Wait list and suite allocation policy

1. BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
  1. The Wait List for Suites is used to allocate available suites to current co-op residents (internal allocation) or to Friends of OGHC (external allocation). Current co-op residents will have priority over non-residents whenever a suite becomes available.
  2. Under the terms of the co-op’s Financial Assistance Agreement with MB Housing, Old Grace Housing Co-operative must maintain 30 suites of affordable housing on the Arlington Street site. In addition, the 4 townhouses on Evanson Street are designated as affordable housing.
  3. Priority on the Wait List for Suites is based on Co-op Number (see Friends and Members Application Policy for details). In some circumstances, the Membership Committee may approve allocation of an available suite based on criteria other than Co-op Number, such as when a suite transfer is required by MB Housing regulations.
  4. Information collected by the Membership Committee from Friends of OGHC or from co-op members is protected by federal and provincial Protection of Personal Information legislation, and will remain confidential at all times.
2. WAIT LIST PROCEDURE
  1. The Membership Committee will establish and maintain the co-op’s Wait List for Suites.
  2. Individuals who joined Old Grace Housing Co-operative prior to 4 November 2017, and who had already applied for a co-op suite, are not required to fill out another application form unless their household circumstances have changed.
  3. Since that date, all individuals who have joined the co-op as Friends of OGHC are eligible to submit a completed Wait List Application Form. Friends are informed of this on joining the co-op.
  4. The Wait List Application Form gives the Membership Committee detailed information about the applicant’s household composition, the size and type of housing wanted, when he/she wishes to move into the co-op, and other pertinent information.
  5. The Membership Committee will assess all applications for completeness and accuracy, and will contact the Friend for additional information if necessary. Applicants’ names will be added to the Wait List for Suites.
  6. At least annually, the Membership Committee will contact applicants on the Wait List for Suites to ask about any changes in their household situation.
  7. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that Old Grace Housing Co-operative has their current contact information on file. If an individual fails to do this, OGHC cannot be held responsible for failing to inform the applicant when a suitable suite becomes available, or for any delay in doing so.
3. SUITE ALLOCATION PROCEDURE

When a suite becomes available, the Membership Committee will follow a two-step process to allocate it:

  1. Step One is to offer the available suite, internally, to existing co-op members. This may result in several transfers of suites between members.
  2. Step Two is to offer the suite that is now available to Friends of OGHC whose names are on the Wait List for Suites, according to their eligibility for the size and type of suite available.
Step One: Allocation of the Available Suite to a Co-op Member
  1. The Membership Committee will notify all co-op members by email (or by phone, if necessary) when a suite becomes available. Information about the size and type of suite will be included.
  2. The movement of members from one suite to another within the co-op creates additional work for co-op staff and volunteers. Co-op members must normally have lived in their current suite for a minimum of 12 months before they apply for a transfer. Any exceptions to this rule must be approved by the three-member Membership Sub-Committee (see below).
  3. Members will be given a deadline of 5 business days from date of notification, to indicate their interest in the available suite.
  4. When this deadline has passed, the Membership Committee will compile a list of members who have expressed interest, ranked according to their Co-op Number. The suite will be offered to the eligible member expressing interest who has the lowest Co-op Number.
  5. If the offer is turned down, the suite will be offered to the member with the next lowest Co-op Number. This process will be repeated until the suite is accepted, or until it has been refused by all the co-op members who had previously expressed interest.
  6. Depending on the co-op member’s household circumstances, the suite presently occupied by the member might now become available for reallocation. If so, all co-op members will be notified and given 5 business days from date of notification to indicate their interest, and so on.
  7. If there is a suite available following this allocation/reallocation process, it will be offered to Friends of OGHC whose names are on the Wait List for Suites (see Step Two).
Exemptions to Allocation by Co-op Number:
  1. Requests for exemptions from allocation by Co-op Number may be received from co-op members for a number of different reasons. A three-member Sub-Committee of the Membership Committee will be struck to determine if such requests are warranted. Rulings will be made on a case-by-case basis, guided by Article 9 of the OGHC Occupancy Rules and the co-op’s Vision, Mission and Values.
  2. A co-op member whose request for exemption is turned down by the Membership Sub-Committee has the right to appeal the decision to the co-op board of directors.
Exemptions to allocation by Co-op Number include, but are not limited to:

a. Co-op members living in affordable housing, who are also receiving monthly Rent Supplement, are subject to MB Housing’s rules about minimum and maximum household size. These are detailed in Article 9.7 of the OGHC Occupancy Rules.

  • If there is a change in the member’s household size, MB Housing may require the household to move to another suite, if available, or to move to one that comes closer in size to the number of bedrooms required.
  • If MB Housing rules that a household must change suites, the Membership Committee must give that household priority for an internal move when a suitable suite becomes available, vis-à-vis other co-op members who have requested a transfer.

b. Co-op members living in affordable housing are subject to the co-op’s household size rules. These are detailed in Articles 9.1 and 9.3 of the OGHC Occupancy Rules.

  • For example, the loss of a household member or the division of a household, may result in too few people occupying a suite. Conversely, the addition of a household member may result in the maximum household size for that suite being exceeded.

c. Requests to transfer suites might also result from a member’s documented health concerns (eg. to move to a larger suite in order to accommodate medical equipment).

d. A member household’s financial concerns might prompt a request to transfer to a smaller suite with a lower monthly housing charge.

Step Two: Allocation of the Available Suite to a Friend of OGHC

a. When a suite becomes available, the Membership Committee will refer to the Wait List for Suites for Friends of OGHC who are eligible for the size and type of suite available.

b. The Friend with the lowest Co-op Number will be offered the suite by e-mail. The offer will include the suite number, all associated costs and any conditions that may apply. The Friend will be given 5 business days to confirm interest in the offer.

c. If contact by e-mail is not possible, the same information will be delivered by phone. The Membership Committee representative making the call will record the date and time that contact was made. The Friend will be given 5 business days to confirm interest in the offer.

d. The Membership Committee will also notify, at minimum, the next 5 eligible applicants on the Wait List for Suites that a suite has become available. This is done to warn eligible applicants that they could receive an offer in the next week or two, so they can consider their readiness to move into the co-op.

e. If requested, the Membership Committee will arrange a suite inspection for the applicant. This can be done by giving 24-hours notice to the current suite occupant (see Article 5.3 of the OGHC Occupancy Rules).

4. SUBMITTING THE SUITE APPLICATION FORM

a. When the Friend who has been offered the suite indicates interest, he/she will be given 7 business days to submit a completed OGHC Suite Application Form together with the suite deposit required.

b. On receipt of a completed Suite Application Form, the Membership Committee will reserve the suite while the Friend arranges for payment of the Member Shares required. His/her deposit cheque will be forwarded to the co-op bookkeeper.

c. The Membership Committee will assess the Suite Application Form for completeness and accuracy, and may contact the Friend for additional information.

d. The application will be refused if the Friend:

  • is not eligible for the size and type of suite available, or
  • is unable to provide proof of household income, or
  • is unable to pay for the Member Shares required.

e. If the application is accepted, the Friend’s contact information will be forwarded to the board of directors. Arrangements will be made for the Friend to pay the Member Shares required and sign the co-op Offering Statement.

f. If the Friend withdraws his/her application at any point in the application process, the suite deposit will be fully refunded. The Friend’s name will remain on the Wait List for Suites unless he/she chooses to withdraw from the co-op completely.

g. In situations where an application is refused, or the Friend withdraws an application, the Membership Committee will offer the suite to the next eligible Friend on the Wait List. This process continues until the available suite is successfully allocated.

h. Once the suite is allocated, all Friends on the Wait List for Suites who had been contacted, will be notified that the suite is no longer available.