Housing co-ops are mixed communities. Members of housing co-ops come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of incomes. Some members pay the full housing charge. This is often called a “market” housing charge. Other members with lower incomes pay less. This is called a reduced housing charges fund. Some units in every co-op receive reduced housing charges which may be referred to as subsidy if the Co-Op currently has a mortgage agreement with CHFBC.
What is the reduced housing charges fund?
Many non-profit housing co-ops receive money from the government (federal and/or provincial) to help the co-op subsidize a certain number of housing units. In July 2006, View Court paid off its mortgage and therefore , no longer received money from the government for these units. As a housing co-op, we have a commitment to continue to provide affordable housing to low income members. Therefore we provide our own internal fund comprised of a portion of each members housing charges into a “reduced housing charges fund”. The housing charge for these units is adjusted to the income of the household. If a household qualifies for the reduced housing charges fund, our formula is 34% of your gross income or 65% of the market rate, whichever is higher. We do not include utilities as the co-op pays for these collectively. At this time, View Court is not accepting applications for reduced housing charges. Applicants must be making 3 times the housing charges in order for their application to be accepted.
Market and Non-Market units
The City is maintaining lists for market and non-market/subsidized rental housing with a priority focus, in accordance with Council’s resolution, on renting to tenants who work in Vancouver with an emphasis on front-line workers in healthcare, public safety, and public education. Estimated “Market Rents”:
- Bedroom (640 sq.ft.) $1601/month
- Bedroom (906 sq.ft) $1902/month
- Bedroom (1223 sq. ft) $2096/month
- Bedroom (1480 sq. ft.) $2368/month
City contact for market and non-market subsidized rental housing:
How do I apply for co-op housing?
Most co-ops have waiting lists of people who would like to move in. These lists are particularly long for people who need reduced housing charges. The standard wait to get into a housing co-op is between three months and three years.
Most co-ops have long waiting lists and you can generally expect a three-month to three-year wait. Waiting lists are longer if you require reduced housing charges. Since most co-ops have their own list, you apply to each co-op separately. CHF BC no longer accepts applications for co-ops.
- Check a list of co-ops currently accepting applications from the Co-op Directory on the COHO website
- Write to each co-op that interests you, and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope so they can mail you their application
- Fill out and mail back the application form sent by each co-op. In the application you will be asked about your household, your income, and your skills. This helps the co-op to know whether you are a suitable fit for the Co-Op. If you do not meet the financial requirements (currently 3x rental charges) your application will not be accepted.
- While you are on the waiting list, keep your application up-to-date. Let the co-op know if your or your partner’s address, phone number, household size, or income changes. We will send out semi regular e-mail reminders to inform us if you wish to remain on our wait list. If you do not keep us informed by replying, you will be removed from the wait list. As well, if we are unable to contact you by phone or e-mail, you will be removed from the wait list.
- Each month we will be conducting a group tour of one or two suites and common areas within and on the surrounding grounds. This is an opportunity for you to get an idea of View Court and to see if this is a good fit for your living choices. If, after the tour, you are not interested in View Court, please inform us to remove you from the wait list.If you remain interested in View Court and we feel you would make a good fit with our existing membership community, we will select applicants for an interview.
- As well, each month, we will be conducting one interview in conjunction with our membership Meeting. Depending on your place on the wait list you may be contacted anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after the tour to attend a 20 to 30 minute interview. The interview gives you a chance to learn about the co-op and find out what is expected of members. Sometimes we conduct larger interviews where up to 6 applicants may also be interviewed that same night. Depending on your place on the wait list, you may be asked to wait up to 1.5 hours while the other candidates are completing their interviews. If you have questions about the co-op, this is a great opportunity to ask us. Attendance at these orientations is very important! If you do not show up to an orientation or interview that you agreed to, you will be removed from the wait list.
- Within a day or so, you will be contacted by one of our Members about whether or not you have been accepted to View Court.
- Once you’ve been accepted to join a co-op, your application will be moved to the ‘Accepted Applicants’ wait list which is much shorter than the Applicants list. When we are in need of filling a suite,we try to select from the accepted wait list to see who is available. We ask that our members give us two months notice of their plan to vacate View Court so we could inform accepted applicants immediately of a vacancy. The information on our website should be sufficient for you to decide if the vacant suite is a good choice. Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to view the suite until the 2 months before it becomes vacant. Once you have accepted a suite, the Membership Committee will assign a ‘buddy’ to you in order that more detailed questions as to the Financial process, move in procedures, keys, and important topics such as participation and respect for neighbours i.e. Noise between suites.
- Upon moving in you will be asked to pay $1000.00 in shares. CHF BC runs two programs to assist those in special need to afford the initial share purchase: Disability Trust and the Domestic Violence Relief Fund.
- Regardless of where you may be on the Application list or accepted wait list, the Membership Committee will continue to assess whether or not you would make a good fit for View Court. Numerous hours are spent by both applicants and members to ensure co-operative and positive people move in to our diverse community.