Background.

  • At present, all 370+ shareholders of OGHC are voting members of the co-op.
  • In housing co-operatives, the general rule is that only residents can be voting members. This rule is in place to make sure that residents can never be outvoted by non-residents.
  • The Board asked the OGHC Governance Committee to investigate another governance option, known as a Multi-Stakeholder Co-operative (MSC). At the last membership meeting on 31 May/17, members agreed to pursue this idea.

Board Decision

The Governance Committee has looked at the pros and cons of the MSC model, and variations on this, particularly the practical issues of how to arrange meetings, voting procedures etc. The Committee sought advice from FIRB (the Financial Institutions Regulation Branch, which makes the rules for Manitoba co-operatives), and from the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.

At the 16 Aug/17 board meeting, after hearing from the Governance Committee, and discussing the matter fully, the Board decided against adopting the MSC model. The Board felt that the MSC model would make member meetings, decision-making, and voting much more complicated than now. Moreover, the Board was not convinced that many non-residents would want to share responsibility for co-op activities.

After the building is completed and move-in takes place (estimated for Dec/17), OGHC will operate like other housing co-ops in Manitoba. Only co-op residents will be voting members.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What happens to current members who aren’t moving in yet?

After the 2017 AGM, people who were previously members and wish to become residents in future will be known as Friends of OGHC.

The Membership Committee expects that most Friends have applied to OGHC to get on the Waiting List for a suite. It is possible to be a Friend of OGHC without wanting to move in – some long-time supporters of the co-op might be in this situation. Friends of OGHC will not have any voting rights.

  1. Will I lose my place on the Waiting List?

If you choose to become a Friend of OGHC, you won’t. Your position on the Waiting List is based on the date when you joined OGHC and this does not change. At the moment, this is your Member number. In future, it will be your Registration Number.

  1. What happens to my $50 member share?

If you choose to become a Friend of OGHC, your $50 member share will be called your Deposit.

When you accept an available suite, your $50 Deposit will be converted into one $50 Member Share. You will have to pay for additional shares, according to the size/type of suite you accept. When you move into the suite, you will become a voting member of the co-op.

  1. Can I get my $50 back?

Yes, you have two options:

  1. You can donate your $50 payment to OGHC, so the money can be used to pay for landscaping, equipment or interior furnishings. Your donation will be acknowledged. Your name will be taken off the Waiting List for suites. You will receive no further mailings or invitations from the co-op.
  2. You can ask for a refund of your $50 payment. Your name will be taken off the Waiting List for suites. You will receive no further mailings or invitations from the co-op.
  3. How can Friends continue to be involved with the co-op?

As a Friend of OGHC, you will:

  • continue to receive the co-op newsletter
  • be invited to co-op events (barbeques, garage sales, meetings, work days etc.)
  • be able to join work groups or committees, or contribute to future co-op projects.
  1. Do the co-op’s Bylaws need to be changed?

Yes, the Governance Committee will propose wording changes to the current Bylaws and to the co-op’s Articles of Incorporation.

These changes have to be approved by the current co-op members at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM). This will be held on Saturday 4 November 2017.

  1. What happens until the 2017 AGM takes place?

No changes to the Articles and Bylaws can be made until the current members approve them.

There will be plenty of activity going on behind the scenes. The Board and all co-op committees have to make sure their documents are worded correctly, using the word “member” only when it applies to a resident.