Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
Thom Armstrong has more than 30 years of experience in the co-operative housing movement, holding leadership positions in Saskatchewan, Ontario and BC. His career includes a decade spent with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, where he was responsible for member and corporate relations across a portfolio of more than 60,000 co-op homes spanning the country.
Since September 2000, Armstrong has been the executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC. He is also currently the executive director COHO Management Services Society and three community land trusts, all headquartered in Vancouver, BC. He serves on the board of Encasa Financial Inc., an investment fund manager for the social housing sector in Canada with more than $500 million in assets under management.
CHF BC represents almost 250 non-profit housing co-ops with more than 13,000 co-op homes. Services to this portfolio include a full spectrum of programs for members, including education in co-op governance and management, advice and trouble-shooting, communications and advocacy, and commercial services (including group deposit pools and buying programs that allow member co ops to save money on their day-to-day operations).
COHO provides a full range of professional property management services to more than 80 clients with 5,600 co-op homes. COHO’s clients include co-ops developed under every federal and provincial co-op housing program since 1973—a diverse mix of incomes, backgrounds and household types.
The community land trusts currently hold assets in housing and land worth more than $226 million and are developing or acquiring additional housing assets worth more than $50 million.
Armstrong’s priority in overseeing the many demands of this varied portfolio of members and clients is to pursue a shared focus on long-term financial viability, prudent asset management, and the preservation and growth of a secure supply of safe, affordable housing in healthy, diverse communities. He believes that the community housing sector in British Columbia is positioned to make a key contribution to Canada’s affordable housing agenda.