UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The cooperative housing program : a program and policy evaluation Johnston, James A.


This thesis is a descriptive and evaluative study of the federal government's NHA Section 56.1 Cooperative Housing Program. The study describes the nature of the housing tenure which the Cooperative Program promotes and the subsidy with which the program delivers its assistance. In addition, the study evaluates the Cooperative Program in terms of process, impact, and efficiency and on the basis of the program's consistency with the objective of Canadian social housing policy. This evaluation is based on analyses of the data from a national survey of Section 56.1 cooperative households and project managers and from a small sample of Section 56.1 cooperative housing units located in the Vancouver area. The description of the cooperative housing tenure indicates that there are fundamental organizational and economic characteristics that distinguish non-profit cooperative housing from the traditional home ownership and rental tenures. The description of the program's subsidy mechanism indicates that the Cooperative Program implements both a demand-side and a supply-side form of subsidy and that the magnitude of these subsidies can differ significantly among cooperative households and projects in relation to a number of variables. The process and impact evaluations suggest that there are a number of fundamental problems in the design and implementation of the Cooperative Program. The efficiency evaluation suggests that the Cooperative Program must generate a very substantial dollar amount of external benefits in order to be justified on the basis of allocative efficiency and that the program is both vertically and horizontally inequitable. The overall conclusion of this study is that the Cooperative Program is an ineffective means of achieving the objective of Canadian social housing policy.

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