About Housing Cooperatives

What is a housing coop?

It is a legal entity holding title to the buildings and property occupied by its members.

The mortgage is held by a local bank with the subsidy program administered through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The Coop is a non-profit organization and is managed by its members through an elected Board of Directors.

Because the Coop is non-profit, the cost of housing is kept to a minimum. In return, members are expected to attend regular meetings, contribute a significant amount of voluntary time, and maintain their units in good order.

Each member is required to purchase shares in the Cooperative totaling $1,000. This amount is refundable following move-out, provided there are no outstanding liabilities to the Cooperative. There is no interest paid on these shares.

The Coop is established through the Cooperatives Associations Act, has bylaws similar in nature to those of a condominium complex, and is not bound by the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The process

NACHA offers information sessions on Co-operatives. Proof of attendance to one of their session is mandatory. Please include a copy of the receipt from NACHA. For information on when the next information session is check the NACHA website (www.nacha.ca) or phone 780-482-6128.

To become a member of the Cooperative, you musts submit an application to the Davidson Creek Housing Cooperative along with a cheque or money order in the amount of $20.00 to cover the application processing fee. Please submit your finished application along with the application fee to:

Membership Committee

Davidson Creek Housing Cooperative

19, 156 Darlington Drive,

Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

T8H 5L8

Applicants are then put on a waiting list depending on the size of unit required and whether or not a rental subsidy is needed. (If you income level indicates that a subsidy is needed, a copy of “Schedule A – Application for Community Housing” must be completed and returned before your application will be processed.)

Applications for subsidized units will be placed on the waiting list in order of need (as rated by a point scoring system established by CMHC). Applications for non-subsidized units will be filed according to the date of application and size of unit required. As units become available, applicants will be chosen for interviews from the applicable waiting list and approved or rejected by the Board of Directors.

Subsidy or non-subsidy?

How do you know if you qualify for subsidy? The qualifications for subsidy are as follows:

1. Applicants must be Canadian citizens, landed immigrants (independent class), or refugees being sponsored by the government. Refugee claimants on a minister’s permit, sponsored immigrants and foreign students are not eligible.

2. Non-subsidized units have no income limit. Maximum income limits for subsidized households are based on government guidelines for access to affordable and adequate housing. The current limits for gross household income for (everyone over the age of 15) in subsidized units are: 2 bedroom – $29,700; 3-bedroom – $31,200; 4-bedroom – $32,800.

Assets are defined as both liquid and revenue holdings such as bank deposits, term deposits, savings certificates, guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, bonds, equity in real estate, net worth of a business, stocks, etc. Such items as pension funds, RRSP, personal and household effects are excluded.

Unit sizes

Housing  Size (ft2)

2-bedroom  950

3-bedroom  1100

4-bedroom  1300

As a general rule of thumb, housing charges for subsidized units are usually set at about 30 percent of the gross annual income of the household.