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Strong communities are built with partnerships.

In the partnership between the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and Vancity we are collaborating to refinance, rehabilitate, and renew housing co-ops in the face of expiring federal operating agreements. As buildings age and federal agreements end, many co-ops need to find other sources of financing.

If your co-op:

• Has an aging building
• Requires renewal and rehabilitation
• Is coming to the end of its original lease
• Is looking to redevelop or buy land
• Is in need of accessible accommodations
• Wants to save money on operating expenses
• Needs to respond to changing member demographics
• Has challenges accessing government lending programs

Please contact CHF BC to learn more about its refinancing and renewal program at

How CHF BC and Vancity have helped other co-ops:

Marigold Co-op

Building renewal

One of the largest and oldest co-ops on Vancouver Island is Marigold Co-op, which offers 86 townhome units to its members. Even before its operating agreement with CMHC and its ties to government ended, the co-op found itself needing to undertake a major roofing project. Marigold Co-op, armed with a CHF BC asset management plan and approval from CMHC, obtained financing – a second mortgage – from Vancity. The roofing project was completed in 2015.

Domego Co-op

Long term planning

Domego Co-op is located near Vancouver City Hall in an area experiencing a lot of change. The co-op has suffered from building envelope issues for some years and needed to address its challenges. The co-op asked CHF BC to develop a long-term plan that would accommodate the work necessary to keep the building in good condition and to offer members good-quality housing. After obtaining CMHC approval, the co-op refinanced (an existing first and second mortgage) with Vancity. The renewal project began in 2015.

Pioneer Co-op

Responding to needs

Pioneer’s members thought hard about the co-op’s future as the co-op approached the end of its relationship with government in 2014. The co-op needed a major renewal, focusing on the building exterior, and the co-op worked with CHF BC to obtain an engineering report and to approve a long-term renewal and financial plan. Vancity lent the co-op the money it needed to undertake the repairs and upgrades. Already much of the co-op has been transformed. One member noted that her heating costs were 20% lower after the repairs compared to the same time the previous year.

Frequently asked questions

How can CHF BC help co-ops?

CHF BC provides a variety of services to help co-ops prepare for their future. Federation staff can:

  • Obtain technical reports from engineers
  • Develop long-term asset management plans
  • Assist with preparing co-ops for financing or refinancing, including working with co-ops to obtain approvals where government regulators are involved
How are co-operatives different from other businesses?

Co-operatives differ from other businesses in someimportant ways:

  • They are values-driven
  • They have social and economic objectives that put profits at the service of people
  • They are owned and controlled by their members
  • They create jobs and wealth that stay in the local community
  • They are guided globally by seven co-operative principles
What is Vancity's role in this partnership?

Vancity will offer preferred rates and terms to non-profit housing co-ops for renovations and refinancing when co-ops have long-terms plans from CHF BC.