Housing Co-op Member Grievances

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CO-OPERATIVE LIVING PRINCIPLES

There are different types of co-operatives that exist to serve the needs of the members.  In the case of housing co-operatives, members have certain rights & responsibilities to help support a positive community-building process.  There are 7 principle upon which co-operatives all around the world are based upon – what do these principles mean to individuals living in housing co-operatives?  To download a sheet developed by the ON Co-op Association that explains each co-operative principle in plain language, click here.

Important Notes to Remember:

  1. Co-ops have bylaws that every member possesses has rights & responsibilities to follow
  2. Co-ops have general meetings where each member has a voice – there are benefits from approaching housing this way
  3. The co-op business model is unique because there is an opportunity to educate members in a positive way

FEDERATION'S ROLE RE: CO-OP MEMBER GRIEVANCES

COCHF often receives phone calls from people living in a housing co-op who have a conflict or disagreement with their co-op. Every person’s voice matters and all complaints should be dealt with, but only through the appropriate channels in your co-op.

While COCHF cannot provide legal advice or represent a co-op member who has a disagreement with their housing co-op, we can provide assistance to individuals seeking resources available publicly.  It is important to stress that our federation cannot take sides in a conflict within your housing co-op.  COCHF is a federation of housing co-operatives, and our services & assistance are provided only at the request of the co-op’s Board of Directors.  COCHF is not a government agency and has no authority over the operations of your co-op.

If you are experiencing a problem within your housing co-op, we suggest you first look at your co-op’s Occupancy and Organizational By-law(s), in addition to internal policies that are relevant to the situation in question.  The best approach to resolve a conflict is to clarify what your obligations are as a member and the co-op’s obligations to you. If you do not have these documents you should ask for copies at your co-op’s office. You may also find useful to see a copy of the Co-operative Corporations Act, the legislation governing the operations of all co-ops in Ontario.  Ask at your co-op’s office and/or we welcome you to contact our office to learn more.

To learn more about the mandate of Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation, click here.

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