In 1974, a group of non-profit housing co-operatives
set up a small organization to promote the development of new co-ops
and to provide the education and assistance needed by the growing
co-operative housing sector. Today, the
Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) is a member-supported
organization representing more than 45,000 people living in more
than 160 non-profit housing co-operatives located in Toronto and
Since 1975, CHFT has provided development assistance
for non-profit housing co-operatives. Projects have included townhouses
and apartments, new construction and the rehabilitation of existing
buildings. CHFT has always concentrated on creating co-op communities
that include facilities for people with special housing needs. To
learn more about the development of housing co-ops go to Creating
The growth of co-op housing created a huge demand
for information, education and services. In 1975, CHFT published
the first manual for co-op housing directors. By 1990, CHFT and
the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada had set up the Co-op
Housing Bookstore as a joint project. Since then, the Bookstore
has produced 32 “plain language” publications on co-op
management and community issues. The Bookstore receives orders from
housing co-ops across Canada and around the world. Many Bookstore
publications are available in French.
CHFT also provides education
for co-op members and staff. Each year, CHFT offers more than 80
courses. The Board of Directors, Your Co-op and the Law, Chairing
Skills, Dealing with Conflict, and Financial Management are popular
Member co-ops can participate in Co-op
Cost Cutters, a bulk buying program. Co-ops receive discounts
on appliances, paint, office equipment, cable TV and gas. In 1996,
CHFT introduced the Co-op Housing Investment Program (CHIP). Metro
Credit Union gives CHFT member co-ops higher rates on current accounts
and term deposits.
CHFT staff is available to advise co-op boards,
committees, members, and staff. Co-ops that belong to CHFT can request
neutral chairs for difficult meetings and mediation services to
resolve disputes between neighbours. CHFT also helps co-ops deal
with government policy issues.
Visit the Member Services section of our Web site
for more information on our services.
Housing Information Line
As a service to the general public, CHFT provides
an informaiton line. Basic information on co-op housing
is available in six languages - English, French, Spanish, Polish,
Somali, and Tamil. The information line receives more than 36,000
calls a year.
CHFT is a non-profit co-operative financed by
membership fees from housing co-operatives. Each member co-op appoints
a delegate to attend CHFT general members’ meetings. These
delegates elect CHFT’s Board of Directors.
How to join
Non-profit housing co-ops in Toronto and southern
York Region are welcome to become members of CHFT. We would be pleased
to come to your co-op to tell you about the benefits of membership.
If you would like more information, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org