Celebrating 40 years of Co-operative Housing in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, September 17, 2016 — Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), congratulated Village Canadien Housing Co-operative in Winnipeg today at a 40th anniversary celebration. This is one of the co-operatives from across Canada to benefit from the prepayment flexibility announced by the Government of Canada in June.
- Village Canadien Housing Co-operative is located at 1-730 River Road in Winnipeg.
- Since the June announcement by the Government of Canada, the co-op is able to take advantage of the prepayment flexibility and prepay their long-term, non-renewable mortgage held with CMHC without penalty.
- Village Canadien secured a mortgage with Assiniboine Credit Union, and will be able to proceed with repairs and retrofits to 150 homes.
“Congratulations to Village Canadien on its 40th anniversary. Today’s celebration is about the people who made the co-op possible and those who keep working hard to keep the vision alive. Our Government firmly believes that co-operative and non-profit housing are an important part of the housing continuum, and we are taking measures to ensure that the affordable housing sector remains strong and stable.”
— Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South
“After paying off the balance of our existing mortgage, we will have the $5.5 million needed to restore and improve energy efficiency and comfort of our aging homes, with new roofs, windows and building envelope. For our members, it means warmer homes and lower hydro bills, and it means good jobs for local trades.”
— Village Canadien President, Linda Ferguson
“We thank our local MP, Terry Duguid, for the support and special attention he gave our file. Thanks also to Manitoba Housing, Assiniboine Credit Union and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada for helping make this happen.”
— Village Canadien Vice-President, Frank Wheeler
“The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada is happy to have had the opportunity to work closely with Village Canadien to make this initiative a reality. It is an example of housing co-ops’ foresight and good stewardship of their properties.”
— Nick Sidor, Director, Corporate Affairs, CHF Canada
CMHC has been helping Canadians meet their housing needs for more than 70 years. As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry. Prudent risk management, strong corporate governance and transparency are cornerstones of CMHC’s operations. For more information, please call 1-800-668-2642 or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
For more information about Village Canadien Housing Co-operative, please call 204-257-2501 or visit www.vccl.ca.
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Public Affairs Advisor
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Between the 1940s and early 1980s, CMHC made long-term, non-renewable loans to non-profit and co-operative social housing programs for new affordable housing. Providers entered into operating agreements to provide affordable housing for the life of the loan.
The loans were made at preferential interest rates that were locked in for the duration of the loan (generally 40 to 50 years). At the time the loans were issued, interest rates were high and rising, and locking in rates allowed housing providers with greater certainty over their operating costs. The average interest rate on remaining CMHC portfolio of loans is approximately 8%, with a number of loans with interest rates over 13%.
While interest rates were preferential when the loans were made, interest rates have since dropped, leaving many of the loans in the portfolio with interest rates much higher than current market rate.
In 2013, recognizing the challenges facing housing providers, the federal government began to allow cooperatives and non-profit housing providers the opportunity to prepay their mortgages with a reduced penalty, consistent with private lending institutions. Given the remaining years on their mortgages and high interest rates, this still resulted in high prepayment costs for providers, and few took advantage of this change in policy.
In 2015, the Government announced $150 million over four years, starting in 2016-2017, to allow co-operative housing and non-profit social housing providers to prepay long-term, non-renewable mortgages held with CMHC without penalty.
Eligible co-operative and non-profit housing providers with long-term, non-renewable CMHC mortgages will now be able to pre-pay their mortgages without penalty. Upon prepayment, housing providers will be able to access financing from the private market at current interest rates, which will lower mortgage expenses and help to keep rents affordable.
Lower interest costs will place housing providers in a stronger financial position with the flexibility to strengthen their capacity to deliver affordable housing through lower mortgage expenses, provide the opportunity to finance repairs with private capital, and offer flexibility to transition to more self-sustaining operating models.
To maintain affordability for low-income households, CMHC will continue to provide rent supplements to federally-administered housing providers on a time-limited basis. This will allow funding to flow to those in greatest need and give housing providers time to transition toward strong financial footing through improved access to private funding.
In addition to waiving prepayment penalties, housing providers that received an upfront capital contribution that is earned over the life of the loan will also be forgiven at the time of payout for the unearned portion of the contribution.