What is a Co-operative?

There are many kinds of co-operatives: food co-ops, co-op daycares, credit unions, retail co-ops, worker co-ops and housing co-ops. Any group of people can form a co-operative. The members own the co-operative and the co-operative provides a service they need. Housing co-operatives provide housing.

Since the 1930s, Canadians have been building and living in housing co-ops. The people who live in the housing are the co-op’s members. They elect, from among themselves, a Board of Directors to manage the business of the co-op.

Each member has one vote. Members work together to keep their housing well-managed and affordable.

Over the years, federal and provincial governments have funded various programs to help Canadians create non-profit housing co-ops. The co-ops developed under these programs provide good quality, affordable housing. There are more than 255 non-profit housing co-ops comprising 14,300 units in British Columbia.

As a co-op member, you have the security of tenure. This means that you can live in your home for as long as you wish if you follow the rules of the co-op and pay your housing charge (rent). As a co-op member, you have a say in decisions that affect your home. You and your neighbours own your homes co-operatively. Members form a community that works together to manage the co-op. Co-op communities are made up of all kinds of people – people with different backgrounds and incomes and special needs. These diverse and vibrant communities are the unique strength of the co-op housing movement.

 
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Members Rights

 

Right to Vote

Vote on the annual budget, which sets the monthly housing charges. Receive audited financial statements that show how the co‑op spent your money.

Elect the Board of Directors

Elect a board of directors made up of people who live in your co‑op. You can also run for the board yourself.

Housing Security

Live there for as long as you like, if you keep to the by-laws agreed on by the co‑op membership.

Financial Security

A limited subsidy of housing charge (rent) may be available for those who qualify.  Only so many units are subsidized each year based on need.

Member Requirements

As members of Ford Road Housing Co-op you will need to attend two General Meetings each year, and volunteer a minimum four hours each month. These volunteer hours are per unit, not per person.

There are many different committees in the co-op that help organize individuals when it comes to volunteer hours; for example:

  • Board of Directors

  • Cleaning Committee (Adult Building and Family Building)

  • Fire and Safety Committee

  • Landscaping Committee

  • Maintenance Committee

  • Newsletter Committee

  • Participation Committee

  • Pet Committee

  • Recycling Committee

  • Security Committee

  • Social Committee

  • Welcoming Committee

Not all committees are in need of members at any given time, but there are always chances to volunteer with your particular skills in one or more of these groups. Volunteer hours may also be divided among people living in your unit.

These volunteer hours are how community living operates smoothly and how we are able to keep costs down.