How is a living in a co-op different from renting?

From the outside, a housing co-op looks like any other home, townhouse development, or apartment building. But, a housing co-op is different. A housing co-op is an incorporated non-profit association that owns housing for its members. The residents of a housing co-op are members of the co-op corporation which owns the whole property. The co-op provides a unit to a member household. Members do not own their own units.

What does “participation required” mean?

Participation required means that when you become a member of the co-op you will be expected to get involved in running the co-op. This could mean joining a committee such as the finance or membership committee, helping with maintenance, or offering your time to organize co-op events or activities.

Being a WHC co-op member means having control over your housing. It also means you have a responsibility to make sure that your co-op is a well-managed and pleasant place to live. If you are accepted into the WHC, you will be expected to:

  • Attend general meetings and vote on co-op matters
  • Volunteer at least 4hrs/month (serving on committees or the Board)
  • Participate in Annual Spring Clean-up days
  • Maintain your unit in good condition
  • Pay a monthly housing charge
  • Participate in running the co-op by:
    • helping with maintenance
    • organizing social events
    • attending special functions, and
    • registering any skills you may have (yes, you will be called!)

Does the Westboro Housing Co-op provide emergency housing?

No. The WHC’s mandate is to provide services to its members only.

Does the Co-operative Housing Association of Eastern Ontario (CHASEO) accept or screen applicants for housing co-ops?

No. Admission is determined by each co-op independently. CHASEO does not play a role in the membership process of co-ops. CHASEO provides a list of co-ops accepting applications as a public information service.

Are co-ops low-income housing?

No. Co-ops are mixed-income communities for people of all income levels.

Who lives in the Westboro Housing Co-op?

Housing co-ops are mixed communities. Members of housing co-ops come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of incomes. Some members pay the full housing charge. This is often called a "market" housing charge. Other members with lower incomes may pay less. This is called a subsidized housing charge. Some units in every co-op are subsidized.

What is subsidy?

Non-profit housing co-ops receive money from the government (federal and/or provincial) to help the co-op subsidize a certain number of housing units. The housing charge for these units is adjusted to the income of the household. This is often referred to as "rent geared to income" or "RGI". If a household qualifies for a subsidy, their housing charge is usually set at 25 to 30% of the household's income plus charges for utilities.

Please note that the WHC is currently accepting members who require subsidy, as we have one space available.

Are co-ops owned by the government?

No. Co-ops are owned by their shareholders, who are the members of the co-op.