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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's call for new co-op housing is not a waste of time (Mayor's Big Smile Matches His Big Ambitions - March 9). More affordable co-op housing can be developed using existing federal funding from the Affordable Housing Initiative. AHI funding goes to the provinces and territories, which match it and control the spending subject to whatever limitations Ottawa imposes: A proscription against housing co-op development isn't one of them.

Housing co-ops are uniquely suited to affordable family housing and are less costly to operate than any other form of subsidized housing, yet we see virtually no new spending on housing co-ops coming out of provincial capitals.

The Co-operative Housing Federation argues for an accountability framework that matches federal housing transfers to measurable reductions in all housing need. Such a framework could bring more co-op housing to major cities using federal funding that's already committed.

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Executive director, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

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