the newly created position of Director, Strategic Affairs.

In this role, Tim will be part of CHF Canada’s senior management team with responsibility for government relations, external relations, communications and membership development.

While managing CHF Canada’s response to the National Housing Strategy will be an important aspect of this role, Tim will also be looking for ways to respond to the changing government relations needs of CHF Canada members.

Tim joined CHF Canada as Program Manager, Policy and Government Relations in May of 2016. “Tim immediately impressed us with his government relations instincts,” said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. “He has a good mind for policy.”

Prior to working with CHF Canada, Tim served as the executive director of the New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association and as Interim Executive Director of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association.

“I am delighted that Tim is moving to the Director, Strategic Affairs role and am confident that his skills and experience will be as strong asset to our movement as we move forward,” said CHF Canada Vice President and New Brunswick Regional Director Allison Ferris.

Tim says that in his new role, he’s “looking forward to integrating and building upon the success of CHF Canada’s public affairs and member engagement work to rise to meet the opportunities of the future.”


As Tim Ross steps into the new role of Director, Strategic Affairs, this frees up some time in the calendar of one of CHF Canada’s most tenacious advocates for co‑op housing.

Nick Sidor, who in November scaled back his hours to three days a week, will be focusing on managing and growing CHF Canada’s Co-operative Enterprise Services, including asset management, refinancing, commercial insurance and investment options. Nick’s new formal title is Special Advisor. He plans to retire fully by the end of 2017.

Nick Sidor joined CHF Canada as Director, Corporate Affairs in 2001. In 1982, he was one of the founding members of Ottawa’s Sandy Hill Housing Co‑op, and he served as president of the Co‑operative Housing Association of Ontario before it became CHF Canada’s Ontario Region. He currently serves on the board of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada.

“Housing co‑ops are definitely in good hands with Nick and Tim working together to advocate on their behalf and connect members with the services they need,” said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard.


Last fall, members all across Canada took part in Our Movement, Our Future: Voicing our Vision, our online dialogue to help shape the future of Canada’s co‑op housing movement.

More than 300 people shared over 1,000 thoughts and thousands of stars were assigned to prioritize them. The ideas and results have been analyzed and the results show that there is a real appetite to move forward, to grow as a movement and to share the many benefits of co‑op housing with more Canadians.

Up next is the ‘Discover’ phase of the consultation process. You’ll soon be able to see what ideas received the most buzz on an interactive website, and see how results compared across the different regions of Canada.

In the spring, you’ll have a chance to talk with other co‑operators at regional federation events and at CHF Canada spring member forums about these results.

And then at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Niagara Falls, you can engage in the discussion through workshops, networking and a special report at the national business meeting. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details!


CHF Canada is looking for qualified people to run for positions on our Board of Directors, Ontario Council and the Finance and Audit Committee. The nomination deadline is March 31.

Here are some of the qualities CHF Canada looks for:

  • an understanding of the co operative principles, and how to apply them
  • a commitment to help CHF Canada grow, and to serve our members
  • proven leadership skills—either within the co op sector, or from other experience
  • flexibility, collaboration and good communication skills

CHF Canada also feels it is very important for our young members to get involved at a governance level and so would encourage young people to consider running for election.

Many new directors or Council members have no experience at all in association governance, so CHF Canada offers an excellent governance training program. We’ll help newly elected leaders learn what good governance means and how you can contribute to the governance of your national federation.

If you are interested in running for any one of these positions, read the Call for Candidates which was mailed to co ops last week, or visit CHF Canada’s website.


Students: Approaching graduation and considering your post-secondary options? CHF Canada’s Diversity Scholarship program recognizes young people living in housing co ops who are actively promoting diversity in their community. Scholarships worth up to $6,000 are available to young members under 30 living in Nova Scotia, Southwestern Ontario and Manitoba. The application deadline is February 26. (For young people in other regions, Diversity Scholarships are offered through regional co op housing federations.)

Co‑op managers: Thinking of learning something new or building on an existing business skill? Considering enrolling in a certification program or course? Consider applying for a CHF Canada Management Scholarship. The deadline for applications is March 1.

Co‑op members and directors: Want to do something in 2017 that promotes diversity and inclusiveness in your co op community? A CHF Canada Regional Diversity Grant could help finance it. The deadline for applications is March 31. Find out more in the regional diversity grant brochure.

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