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Co-operative Housing Information

What is a Housing Co-op?

Owned by Members

  • The residents of a housing co-op are members of the co-op corporation, which own the whole property.
  • The co-op rents a unit (e.g., townhouse or apartment) to the member household.
  • Members do not own individual units in which they live.
  • Provincial co-ops are governed under the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA) and the Co-operative Corporations Act.

Managed by Members

  • All members have an equal say in how their co-op is run – “one member, one vote.”
  • Members approve the co-op’s annual budget and by-laws. They also approve policies and elect a Board of Directors, each of whom is a resident of the co-op.
  • Other members work on committees or perform various tasks to help with the work involved in running the co-op.
  • Co-ops also rely on staff to manage the co-op office and look after the day-to-day business.

Involvement by Members

  • The key difference between co-ops and other kinds of non-profit housing is that co-op members are actively involved in the running of their community.
  • Each member must volunteer time to serve on the Board or on a committee, or volunteer for some other task.
  • Members do not need special skills to get involved; they learn from one another as well as in special training sessions.
  • Member participation helps build neighbour relationships, thereby creating a sense of community and providing a safe place for children and adults.
  • Members’ volunteer efforts help keep overall housing costs to a minimum.

Who can live in a Housing Co-op?

  • Anyone can apply to live in a housing co-op. People of all backgrounds and cultures – young and old, married or single with or without children – live in co-ops.
  • Co-ops also provide homes for people who require special needs housing.
  • Co-ops select their own members from a list of applicants who demonstrate a willingness to share the responsibility of running the co-op should they become residents.
  • It is important co-op members be willing to live in a diverse community.

How much does it cost?

  • Each member household pays a monthly housing charge (i.e., rent). Some households pay the market housing charge and other households pay an assisted housing charge that is based on their income.
  • The market housing charge is reviewed annually and is based on market rental charges in similar private rental units.
  • An assisted housing charge (i.e., rent geared to income assistance) is approximately 30% of the gross monthly household income.

How do I apply?

  • Applications are made through Peel Access to Housing (PATH) Region of Peel for Rent Geared to Income (subsidy).
  • All applications made to PATH for Rent Geared to Income Assistance shall be placed on the Centralized Waiting List in accordance with the HSA regulations.
  • You may select one or more co-ops on the PATH Building Selection Sheet.
  • Many co-ops hold regular information meetings. You may be invited to one or more depending on the number of co-ops you have selected.
  • All applicants will be invited to an interview with members of the co-op selection committee. They will inform you of your rights and responsibilities of living in a co-op.
  • Applicants must be approved for membership by the co-op’s Board of Directors.
  • For more information on co-op housing in Peel Region, please contact PATH.

Revised: Thursday February 09 2012

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