What is a Co-op

Welcome to West Hills Co-op Homes

 

People creating their own homes - that's the basis of co-operative housing, which is owned and managed by the people living in each co-op. More than 110,000 people live in close to 600 housing co-ops in virtually every part of Ontario. Co-ops provide good quality, affordable housing, and they make good neighbours. West Hills is one of those Co-ops. West Hills Co-op has 48 units with over 75 members and their families.

Co-op housing is member controlled housing. The members who live in a co-op are the ones responsible for running the co-op. Each member has a vote and every year members elect a Board of Directors from the membership to manage the business of the co-op. Together, they are responsible for the running of West Hills.

Members make the big decisions about how the buildings will be maintained and how the business of the co-op will be managed. Most co-ops hire staff to do the day-to-day work. West Hills is not any different, in that we have a co-ordinator two days a week. Members work together to keep their housing well-managed and affordable.

Co-ops are non-profit organizations. This doesn't mean that rents (housing charges) won't go up. Housing charges increase regularly as operating costs increase. The difference is that West Hills Co-op members review the finances of the co-op and budget recommendations of the Board of Directors. At an annual general meeting the members vote on the budget. If there are housing charge increases, they reflect true costs, not profit margins.

Housing charges are kept down because members do their "hours", or work, around the co-op to maintain the property.

West Hills members are asked to leave only if they break the co-op's by-laws. Co-ops provide secure and stable housing. You and your family can live in West Hills for a long time and build roots in the community.

West Hills co-op will never be sold or flipped for profit so members can choose to remain in the co-op for a long time. This encourages involvement and commitment to the community and allows members to feel secure at West Hills and their neighbourhood. It is easier for people to become involved in their community if they know they will be a part of it for a long time.