Push for more affordable housing begins here

Thom Armstrong -
Thom Armstrong
— image credit:

The push for more affordable housing in Cowichan could best be described as an underground hum of conversation.

Cowichan Co-operative Connections is hoping a two-day event might be the catalyst to thrust it into the forefront.

Thom Armstrong, executive director for the Co-op Housing Federation of B.C. will be the keynote speaker for the Duncan event, titled Housing Co-operatives: A Solution to the Affordable Housing Problem in the Cowichan Region.

Housing co-ops are typically run on a non-profit basis and owned by their members. Every month, each member pays an amount that covers their share of the operating costs of their co-op.

Armstrong, who has developed such housing projects in Ontario, Saskatchewan and B.C. — including a recent partnership with the City of Vancouver to build more than 350 new affordable homes — will give a talk exploring the basics of housing co-ops and how such housing could be applied locally.

His talk will springboard into a workshop exploring the steps in building co-operative housing locally.

“Our affordable housing problem in the Cowichan Valley is only getting worse. We need new ideas for addressing this issue, and co-ops have a proven record across Canada at giving working people decent housing at a reasonable cost,” Cowichan Co-operative Connections President Rob Douglas said. “We hope this two-day event is just the start of something much bigger.”

Douglas said facilitated group discussions will give participants an opportunity to discuss the basics of the housing co-op model, how co-ops could address the affordable housing problem, the typical costs of the various models such as equity and non-equity co-ops, and possible next steps for building such housing locally.

The intention of the workshop is to create a core group that will lead the development of the Cowichan region’s first housing co-op.

Armstrong’s talk will begin at 7 p.m., Friday March 14 at the Cowichan campus of Vancouver Island University. The workshop will follow the next day from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event is by donation and pre-registration is not required. For more information, call 250-715-3039 or 250-710-0351.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...