Friday, 29 July 2016

A Co-operative Venture part 2

As Canada is a large country with scattered areas of concentrated population, the initial moves towards co-operative housing that began in the 1930s and 1940s were started in different areas by different groups with differing visions. Many of the housing movements were supported by churches and other organizations. One of the problems that housing groups ran into was the inflexibility of the bank mortgage system which was not set up to deal with collective ownership of properties. The early days of Canadian housing co-ops proceeded in a piecemeal fashion, creating work-arounds to deal with the contemporary bank mortgage system. 

By 1968 the Canadian Housing Foundation was set up and the government was interested in co-operative housing as a means of providing housing for low-income families. With this support, new co-operative housing projects increased exponentially between 1973 and 1978. Most of these projects were townhouse and apartment complexes with the majority of them being new construction. Co-operative housing development was still going strong in the 1980s when we got into the game.


Cole, Leslie. Under Construction: A History of Co-operative Housing in Canada, Borealis Press, Ottawa, Ontario, 2008.

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