Old Grace Housing Co-operative is owned by the members and together we make decisions about how OGHC should be governed and managed. We have chosen to live in a housing co-operative because we believe people should support each other.
When members talk about governance, we often focus on the role of the Board of Directors. However, the most important contribution we can make to our co-op is our role in supporting good governance, which includes building a strong community.
For long term success, a housing cooperative needs to be both a viable business and a co-operative community.
As members, we make Old Grace Housing Cooperative a viable business by:
- meeting our responsibilities as residents (eg. paying our housing charges on time)
- taking pride in our homes (eg. maintaining our units in good condition)
- expecting and respecting principled leadership
- supporting good governance and sound management
- attending all OGHC membership meetings and actively participating in decision making
- seeking out opportunities for personal growth, education and training
- sharing leadership duties
- understanding that the needs of OGHC as a community sometimes come first when difficult decisions have to be made
As members, we make Old Grace Housing Cooperative a co-operative community by:
- supporting open and inclusive membership
- welcoming new arrivals to the co-op
- respecting diversity and differences in abilities
- encouraging social involvement, without insisting on it
- being considerate of our neighbours
- caring for the health and safety of others,
- modelling co-operative behaviour
We will share our expectations concerning member involvement with new applicants at Membership Information meetings, and will include this information in the Membership Information package.
A statement of agreement with our member involvement expectations will also be included in the Membership Application.
On moving in, each new member will be invited to contribute to the co-op in their own way, according to their capabilities, skills, interests, and availability. Averaged over a year, each OGHC household typically contributes 8 hours per month to community activities.
Text adapted from: 20/20 Vision – Beyond Participation: Building a Foundation for Real Member Involvement, Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada, 2010.