1. BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
- The interior common areas of the co-op will need to be furnished and equipped before being useable by residents. However, there is little money available in the construction budget for furnishings.
- A number of initial residents will be moving into the co-op from much larger homes. In downsizing, they may have items they are interested in offering to the co-op, for use in the common areas.
- Old Grace Housing Co-op members are committed to an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. They support exploring alternatives to buying newly-manufactured goods if used options (either purchased as used or donated by members) would be satisfactory for the co-op’s purposes.
- This policy describes how decisions will be made regarding donations and loans of furniture, appliances, equipment, and other goods intended for use in the co-op’s common areas. The policy has been developed for immediate use by the initial residents. Following building occupancy, it will be incorporated into a more comprehensive co-op purchasing policy.
- The Donations Policy will be administered by the Amenities and Common Areas (ACA) Committee, which is an ad hoc advisory committee to the board.
- Once the potential uses for each common area in the co-op have been decided by the initial residents, the relevant ACA Sub-committee (Area Team) will:
- identify any items needing permanent installation eg cabinets, shelving, hooks, storage units, etc. and the approximate cost of materials and labour.
- list all the furnishings, equipment and supplies required upon occupancy and those that would be desirable afterwards.as part of an overall budget for furnishing the area, recommend whether items required should be purchased (new or used), or donations sought from initial residents.
- inform the initial residents group of items being sought as donations, specifying any requirements or desirable features (eg maximum size and/or weight, model, style, material, etc.)
- evaluate items offered by initial residents for suitability.
- Where no Area Team has been identified, these activities will be carried out by the ACA Committee at large.
- If necessary, a member of the Area Team will arrange to inspect items being offered. If more than one item of the same type is available, the Area Team will decide which would be the best choice for the co-op. If the co-op has adequate storage space, more than one may be accepted.
- Until the housing complex is constructed, the co-op has no ability to store donated items and no budget to pay for off-site storage. Donated items will remain in the care of the donor.
3. CRITERIA FOR SUITABILITY OF DONATIONS
The co-op wants to be able to take advantage of members’ generosity but also needs to ensure that only suitable items are accepted, viz:
- Be in good working condition.
- Be clean and “as new” in appearance.
- Not represent a bed bug hazard.
- Be of appropriate size/weight for the space available (eg furniture, exercise equipment)
- Be up-to-date in terms of technology, if applicable (eg computers, printers, electronics)
- Meet current energy efficiency standards, if applicable (eg appliances)
- Meet current safety standards, if applicable (eg toys, sports equipment, baby furniture)
- Be durable enough to withstand 3-5 years of communal use before needing replacement.
4. ITEMS REQUIRING APPROVAL BY THE BOARD AND RESIDENTS
- Where acceptance of an item may increase the co-op’s annual operating expenses, the ACA Committee must refer the offer to the Board for approval. Examples include: items with high energy or water consumption; items requiring annual inspection or certification: items for which a regular service contract will be required.
- Since the co-op’s increased operating expenses will be reflected in residents’ housing charges, the initial residents group must also approve the decision.
5. DONATED ITEMS
- Co-op residents may donate items to the co-op that have been pre-approved as required by the relevant Area Team.
- OGHC is not a registered charity so cannot issue tax receipts for donations.
- Written records will be kept of donations estimated to have a value over $100, as confirmation of the donor’s intention. These records will be kept on file in the co-op office until the donated item is no longer in use.
- Donations are understood to belong to the co-op free and clear. They may be disposed of by the co-op when no longer of use, without informing the original donor.
- Any monies raised by selling donated items that are surplus to requirements will be deposited in the co-op’s Common Amenities Fund
6. LOANED ITEMS
- Co-op residents may loan items to the co-op, with the understanding that the item will be returned to the original owner when a) it is declared surplus to the co-op’s needs or b) the original owner ceases to be a co-op resident. If an Area Team considers a loan acceptable, this recommendation must be approved by the ACA Committee.
- Each loan will be documented via a memorandum of agreement between the co-op and the lender, to be kept on file in the co-op office. The memorandum of agreement will document whether the co-op or the owner will be responsible for:
- transportation of the item to the co-op, and from the co-op when returned to the owner
- maintenance or repair costs incurred while the item is on co-op property
- If a loaned item is no longer needed by the co-op, the original owner will be informed and given 14 days to remove the item. If not removed within that time, saving an extension granted by the ACA Committee, the item will then be considered co-op property and retained or disposed of as the Committee decides.
- Residents withdrawing from the co-op are required to give 90 days notice. The resident will be assumed to be removing any loaned item upon departure, unless the co-op is informed otherwise. Loaned items not removed within 14 days of the lender’s departure will be considered donations to the co-op as defined in section 5.
7. DONATIONS OR LOANS OF ARTWORK AND DECORATIVE ITEMS
- As far as possible, decisions about whether to accept donations or loans of artwork or decorative items will be made post-occupancy, by the co-op residents as a group.
- The co-op cannot accept loans of artwork or decorative items that are valuable enough to require separate insurance coverage, unless the original owner is willing to pay for this for the full duration of the loan.