This year, as in every year since I was first elected as MLA in 2014, my constituency office hosted social work students from STU to complete their social action placement. As always, they produced excellent work which will be helpful to me as an advocate for the people in my riding.
Over the winter term, the students researched non-market housing, specifically co-op housing. As the housing crisis surges around us and more people find their housing situation precarious, we wanted to examine non-market and co-op housing as under-used and untapped solutions.
Co-op housing, in particular, is a secure and stable housing solution for anyone, not only the vulnerable. Co-op residents are co-owners, not just tenants, and as such, have power to impact decisions about their own rent and terms. As a result, rents for co-ops tend to stay more stable and lower than market rents. In this time of skyrocketing rent hikes, sometimes more than 50%, this kind of housing is sorely needed.