Membership & Unit Allocation Policy

Approved by the Board of Directors on January 8, 2007
Approved by the General Membership on January 18, 2007

Priority of This Policy

This consolidated policy replaces all previous policies relating to membership, member selection, application criteria, internal and external waiting lists, and unit allocation.

Article 1:      General

1.1         Membership Applications

Persons apply for membership as individuals, not as household groups.

1.2       Interviews

All applicants for membership must be interviewed by the Member Selection Committee.

1.3       Fees and Deposits:

A non-refundable application fee of $10.00 per adult must be paid before the application is processed. A $5.00 lifetime membership fee is due when each applicant is accepted as a member. When units are allocated to members, they must pay the member deposit and the first month's housing charge.

See Organizational By-law, 2.3, and Occupancy By-law, article 3.

1.4       Membership Rights

After applicants for membership are approved by the Board of Directors, membership and voting rights take effect upon signing an Occupancy Agreement.

See Organizational By-law, 2.1.

1.5       Subsidy

When housing charge assistance is available, members and external applicants can apply for it under the terms of the Subsidy By-law.

1.6       Participation

The Occupancy By-law, 3.7, Participation, states:

 (a)          Members must participate in the formal activities of the co-op by attending all general membership meetings, unless they are unable to do so because of illness, emergency, or some other reason that is acceptable to the Board of Directors or to the general membership.

 (b)          Members must spend at least four hours a month participating in some kind of co-op work or activity. This could include active involvement in a committee, participating in task oriented work parties, babysitting for members attending Co-op meetings, or organizing social or other activities within the Co-op.

1.7       Good Standing

 For the purposes of Membership Policy, a member "in good standing" is defined as one who has not breached the terms of the Occupancy By-law or the other by-laws of the co-op; has maintained his/her unit in good condition; and has participated in the activities of the Co-op.

1.8       Persons per Unit

 The Occupancy By-law, 6.2, sets minimum and maximum occupancy standards.

        (a)          one-bedroom units: 1 to 3 persons

               (b)          two-bedroom units: 1 to 5 persons

               (c)          three-bedroom units: 2 to 7 persons

1.9       Subletting

The Occupancy By-law, 7.8, permits sub-occupancy under certain conditions. Sub-occupancy arrangements require "the recommendation of the member selection committee and leave of the board."

Article 2:       External Application Policy [2004]

2.1            Eligibility Criteria for Membership in the Co-op

(a)               The applicant's household must show proof of financial responsibility and the ability to pay the present housing charge for the unit requested.

(b)               The applicant must show an interest in co-operatives and the local community, and be willing to make the commitment to honour co-operative principles and participate on an ongoing basis in the workload of the Co-op.

(c)               The applicant must be planning to stay in the Co-op for a minimum of one year. Applicants wanting only short-term accommodation will not be accepted.              

(d)               The applicant must indicate respect for other's privacy and property. 

(e)               The applicant must be willing to maintain the unit and contribute to maintaining the co-op common area.  

(f)                 The applicant must be able to live independently.

Applicants become members of the co-op with the rights and responsibilities of membership set out in the Occupancy By-law No. 15 only after they have been approved for membership by the Board of Directors and have moved into their unit in the co-op.

2.2             External Waiting List

(a)          The external waiting list will be established from all applications that have gone through the entire application process through to the Board of Directors' approval.                                   

(b)          Applications are placed on the external waiting list in date order after the member selection process is complete and the applicants have been approved by the Board of Directors.                     

(c)          Each applicant will have the right to refuse two units and retain his or her position at the top of the list. After a third refusal of a unit matching his or her request, the applicant will be placed at the bottom of the external waiting list.

(d)          Appeals against rejections for membership shall be accepted no later than one month from the day of notification of the Board of Directors decision. 

(e)          The internal waiting list will have priority over the external waiting list. Whenever unit vacancies cannot be filled by the internal waiting list, the external waiting list applicants in turn will be contacted to fill available units.

2.3       Fees and Charges

(a)          A non-refundable application fee of $10.00 per adult must be paid before the application is processed.      

(b)          A non-refundable deposit of $200.00 payable by certified cheque or money order is to be paid within two working days of accepting a unit. This deposit will be credited to the first month's housing charge.

Article 3:            Internal Application Policy [1994]

Internal membership applications are those received by the Member Selection Committee from:

(a)          persons who have moved into the Co-op to share a unit with a member already resident ("guests").                    

(b)          Children in a member's household who turn sixteen.

3.1            Guests

(a)          Non-members over age sixteen who join a member's household must apply for membership or long-term guest status (Occupancy By-law 7.2).     

(b)          As soon as they are registered with the office, guests will receive information about membership requirements and the conditions of casual or long-term guest status.

3.2            Children

a)          Children who turn sixteen must apply for membership; if they do not, they become long-term guests. (Occupancy By-law 7.3)

b)          As soon as a child in the Co-op turns sixteen, he or she will receive information about membership requirements and the conditions of long-term guest status.

3.3            Internal applicants who are granted membership may not apply to move into their own units until one year after they become members. The committee may recommend to the Board that the one-year residence requirement be waived in cases of family breakup or other household problems. The Board's decision is final.

3.4       Credit checks and other measures of financial soundness will not be implemented when the committee considers internal applications for membership. These measures will be applied later, however, if the applicant is granted membership and applies for an internal move to a separate unit.

3.5       All non-financial criteria, as stated in the co-op's membership policies and By-laws, apply to internal applications.

3.6            Internal applicants must show that they are participating in the Co-op community.

3.7            Internal applications will be considered on their own merits, not on the basis of any knowledge the committee may have of the household with whom the applicant resides.

Article 4:            Internal Waiting List Policy [2000]

4.1            Members who want to be placed on the internal waiting list to move to another unit must apply in writing.

4.2            Members will be placed on the internal waiting list after the Co-op has verified that they meet the following criteria:

(a)          They have been members for at least one year.

(b)          They have fulfilled all responsibilities of membership required by the Occupancy Agreement and By-laws of the Co-op. These responsibilities include payment of housing charges, participation and unit maintenance.   

(c)          They have shown that they are able to afford the unit requested. This means that:

        i.            they can pay the market housing charge for the size of unit requested, or;

       ii.            they have a subsidy, or;

       iii.            they have been determined to be eligible for subsidy for the appropriate unit size, and have been placed on the subsidy waiting list.

4.3     If the Co-op decides that the member is not eligible to be placed on the internal waiting list, the member can appeal the decision to the Board. The appeal must be made in writing to the Board within three weeks of the date when the Co-op informed the member that he or she was not eligible.

4.4       The date that the application was received by the Co-op will determine the member's position on the waiting list, even if processing by the Co-op is not done immediately. If the Co-op determines the eligibility criteria were not met as of the date of application, the member's position on the waiting list will be based on the date that all criteria are met.

4.5            Available units will usually be offered to the next person on the list in date order. The Co-op may decide to offer the unit to a priority applicant placed on the internal list at a later date. In determining priority for allocating a unit, the Co-op will consider the financial and other interests of the Co-op as a whole, as well as the interests of individual members.

4.6       An applicant for internal transfer may be given priority for one of the following reasons, provided all criteria from 2.1 are met:

(a)   The household wants to move to a more affordable unit because of arrears or affordability problems.     

(b)   The household must relocate under Section 6.2(b) & (d) of the Occupancy By-law (the household is overcrowded or under-housed).                   

(c)   The household must relocate under Section 2 of the Subsidy By-law to continue to qualify for full subsidy.        

(d)   The household must relocate under Section 6.2(c) & (d) of the Occupancy By-law (the household is over-housed).                   

(e)   For compassionate reasons, based on individual circumstances, but still respecting Section 2.1 and the interests of the Co-op as a whole.

4.7            Applications for internal transfer can be general, requesting a particular unit size, or more specific, requesting a particular unit type or one or more units identified by unit number. Priority applicants, as defined in Section 5 above, can list preferences, but a priority applicant may be required to accept the first unit offered by the Co-op.

4.8       With the exception of priority applicants, each applicant household will have the right to refuse two units matching their specific transfer request and retain their position at the top of the list. After the third refusal of a unit matching their request, the applicant will be placed at the bottom of the list.

4.9       Youth Membership: the applicant who is 16 years of age or older and has been accepted for membership only in the Co-op, must wait one year before application can be made for their own unit.