WOODSWORTH HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE
THE MEMBERSHIP BY-LAW (No. 20)
Replacing – Adopted 26 July 1979; amended 23 June 1980 by unnumbered by-law; amended 2 April 1981 by unnumbered by-law; amended 26 May 1982 by By-Law #6; amended 9 September 1982 by By-Law #7; amended 7 March 1983 by By-Law #9; amended 10 November 1983 by By-Law #10; amended 24 April 1986 by By-Law #15; titled amended 22 March 1990 by By-Law #18; amended 3 July 1990 by By-Law #24*; amended 29 April 1991 by By-Law #24*; amended 25 June 1991 by By-Law #26; amended 17 February 1992 by By-Law #29; amended 9 June 1994 by By-Law #34, amended 10 October 1996 by By-Law #44, amended on 27 November 1996 by By-Law #46; Consolidated and Approved 30 January 2002 as By-Law #56; amended 15, January 2003 by By-Law #57; amended 29 Sept., 2009 by By-law #66.
* two by-laws numbered #24 were passed]
Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE STRUCTURE
1. The Membership Committee shall consist of nine (9) members who are elected by a majority of the general membership at an annual general meeting of the co-operative in the manner set out in the following paragraph.
2. The members of the Membership Committee shall be elected for a two-year term as follows:
(a) four (4) members of the membership committee shall be elected in even-numbered years, and
(b) five (5) members of the membership committee shall be elected in odd numbered years.
3. Members of the Membership Committee may not serve more than four (4) consecutive years, ie. two (2) consecutive 2-year terms. A member of the committee who has served the maximum must wait one full term before again becoming eligible for election to the committee. This may be overturned at a General Members’ Meeting only under extenuating circumstances and only if two-thirds majority vote in favour of the member’s return to the committee.
Members of the committee who step down during their term must wait at least one full term before becoming eligible to serve on the committee again.
4. The quorum for committee meetings will be five (5) of nine (9) members.
5. The committee will have a chairperson and a secretary. The chairperson will be responsible for overall co-ordination of the committee, for convening meetings, whenever necessary, for chairing meetings and for reporting to the Board of Directors. The secretary will be responsible for taking minutes at all meetings, for having the minutes typed and distributed to committee members and for ensuring that a complete set of minutes is on file in the Co-op office.
6. A committee member must give notice of absence from a meeting. If a member misses three (3) meetings in a 12-month period, without giving prior notification or having suitable justification, his/her position on the committee will be reviewed and s/he may be asked to resign. A breach of confidentiality of the committee is grounds for removal from office and will be reported the Board by the chairperson.
7. The Board will ensure that the following tasks are performed to support the work of the Membership Committee:
(a) to receive enquiries, fill out information sheet and submit to membership committee monthly;
(b) to receive application forms and fees;
(c) to send out and receive official terminations;
(d) to submit terminations to the committee;
(e) to jointly maintain copies of internal and external waiting lists with the membership committee;
(f) to advise applicants of decision in writing; and
(g) to co-ordinate move-ins and move-outs with the appropriate people or committees.
The Membership Committee
8. Committee members are responsible for attending all meetings or if unavailable, to give notice of absence; for being punctual; for performing an equal share of assigned tasks (e.g., contacting and interviewing applicants); for contributing to decision-making; and for maintaining the strict confidentiality of material related to applications for membership.
9. The committee is responsible for the following tasks:
(a) to propose and update membership policies for Board and Membership approval;
(b) to help maintain a positive public image for the co-operative;
(c) to arrange and conduct periodic information sessions for prospective members;
(d) to interview applicants to establish whether they meet the criteria for membership;
(e) to make recommendations to the Board on acceptance or rejection of applicants;
(f) to provide information to enquiries; *
(g) to distribute applications; *
(h) to conduct a credit check when housing unit required; *
(i) to conduct a reference check, including the previous landlord; *
(j) to show suites to prospective members; *
(k) to maintain internal and external waiting lists; *
(l) to implement relocation policy; *
Policies and Procedures. The membership committee may establish policies and procedures governing the relocation of members. These policies and procedures shall be approved by the board of directors and circulated to the general membership.
*Staff may assume these tasks at a later date.
MEMBER SELECTION PROCESS
10. Processing Applications. The following steps will be followed in processing membership applications. The applicant will:
(a) i) attend a Woodsworth information session;
ii) Turning Sixteens will attend an education interview. Two committee members will interview each applicant and report back to the committee as a whole;
(b) complete an application form;
(c) provide income verification;
(d) pay a non-refundable application fee per adult over 16 years.
MEMBER SELECTION CRITERIA
11. Acceptability of applicants for membership will be judged by the following criteria:
(a) commitment to co-operative principles and a willingness to participate in Co-op activities and decision making (i.e., members’ meetings, committees, board, other positions or tasks);
b) i) demonstrated financial responsibility (i.e., proof of income adequate to pay the housing charge for a unit of appropriate size for the household; past record of paying rent on time); and
(ii) Turning sixteen’s and long-term guests are exempt from demonstrating a history of financial responsibility until an application is made to be placed on the internal waiting list;
(c) indication of permanency or long-term commitment to the Co-op;
(d) likely to remain a good resident and a good neighbour who will maintain home in good condition and will respect rights of others.
12. The maximum number of persons in a unit is two per bedroom.
13. The minimum number of persons in a unit is one per bedroom with the exception of allowing a one person household to occupy a two bedroom unit in the apartment building.
14. The minimum and maximum number of persons referred to in the preceding two paragraphs does not include short-term guests or visitors.
15. Non-members who move in with members must be reported to the office and apply for membership or long-term guest status within three months of occupancy.
16. For the purpose of determining household size “parent” is defined as natural parent, adoptive parent, permanent legal guardian or foster parent.
PROCEDURES FOR OCCUPANCY
17. (a) Accepted applicants will be required to pay a deposit, to be determined by the co-op from time to time, at which time they will be allocated their units. This deposit is normally nonrefundable.
(b) The last month’s housing charge less the deposit will be due one month before occupancy. In special circumstances, this may be paid in three instalments. Rent supplement applicants are exempt from advance payment of last month’s housing charge, and their deposit shall be applied against their maintenance guarantee.
(c) Immediately prior to occupancy, applicants will sign their occupancy agreements and pay the first month’s housing charge plus a maintenance guarantee equal to 50% of the monthly housing charges. Rent supplement households will be required to pay a charge which will be set annually at the time of approval of the budget.
(d) For households for whom (b) and/or (c) presents a financial hardship, arrangements may be made to pay in three (3) instalments.
Priority of Members on Waiting Lists
18. Members on the internal waiting list have priority over applicants on the external waiting list except in the following two circumstances:
(a) the co-operative shall seek qualified applicants on the external waiting list when the number of units in the co-operative occupied under the Subsidy Program falls below the minimum number required by the Subsidy Program and there are no members on the internal waiting list who qualify for the Subsidy Program; and
(b) the co-operative shall fill vacancies in the one-bedroom units in the medium rise alternately from the internal and external waiting lists.
External Waiting Lists
19. Separate waiting lists will be maintained for each unit size.
20. The order on the waiting list will be on a “first-come — first-served” basis, determined by the date of the receipt of application.
21. Bumping, or taking applications out of order, may be allowed in the following situations:
(a) where the applicant at the top of the list is hard to get in touch with (the committee will allow three working days); and
(b) emergency cases at the discretion of the committee.
22. An applicant is permitted one refusal of a unit offered. After the second refusal s/he is placed at the bottom of the list.
23. Two copies of the waiting list will be available, one with the committee and one on file in the office.
24. The list will be updated semi-annually.
Internal Waiting List
25. The co-operative shall maintain a list of members who have applied in writing to relocate to a different unit within the co-operative (the "proposed unit”). The list shall be called the “internal waiting list”.
Conditions for Relocation
26. A member may relocate to a proposed unit, subject to the following conditions:
(a) the member is a member in good standing as defined in paragraph 29 of this By-law;
(b) the number of persons in the proposed unit complies with the occupancy guidelines as set out in paragraphs 11-15;
(c) the member demonstrates an ability to satisfy the financial obligations of the proposed unit.
Subsidy Program. A member in good standing who does not satisfy the condition set out in paragraph (c). above but who qualifies for a government funded subsidy (the “Subsidy Program”) may relocate to a proposed unit, provided there is a unit available under the Subsidy Program.
(d) a resident who has become a member after living in an existing member’s unit is not eligible to assume sole responsibility for that unit or to apply to relocate alone to a proposed unit for one year from the date of becoming a member;
(e) the member complies with the membership committee’s policies and procedures governing the relocation of members.
27. Waiver of Conditions. The membership committee may in the appropriate case waive compliance with the conditions set out in paragraph 25 above.
28. Application of Conditions to Member’s Household. If a person(s) in the member’s household wishes to relocate to a proposed unit with the applicant member, the conditions set out in paragraph 25 above apply, where appropriate, to all persons in the household who wish to relocate, unless these By-laws provide otherwise.
29. Definition of “Arrears”. For the purposes of this by-law “arrears” means:
(a) a member’s housing charges that are overdue and unpaid;
(b) any other amounts due and payable by a member that have been overdue and unpaid for at least thirty (30) days and that the member has not appealed; and
(c) short-term or long-term chronic arrears, as those defined in the Arrears By-Law #22;
30. Member in Good Standing. For the purpose of relocation, a member is a member in good standing if the following conditions have been satisfied:
(a) the member has no unresolved grievances against him or her;
(b) the member is not in arrears as defined in paragraph 28;
(c) during the twelve months preceding the date of relocation, the member has not been absent from more than two general meetings for which he or she has not given notice in accordance with the policies of the co-operative;
(d) the member is in compliance with the by-laws and policies of the co-operative;
(e) the member has maintained his or her unit in a good condition;
(f) the member has completed and returned the most recent annual members’ survey within the required time frame;
(g) the member(s) has obtained long-term guest(s) status for any non-member(s) over the age of 16 resident for three months or more.
31. Legitimacy of Grievances. Whether a grievance is legitimate shall be determined by the grievance committee.
32. Member with Unresolved Arrears/Grievances. A member who is in arrears or who has an unresolved grievance against him or her at the date of making the application to relocate to a proposed unit may not have his or her name placed on the internal waiting list until the arrears have been discharged or the grievance has been resolved.
FORMER MEMBERS / RESIDENT NON-MEMBERS
33. Former Members. A former member in good standing who applies for membership will have his or her name placed on the internal waiting list upon completion of themembership process.
34. Former Resident Non-Members. A former resident non-member must apply for membership and will be placed on the external waiting list upon completion of the membership process.
EXCHANGE OF UNITS
35. Members, party to a proposed exchange, must present a written request to the Membership Committee.
36. A proposed exchange must be approved by the Membership Committee before the exchange takes place.
37. Members who are parties to a proposed exchange must be on the Internal Waiting List for the relevant category.
38. The Membership Committee may approve exchanges where units fall within different categories of the Internal Waiting List. The exchange can only take place if the units being exchanged cannot satisfy the needs of members with precedence in any relevant category.
39. No one’s position on the Waiting List will be jeopardized by an exchange, nor by a refusal to exchange.
40. Appeals. A member, a former member, or a former resident non-member may appeal to the board of directors any decision made by the membership committee pursuant to this by-law.
Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.
Downloadable PDF version of the by-law: