1. Who lives in housing co-ops?
  2. What criteria will be considered for application?
  3. Are co-ops owned by the government?
  4. Are co-ops low income or social housing?
  5. What is a share purchase?
  6. What is a monthly housing charge?
  7. What is subsidy?
  8. Can I apply for subsidized membership?
  9. Can we afford to move to H.W. Flesher?
  10. What does “participation required” mean?
  11. What size are housing units at H.W. Flesher?
  12. Are we allowed pets?
  13. How often does the co-op have general meetings and are we expected to attend?
  14. How big a unit are we entitled to?
  15. How long will I have to wait to get into H.W. Flesher?

Who lives in housing co-ops?

Housing co-ops are diverse, mixed communities. Members of our co-op come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of incomes and experiences. Our members include people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

What criteria are considered for application?

Applicants must meet co-op needs in terms of: family size, income, skills, and the ability to participate in managing and supporting our community. A firm commitment to participating on a regular basis is required. Applicants must be willing to support co-op principles. Preferably, applicants will have previous community volunteering experience. It doesn’t matter who you are: if you want to live in a co-op, can meet the required criteria, and are ready to accept the terms of membership, you can apply for membership.

Are co-ops owned by the government?

No. Co-ops are owned by the members of the co-op as shareholders. However, co-ops are required to manage their co-op as per the terms of their operating agreement with a government agency.

Are co-ops low income or social housing?

No, co-ops are mixed income communities for people of all income levels. Some members receive a subsidy based on income, but most members pay “market” rent (click here for current housing charges).

What is a share purchase?

A share purchase is required to become co-op member. One member per unit buys a share in the co-op. Each share grants members a vote in general meetings. Once you have been approved for membership, you pay for your share purchase, sign a lease securing the right to move in, and then pay a monthly housing charge. Associate shares for family members may also be purchased for $25.00 (giving them equal voting rights).

A share is a little bit like a damage deposit in that you get the money back when you leave the co-op, unless the unit has been damaged, in which case the share is used to cover repair costs. However, co-ops do not return share purchases with interest. The interest on these shares is used to help with the operating costs of the Co-op. Upon move out, shares are returned less any debts owed to the co-op. Click here for current share rates.

What is a monthly housing charge?

A monthly housing charge is like rent. It’s what the members pay each month to live in the co-op. Housing charges are based on the co-op’s operating expenses and can change from year to year based on the projected expenses of the co-op.

Housing charges do not cover heat (electric heating), hot water, hydro, telephone, cable and/or other utilities. Click here for current housing charges.

What is subsidy?

Most co-op members pay the full housing charge. This is often called “market” housing, though because members own the co-op as a non-profit organization, “market” rent is often far lower than comparable non co-op rent charges. Some members with lower incomes may pay less if they qualify for a subsidy and if the co-op has money available in its subsidy pool.

Housing charges for subsidized units are adjusted to household income. If a household qualifies for a subsidy, their housing charge is usually set at between 25 – 30% of the household’s gross income, plus charges for utilities.

Some units in every co-op are subsidized. Non-profit housing co-ops receive funds from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal government crown corporation, to help fund a co-op’s subsidy pool for a certain number of housing units. All members are subject to an annual income verification process.

Can I apply for a subsidized membership?

At this time, we only consider applications for subsidy after a one-year period of residence at “market” rates.

Can we afford to move to H.W. Flesher?

All applicant income is confirmed to ensure you meet the criteria for a market membership. Income requirements are listed on the front page of our application form along with our current housing charges. If you do not meet our income criteria, your application will not be accepted.

What does “participation required” mean?

Participation is a condition of membership. It ensures housing costs are kept at an affordable level and allows for general input into the running of the co-op.

Every member is required to make a firm commitment to participate by providing regular volunteer time to the Co-op. The current policy states members must perform a minimum of four hours of participation time each month. Members are expected to become active in by signing up for at least one committee, taking on regular tasks, and helping with maintenance, general clean up, work parties, and other tasks as needed.

Members are also expected to participate by attending at least 75% of the general meetings each year.

What size are housing units at H.W. Flesher?

  • 1 Bedrooms 650 sq ft
  • 2 Bedrooms 920 sq ft
  • 3 Bedrooms townhouse 1100 sq ft plus basements in all but two of the units.
  • 4 Bedrooms townhouse 1200 sq ft plus basements

Are we allowed pets?

Yes. The co-op has an existing pet policy that you should discuss with the interview team.

How often does the Co-op have General Meetings and are we expected to attend?

All decisions regarding the running of the co-op are made at the General Meetings, which are generally held once every two months. All members have a vote and the right to speak at least once on any motion or subject bought up at these meetings.

The Annual General Meeting is held in the fall and members can run for and/or vote for members of the governing Board of Directors. Members are required to attend at least 75% of the General Meetings.

How big of a unit can we get?

Your unit size will depend on the number of people in your household. Our current housing policy allows one person or couple per bedroom.

How long will I have to wait to get into H.W. Flesher?

If approved after a membership interview, you will be added to the our waiting list. Wait times vary based on the number of applicants on the list, and the unit size you have applied for. If a unit comes up at a time when you are unable to move, you can decline and remain on the wait list. You may decline an offered unit three times before being removed from the wait list.