Cole Road Co-operative Community Inc. By-Law 2015.11

Housing Services Act By-law
Passed by the Board of Directors on 09 February 2015; Confirmed by the Members on 01 March 2015

This By law contains rules which Cole Road Co-operative Community Inc. (the Co-op) is adopting to comply with the Ontario Housing Services Act.

It changes the Co op’s existing by laws in the following areas:

  • Appendices to the Occupancy Agreement (Appendices A, B, and C)
  • Required internal transfers (Article 3)
  • Guest rules for members who pay a geared to income housing charge (Article 4)
  • Special needs eligibility and waiting list (Article 5)
  • Procedures for decisions, reviews and notices (Article 6)
  • Selection of geared to income and special needs members (Article 7)
  • Forms to be used by the Co op (Forms A to I)
ARTICLE 1 - ABOUT THIS BY LAW
1.1 Special Meanings
Certain words have special meanings when used in this By law.
  1. “Housing Services Act” means the Ontario Housing Services Act, including all amendments to bring it up to date.
  2. “Co operative Corporations Act” means the Ontario Co operative Corporations Act, including all amendments to bring it up to date.
  3. “Regulations” means official Regulations passed by the Ontario government under the Housing Services Act, including all amendments to bring them up to date.
  4. “Local Rules” means rules and standards that are officially set by the Service Manager in compliance with the Housing Services Act.
  5. A “Service Manager” is the municipal body that relates to the Co op under the Housing Services Act. The Service Manager for the Co op is the County of Wellington.
  6. “Government Requirements” is a term used in this By law to refer to the rules that apply to co ops as stated in the Housing Services Act, the Regulations, Local Rules or any of them.
  7. A “Review” is a review of a decision about geared-to-income or special needs housing resulting from an appeal by an applicant or member under Government Requirements. Procedures for reviews by the Co op are in Attachment 3 – Procedure for Decisions, Reviews and Notices and Attachment 5 – Procedure for a Review of a Refusal of Membership Application.

Words that have special meanings in the Housing Services Act and the Regulations have the same meaning when used in this By law unless another meaning is clearly intended.

Some other words have special meanings in this By law. These include:

  • Applicable occupancy standards (section 3.6)
  • Special needs households and special needs units (section 5.5)
  • Household (section 6.6).
1.2 Applicable Rules
Many of the rules applicable to co ops are set out in the Housing Services Act, the Regulations and Local Rules. The Co op must obey these rules even if they conflict with its by laws. The Co op must also continue to follow the rules in the Co operative Corporations Act.

If there is a conflict among rules, they will govern in this order:

  1. the Co operative Corporations Act and the Housing Services Act
  2. the Regulations under the Housing Services Act and any regulations that are relevant under the Co operative Corporations Act
  3. Local Rules
  4. this By law, including the Appendices, Forms and Attachments
  5. the other by laws of the Co-op.
1.3 Relation to Other By-Laws
This By law takes the place of or amends all previous by-laws or resolutions that deal with matters covered by this By-law. If there is a conflict, this By-law governs.
ARTICLE 2 - OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT
2.1 Occupancy Agreement
  1. The Occupancy By-law is amended by deleting Appendices A, B and C of the Occupancy By-law and replacing them with Appendices A, B, C and E to this By-law.
  2. The attached Appendices A and B will be used for all members. The attached Appendix C, Terms of the Member’s Housing Charge Subsidy, will be used only for members who pay a geared to income housing charge. The attached Appendix E, Terms of the Member’s Special Needs Housing, will be used only for members who live in a special needs unit.
  3. The Co op and the members must obey this By law and the Occupancy Agreement and the Appendices to the Occupancy Agreement that apply to them, even if a particular member has not signed an Occupancy Agreement or the Appendices.
2.2 Signing Occupancy Agreement
  1. New members must sign Appendices A and B when their membership in the Co op begins and they sign an Occupancy Agreement. If they pay a geared to income housing charge, they must also sign Appendix C. If they occupy a special needs unit, they must also sign Appendix E.
  2. Existing members who pay a market housing charge must sign Appendices A and B when they would be signing a new Occupancy Agreement.
  3. Existing members who pay a geared to income housing charge must sign Appendices A, B and C within 12 months of this By law passing. The Service Manager may require new Appendices to be signed sooner.
  4. Existing members who occupy a special needs unit must sign Appendices A, B and E within 12 months of this By-law passing. The Service Manager may require new Appendices to be signed sooner.
  5. Existing members who pay a market housing charge and start to receive geared to income assistance must sign Appendices A, B and C when they start to receive geared to income assistance.
  6. Existing members must sign Appendices A and B, and Appendix C if applicable, when there is a change in their household size.
  7. Members who pay a geared to income housing charge must make sure that non member occupants in their household sign the Appendices as stated in the signature section.
ARTICLE 3 - REQUIRED INTERNAL TRANSFERS
3.1 Purpose of Article 3
The Housing Services Act requires the Service Manager to set up a waiting list system. This includes rules about internal transfers. The Co-op’s policies and procedures must comply with Government Requirements. They are different from the Co op’s earlier policies as stated in its by laws.
3.2 Relation to Other By laws
The policies and procedures set out in this Article are intended to work with the Co-op’s existing by laws. If there is a conflict, this By law governs. This By law covers only required moves for:
  • households paying a geared-to-income housing charge who have requested an internal move and been given special priority status under Government Requirements and
  • special needs households who have requested an internal move and been given special priority status under Government Requirements and
  • households who pay a geared to income housing charge and are overhoused under applicable occupancy standards (see section 3.6) and
  • households who live in a special needs unit and are no longer eligible for special needs housing.
3.3 Internal Waiting List
The Co op will have a waiting list for internal transfers. The Internal Waiting List will include transfers required under this By law and all other transfers.
3.4 Existing Waiting List
The Co op’s internal waiting list at the time this By law is confirmed will be continued as the Internal Waiting List referred to in this By law. It will be adjusted as necessary to fit the categories and rules stated in this By law.
3.5 Priority
  1. This section states the order of priority for allocating a unit when it becomes vacant. It is subject to all Government Requirements and the specific provisions set out in this By law.
  2. The board of directors will offer the unit in the following order:
    1. first, to geared-to-income or special needs members who have requested an internal transfer and been given special priority status under Government Requirements
    2. second, to members who have to make a required transfer under this By law. They will be ranked in the following order:
      • section 3.9 (Overhoused Geared to Income)
      • section 3.10 (Special Needs – Modified Units)
      • section 3.11 (Special Needs – Support Services)
    3. third, to members on the Internal Waiting List who are required to transfer under the Co op’s by laws
    4. fourth, to members who have requested an internal transfer
    5. fifth, to external applicants.
3.6 Applicable Occupancy Standards
In this By law “applicable occupancy standards” means the occupancy standards, if any, set out in the Co-op’s Occupancy By-law and the occupancy standards set by the service manager for geared-to-income households.
3.7 Special Priority Status for Members Requesting an Internal Transfer
  1. This category is made up of geared-to-income or special needs households who have been given special priority status on the Internal Waiting List due to abuse by another member of the household or immigration sponsor. Geared-to-income households are included if the Co-op has at least one unit where the household would not be overhoused.
  2. Households paying a geared-to-income housing charge who have been given special priority status under Government Requirements and have requested an internal transfer will be offered units of a size and type for which they are eligible under applicable occupancy standards.
  3. Within this category, priority will be as stated in Government Requirements.
  4. If the household is removed from the special priority category under Government Requirements, the household will be removed from the Internal Waiting List.
3.8 Required Transfers
Sections 3.8 to 3.15 state rules for priority in offering units to households that must move to another unit according to Government Requirements. In this By law these moves are called required transfers.
3.9 Overhoused – Geared to Income Households
  1. This category is made up of households paying a geared to income housing charge who have received a notice that they are overhoused from the Service Manager (or the Co op on behalf of the Service Manager) if the Co op has at least one unit where the household would not be overhoused. If the Co op is giving the notice that a household is overhoused, the Co op can use Form B, Notice of Geared to Income or Special Needs Decision with the Right to Review.
  2. Within this category, priority will be as stated in Government Requirements .

3.10 Special Needs – Modified Units
  1. This category is made up of households who occupy modified units and who are no longer eligible for this type of special needs housing. The board can give them a Notice to Transfer.
    These households are no longer considered special needs households so applicable occupancy standards apply to them.
  2. Within this category, priority will be based on the date of delivery of the Notice to Transfer.
3.11 Special Needs – Support Services
  1. This category is made up of households who occupy special needs units that are not modified and who are no longer eligible for special needs housing. A household will not lose eligibility for special needs housing only because its relationship with a support services agency has ended. If households are no longer eligible, the board can give them a Notice to Transfer under clause (b) or clause (c), if applicable.
  2. These households are no longer considered special needs households, so applicable occupancy standards apply to them. The board can give them a Notice to Transfer if they do not meet applicable occupancy standards.
  3. Even if a household that is no longer a special needs household meets applicable occupancy standards in the special needs unit, the board can give them a Notice to Transfer if:
    1. the specific unit that they occupy is part of an arrangement with a support services agency, and
    2. another unit cannot be substituted in the arrangement with the support services agency without breaking the Co op’s agreement with it or causing significant trouble for it.
  4. A household will not be given a Notice to Transfer only because its relationship with a support services agency has ended.
  5. Within this category priority will be based on the date of delivery of the Notice to Transfer.
3.12 Procedure for Required Transfer
This section applies to Notices to Transfer under sections 3.9 to 3.11. It replaces any notice requirements or other procedures relating to these notices in the Co op’s other by laws.
3.13 Effect of Refusals – Overhoused Geared to Income Households
Households within section 3.9 may refuse the units according to Local Rules without losing their geared-to-income assistance and being removed from the Internal Waiting List. There may be a Local Rule when a refusal is not counted.
3.14 Effect of Refusals – Special Priority Households
Households within section 3.7 may refuse units according to Local Rules without being removed from the Internal Waiting List. There may be a Local Rule when a refusal is not counted.
3.15 Effect of Refusals – Special Needs Households
Households within sections 3.10 and 3.11 may refuse the first [two]* appropriate units that are offered to them. If they refuse to transfer to the [third]* appropriate unit that is offered to them, they may be evicted. Procedures for eviction are stated in the Occupancy By law.
3.16 Role of Staff in Making Offers
  1. Co op staff are authorized to make offers to households that are required to transfer under this By law without referring them to the board.
  2. Co op staff and directors will keep the board up to date on information they may have regarding potential move outs and internal transfers. This is to permit offers to be made quickly.
3.17 Making and Accepting Offers
The rules about offering units and how members accept the offer are in sections 5.11, 5.12 and 5.14 of the Membership Approval and Unit Allocation By-law.
3.18 Notification of Acceptance
  1. Members must notify the Co-op office within 48 hours of being offered a unit whether they wish to accept the unit. If they fail to do so, they will be considered to have refused the unit.
  2. Once a member on the Internal Waiting List has accepted a unit, the member must vacate his or her existing unit and move into the new unit on the date specified when the unit was offered. Acceptance of the unit may not be withdrawn without the consent of the board. Members of the household cannot appeal the board’s decision.
  3. When a member accepts a unit, they must come into the office and sign a form provided by the Co op accepting the unit and agreeing to move and/or a new Occupancy Agreement. This should be done within the 48 hours, but can be postponed by Co-op staff if it is a weekend or is inconvenient for other legitimate reasons.
3.19 No Liability
Anything in the Co op’s by laws, or any commitment made by anyone that is not authorized by the board, will not create liability for the Co op. The Co op will not be liable to anyone for:
  • any error, omission, or mistake concerning the Internal Waiting List
  • the allocation of units or geared to income assistance
  • the failure to allocate units or geared to income assistance to persons on the Internal Waiting List.
3.20 Things Not Stated in By laws
The board will decide anything relating to the Internal Waiting List not stated in this By law or in the Co op’s other by laws or in Government Requirements.
ARTICLE 4 - GUEST RULES
4.1 Purpose of Article 4
The Regulations require the Co op to set rules for the temporary accommodation of guests in geared to income units. This Article only applies to households who pay a geared to income housing charge.
4.2 Relation to Other By laws
The policies and procedures stated in this Article are intended to work with the Co op’s existing by laws. If there is a conflict, this By law governs.
4.3 Guest Rules
The Co op’s guest rules for members who pay a geared to income housing charge will be as stated in Article 7 of the Occupancy By law, especially sections 7.4 (Casual Guests) and 7.5 (Long Term Guests), except as changed by this By law.
4.4 Income of Guests
Despite anything in the Occupancy By law or the Co op’s other by laws, if anyone is accommodated in a unit for more than three months for any number of visits during any twelve month period, the income of that person must be included when calculating a geared to income housing charge. The board can choose the twelve month period.

If Government Requirements are changed to establish a time limit for including income of guests, or a maximum time limit for co ops to use, that time limit or maximum time limit will apply instead of what is stated in this By law.

4.5 Signing Appendices
If a guest’s income is included under section 4.4, the household must submit new Appendices A, B and C to the Occupancy Agreement including the guest’s signature.
ARTICLE 5 - PROCEDURES FOR DECISIONS, REVIEWS AND NOTICES
5.1 Purpose of Article 5
Under Government Requirements the Co-op must use specific procedures when making certain kinds of decisions about special needs housing, geared to income assistance and refusing applicants. These procedures are different from the Co-op’s earlier procedures as stated in its by laws.

The procedures for refusing geared to income and special needs applicants are set out in Article 6 (Selection of Geared to Income and Special Needs Members).

5.2 Relation to Other By laws
The policies and procedures stated in this Article are intended to work with the Co-op’s existing by laws, but some of them may be different from existing by laws. If there is a conflict, this By law governs. The procedures stated in this Article replace the procedures in the Co-op’s other by laws that deal with the decisions listed in section 5.4 (Kinds of Decisions under Government Requirements).
5.3 Decisions by Co-op
Some of the decisions that are dealt with in this Article must always be made by the Co-op under Government Requirements. Other decisions are the responsibility of the Service Manager, but can be delegated to the Co-op. Some decisions are the responsibility of the Co op, but can be delegated to another party, such as a support services agency or the Service Manager.

The arrangement can be that the decision is made by the Co-op, but the review of that decision is made by the other party, or that both the decision and the review are made by the Co-op.

This Article only applies to decisions that are being made by the Co-op and reviews that are being done by the Co-op.

5.4 Kinds of Decisions under Government Requirements
The kinds of decisions that are referred to in sections 5.7 (Request for Review) and 5.8 (Procedure for Review) are:
  • a decision that a household is not eligible or is no longer eligible for geared to income assistance
  • • a decision that a household is not included in a category within the internal waiting list or special needs waiting list that is given priority over other categories
  • a decision that a household is not eligible or is no longer eligible for special needs housing
  • a decision about the type and size of unit for which a household is eligible, if the household pays or will pay a geared to income housing charge
  • a decision about the amount of a geared to income housing charge payable by a household
5.5 Making Decisions
  1. Under Government Requirements no one who discussed a decision with the decision-maker or who took part in making a decision mentioned in section 6.4 (Kinds of Decisions under Government Requirements) can take part in the review of that decision.

    Under Government Requirements, anyone taking part in reviewing the decision must be knowledgeable about the relevant Government Requirements and Local Rules.

    When the Co op is responsible for the reviews of any of the decisions mentioned in section 5.4, the original decisions will be made, in whole or in part, by:

    1. a staff person
    2. a support services agency (if applicable) or
    3. another party.
  2. Who makes the decision may be different depending on the type of decision. The board will decide who will make the decision. The board will ask the decision maker to sign a confidentiality agreement, if the confidentiality provisions of the Co op’s by laws do not apply to them, unless they are bound by professional or other adequate confidentiality obligations.
5.6 Meaning of “Household”

“Household” has a special meaning in this Article and other parts of this By law when referring to a geared to income household or a special needs household. “Household” means all members and all non member occupants of the unit, including:

  • anyone who is a member of the household 16 years of age or older, and
  • anyone whose income is considered in setting the amount of a geared to income housing charge, such as long term guests.

This may include people who are not considered part of a household under other parts of the Co-op’s by laws, such as a guest whose income is considered in setting a geared to income housing charge under section 4.4 (Income of Guests).

5.7 Request for Review
If any member of a household disagrees with a decision mentioned in section 5.4 (Kinds of Decisions under Government Requirements), they have the right to a review of the decision. They must follow the Government Requirements for requesting a review. The requirements are set out in Attachment 2 – Request for a Review of a Geared-to-Income or Special Needs Decision. The Board will update Attachment 2 from time to time if Government Requirement change. If there is a conflict between Attachment 2 and Government Requirements, Government Requirements will apply.
5.8 Procedure for Review
If the Co op is responsible for doing the review of a decision, the Co-op must follow the Government Requirements for reviews. These requirements are set out in Attachment 3 – Procedure for Review of Geared-to-Income or Special Needs Decision. The Board will update Attachment 3 from time to time if Government Requirements change. If there is a conflict between Attachment 3 and Government Requirements, Government Requirements will apply.
5.9 Role of Board Members
In making decisions under this By law individual directors must be very careful to avoid any bias or conflict of interest. Directors must observe all rules relating to this in the Co op by laws and the Co operative Corporations Act and Government Requirements.
5.10 No Appeal to Members
Decisions under this By law cannot be appealed to the members.
5.11 Confidentiality Agreement
When the board decides to ask someone to sign a confidentiality agreement under this By law, it can use the attached Form F, Confidentiality Agreement.
5.12 Things Not Stated in By laws
The board will decide anything relating to the procedures for decisions dealt with in this Article that are not stated in this By law or in the Co op’s other by laws or in Government Requirements.
ARTICLE 6 - SELECTION OF GEARED TO INCOME AND SPECIAL NEEDS MEMBERS
6.1 Purpose of Article
Government Requirements contain rules and procedures about rejecting applications for membership from applicants who will pay a geared to income housing charge or occupy special needs units. This Article applies to them. It does not apply to applications for market units that are not special needs units.
6.2 Relation to Other By laws
The policies and procedures stated in this Article are intended to work with the Co op’s existing by laws, but some of them may be different from existing by laws. If there is a conflict, this By law governs. Rights to information, review and other things dealt with in this Article will replace information, appeal and similar rights in the Co-op’s other by laws for applicants who will pay a geared to income housing charge or occupy special needs units.
6.3 Making Decisions
  1. The board will pass a motion to create a membership committee. The Organizational By-law sections will apply to it.
  2. The board will decide how many members are on the committee. The committee could be a committee with only one member.
  3. The board will decide who makes up the committee. The board can decide to include directors, non-directors, staff or any combination. Any volunteers must be approved by board motion.
  4. The board will decide the duties of the committee.
  5. The committee will report to the board on each application and will normally include a recommendation to accept or refuse the application.
  6. The board can decide to accept or refuse the application.

If a review is requested, it will be conducted by the board. Directors who were on the Membership Committee that made the original report to the board cannot participate in the review as directors.

6.4 Refusal of Geared to Income and Special Needs Applicants
The Co op may refuse to offer a unit to a household applying for special needs housing or geared to income assistance only for the following reasons (or any other reasons that may be stated in Government Requirements in the future):
  1. selection of the household would be contrary to the Co op’s mandate.
  2. the Co op has reasonable grounds to believe, based on the household’s rental history, that the household may fail to fulfill the obligation to pay housing charges for the unit in the amount and at the times they are due.
  3. members of the household do not agree to accept their responsibilities as members of the Co op, or the Co op has reasonable grounds to believe that members of the household will not accept or will be unable to accept those responsibilities.
6.5 Notice of Refusal
The first time an application from a household is refused, the Co op will give notice of the refusal by following the procedures in Government Requirements. If Government Requirements change, the Co op will use any new Government Requirements.
6.6 Request for Review
If any member of a household disagrees with the refusal of their membership application, they have the right to a review of the decision. There is only a right to review the first time an application from a household is refused.

Applicants must follow the procedure in Government Requirements for requesting a review. The procedure is set out in Attachment 4 - Request for a Review of a Refusal of Membership Application. The Board will update Attachment 4 from time to time if Government Requirements change. If there is a conflict between Attachment 4 and Government Requirements, Government Requirements will apply.

6.7 Procedure for Review
Co-ops must follow the Government Requirements for procedures for a review. These requirements are set out in Attachment 5 - Procedure for Review of a Refusal of Membership Application. The Board will update Attachment 5 from time to time if Government Requirements change. If there is a conflict between Attachment 5 and Government Requirements, Government Requirements will apply.
6.8 No Liability
Anything in the Co op’s by laws, or any commitment made by anyone that is not authorized by the board, will not create liability for the Co-op. The Co op will not be liable to anyone for:
  • any error, omission, or mistake concerning an application for membership or occupancy or external waiting lists
  • the allocation of units or geared to income assistance
  • the failure to allocate units or geared to income assistance.
6.9 Things Not Stated in By laws
The board will decide anything relating to selection of geared to income and special needs members that are not stated in this By law or in the Co-op’s other by laws or in Government Requirements.
CERTIFIED to be a true copy of By law No 2015.11 of Cole Road Co-operative Community Inc., passed by the board of directors at a meeting held on the 9th day of February, 2015 and confirmed by a two-thirds majority at a meeting of members held on the 1st day March,2015.
Appendices, Schedules, Attachments and Forms
Appendix A
Charges to the Member
Appendix B
Member's Household
Appendix C
Terms of the Member's Housing Charge Subsidy
Schedule A
Long Term Guest Agreement
Form A
Notice to Transfer
Form B
Notice of Decision With Right to Review
Form C
Notice of Final Decision
Form D
Notice of Board Meeting to Conduct Review
Form E
Notice of Decision After Review
Form F
Confidentiality Agreement
Form G
Notice of Refusal of Membership Application
Form H
Notice of Board Meeting to Conduct Review of Refusal of Membership Application
Form I
Notice of Result of Review of of Refusal of Membership Application
Attachment 1
Notices
Attachment 2
Request for a Review of a Geared to Income Decision
Attachment 3
Procedure for a Review of a Geared to Income Decision
Attachment 4
Request for a Review of a Refusal of a Membership Application
Attachment 5
Procedure for a Review of a Refusal of a Membership Application