Are the waiting lists long ?
In some cases yes, in others no. You need to renew your application at the end of a year, to be kept on the waiting list. The co-ops are not as inaccessible as one might think and similarly, the waiting lists are not as long as you might imagine.
How does the selection process work ?
There are two criteria identified in the Declaration of Co-ownership : admissible income and minimum occupancy level. This is detailed in our Fact Sheet on Selection. This means that we choose low to moderate income applicants and whose household corresponds to the size of the apartment we have available. For example, a one and a half would go to a single person.
How are the groups administered ?
At the annual general assembly, the members of the co-ops and of some of the other non profit housing groups (sociétés or corporations d'habitation) elect a Board of Directors (c.a.). All members in good standing are eligible to take part. The Board of Directors is minimally made up of a president, a treasurer, and a secretary. Some co-ops will also elect a vice-president and a co-ordinator for some committees.
How many hours will I be expected to devote to the group ?
That depends on the needs of the group, which can vary widely from one month to the next. Generally, groups ask that each member participate in at least one committee that meets regularly. Presence at the general assembly is mandatory and generally happen three times a year.
Is rent based on income ?
In co-ops members benefit from a rent reduction, called member's rent, of the rental amount that appears on the lease. The lease rent is based on lower end of market rent in nearby equivalent housing while member's rent is based on the financial needs of the coop according to budget and usually divided among the dwellings on a per square foot basis. The rents are generally reasonable enough although some groups face pressure due to a lack of government funding.
Am I eligible for a rent subsidy ?
Some groups can afford to reduce member's rent further by means of a special reserve while other groups do not have such reserves. Availability of such funding vary from group to group and are also tending, unfortunately, to disappear.
Can I move from one group to another ?
Yes you can, but the fact that you are a member of one group gives no priority in another.
Do apartments only become available at the end of a lease ?
No. Units can become available for many reasons, personal, professional, etc. Usually a group will require a minimum of 3 months' notice.
How big are the apartments ?
There are apartments of all sizes within the community. Rooming houses, single family housing (both large and small houses), two storey apartments, small, mid-size, and large apartments in duplexes, triplexes and apartment buildings.
How are they heated ?
Generally most units are heated electrically, which is not included in the rent. However, various buildings have central gas heating systems that are paid for with the rent. The apartments have been carefully renovated and the units are well insulated.
How do I apply ?
Download the PDF file of our Application Form (French version only), and write in it or add a letter explaining why you would like to join the group(s) and what you can bring to it. Make a copy for yourself, and then email or mail the packages directly to the group(s) you are applying for.
Can I send my application by e-mail ?
Depends on the group. Some allow it, some only can be reached by regular mail. All the details are in our application form above.