Principles of Decision Making

Our Principles:

We agree that Old Grace Housing Cooperative strives to achieve the ideal of consensus in decision making.

Consensus will be based on the following principles:

  1. We work together for the good of all of the OGHC members.
  2. We cooperate to share knowledge and resources openly with the group.
  3. We trust that each member keeps the best interest of the OGHC in mind.
  4. We value and consider differences in a respectful way.
  5. We acknowledge that in a diverse community, members come to decision-making from unique perspectives.
Making Decisions

Making decisions by consensus does not necessarily mean that everyone is in complete agreement – but rather that a solution is found that all participants can live with, or are at least willing to try. The membership of OGHC has agreed to make decisions as follows:


  1. We will use 4 levels of consensus in decision making, namely:


Level 1 Yes I fully support this decision


Level 2 Yes, and I support this decision, and we need to address X (document this qualification)


Level 3 Yes, but I will support this decision but am concerned about X (document this qualification). However, I don’t want to block the process.


Level 4 No I can’t support this decision (provide reasons – why it is not good for me, or why it is not good for the co-operative


2. We will approve a decision on the first vote if there are no Level 4 votes, and 75% of votes fall in Levels 1 & 2.

3. If consensus cannot be reached after extensive discussion, we will use majority vote to make decisions. We agree that, on the final vote, 65% agreement at Levels 1 & 2 is sufficient for an action to be approved.

4. We appreciate that not all decisions warrant this formal process. We agree that the decision-making process can be changed from formal to informal (or vice versa) if 35% of members present at a meeting are in favour.


Member Responsibility

In working together to make decisions, members of OGHC agree we will:

  • attend meetings,
  • gather, circulate and process information in advance,
  • encourage full participation of everyone in discussion,
  • listen to all viewpoints with openness and respect,
  • recognize the need for compromise and clarity in communication,
  • give full support to the decisions once they are made by the group.
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