Co-ops: Provincial & Federal
Co-ops are different than landlord-run housing in some important ways. These include:
- you are known as a "member" and not a "tenant"
- you have an obligation to participate in running and maintaining the housing community:
o Keeping your home and the common areas well maintained and tidy
o Adhering to the Co-op Bylaws: each co-op has its own set of bylaws that members approve and must follow
o Attending meetings of members
o You can choose to run for and be elected by the members to the co-op's Board of Directors
- A dispute between a member and their co-op is handled differently that that between a tenant and their landlord. The first step to resolving co-op disputes is through the co-op's Board of Directors.
- Co-ops and members are governed by the Ontario Co-operative Corporations Act and not for the most part by landlord-tenant legislation.
Different Types of Co-ops
In Ontario there are two types of co-ops, Municipal and Federal, depending on the government funding the co-op receives. In both types of co-ops the co-op itself runs the housing and is not owned by or run by the government.
- These co-ops are administered by municipal Service Managers such as the Region of Waterloo. Co-ops and members are governed by the Ontario Housing Services Act.
- The Service Manager keeps the waiting lists for Rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units for these co-ops and applications for RGI are made through the Service Manager.
Municipal co-ops in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge are listed in the Community Housing Catalogue
Co-op Act: members of co-ops must follow the rules of the Co-op Act.
- Co-op Bylaws: each co-op has its own set of bylaws that members must follow (please ask your co-op to provide you with a list of their bylaws).
- Appeal process: if a member has a dispute with a co-op landlord and it has been reviewed and a ruling given by the internal Board, a member can appeal it through the Supreme Court of Ontario.
More information on all co-ops in Waterloo Region
You can get more information on how co-ops work, watch a video and access the Co-op Locator on the Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF) website. All co-ops, Municipal and Federal, in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge are listed on the Locator.