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In the co-op movement, friendship has its privileges

Housing co-operatives are facing a major challenge: moving from their dependence on federal rental subsidies to self-sufficiency—most by 2020.

Vancity is a strong supporter of the housing co-op movement. That support comes through in several ways; for instance, through the Co-op Housing Interest Pool (CHIP), under which Vancity aggregates deposits made by individual housing co-ops into a single account on which it pays its best interest rate. The pool includes not only CHIP from CHF BC member co-ops, but similar pools at the BC Non-profit Housing Association and the United Community Services Co-op.

The pool has exceeded expectations and has swelled to more than $97 million in assets, almost doubling its size in recent years, and proving that collaboration and co-operation among agencies pays off.

Vancity has also provided moral and financial support through donations and grants to the Co-op Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC). And, in partnership with Terra Housing and CHF BC, Vancity is helping individual housing co-ops find ways to deal with repairs and refinancing, and explore possibilities for new co-ops.