Co-operative Law

Free legal workshop | Messy Human Dramas and how to navigate them in your co-op

July 31st, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Messy Human Dramas and how to navigate them in your co-op

You won’t want to miss this evening sponsored by Alterna Savings!

Meet your fellow housing co‑opers September 19th for a light dinner hosted at COCHF member, Shamrock Co‑op.

Then after dinner, Alia Abaya, Director, Community Impact and Member Experience at Alterna will discuss the Alterna Savings CHIP program offer for COCHF coop members, designed to support the continued future financial health of Co-operative Housing Communities.

Celia Chandler, lawyer at Iler Campbell LLP, will then lead you through fifteen common member situations in co‑ops: from accessibility issues to hoarding to smoking to kids to the “unco-operative co-oper” and everything in between!

The evening will conclude with a chance to ask questions of Alia and Celia about their presentations.

Sign up here

BC court orders overhoused co-op members to move. Implications for Ontario?

July 25th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

At Iler Campbell we hear all the time from housing providers about the issue of overhousing and underhousing — that is, situations where people are renting units that are bigger than they need (overhousing) and people whose space needs are not met (underhousing).

Underhousing is not surprising — we are experiencing a housing crisis in Canada so having people living in cramped quarters seems an obvious outcome.

Perhaps less obvious is the reverse. Case by case, though, we understand how overhousing happens: in many cases, people moved into their now‑too‑large units years ago when they were living with spouses and children. They’ve celebrated family milestones within the walls; they’ve welcomed newborns into their lives there; they’ve marked their children’s heights on the kitchen wall; they’ve lost loved ones there; they’ve buried pets in the backyard; they’ve invested their sweat and money into improving their homes — in short, they are connected to the living space. Their need for space may be diminished but their need for this particular space has not.

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Client Profile: Women’s Community Co-operative Inc.

July 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

A photo of Women’s Community Co-operative

Women’s Community Co-operative Inc. is a 46 unit mid-rise building in Hamilton. The co-op houses a diverse group of women, some of whom have lived there since the beginning, choosing to age in place and others who have joined more recently. They come from all walks of life and many corners of the world – in short, they are like every other housing co-op in 2019. Despite difference, they have all chosen co-operative living.

Managed by Niagara Peninsula Homes, Women’s came to our firm a couple of years ago to help resolve some interpersonal issues among its members. Like many of our clients, it seemed to the Women’s board that the co-op world had shifted from one where their by-laws were paramount and they could largely operate in isolation from the bigger world. Now there were obligations imposed on them from the outside that they didn’t understand. At the same time, their members were using language of human rights and harassment that made the board uneasy, afraid to ignore for fear of legal implications, but not sure how to respond. The Women’s Board and the co-op staff were routinely drawn into disputes and away from broader community concerns. Their meetings were filled with lengthy discussions about members’ complaints leaving little time for discussing building related issues, City relations, upcoming federation events, and so-on.

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Client Profile: Humber Co-operative Development Corporation

May 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

The Humber Condominiums is Options for Homes’ latest development on the market. Options calls The Humber “an affordable modern condominium surrounded by nature and convenience.” And we’re sure the condo on Wilby Cres. in Weston Village will be!

The relationship between Options and Iler Campbell dates back to the ’90s when Brian Iler helped the founder of Options establish a financing model that provides down payment support to purchasers, making home ownership affordable to people who mostly wouldn’t otherwise be able to get into the housing market. That was 25 years ago. Nowadays, the need is even greater. In addition to the benefits to purchasers, the model moves some renters into ownership, which frees up more space in a tight rental market. Over 3,000 new homes have been built using their innovative model, creating great communities of people living in quality homes that are more affordable.

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The LTB has become slooooow. Is there relief on the horizon?

May 10th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

Many of our housing clients have been disappointed recently about the length of time it takes to conduct business at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Rest assured, we are doing our very best to push things along as quickly as we can. The LTB acknowledges the delay on its website:

Over past months, parties have experienced service delays at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The LTB continues to work with the government to improve its services. A number of experienced adjudicators have recently been reappointed and recruitment is under way to fill other adjudicator vacancies. On January 1, 2019, the LTB became part of the newly created Tribunals Ontario organization. A review will be conducted of all tribunals, including the LTB, to identify areas for improvement to make services more streamlined, cost-effective and efficient.

This is not new – the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail both reported on the delay, and on the LTB admission of the problem, six months ago. We see no improvement since then.

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Seniors Co-Housing:
Re-Thinking Traditional Housing Models for Canada’s Growing Senior Population

March 28th, 2019 by Brian Iler and Claudia Pedrero

This article was originally prepared for the Ontario Bar Association’s Real Property Law & Elder Law program on March 22, 2019

The Toronto Star recently featured a High Park co-housing project – Wine on the Porch. That project, its story, and a small handful of others like it, has helped spark renewed interest in co-housing (or collaborative housing) in Ontario.

That story began:

“It began half in jest — two couples enjoying their annual weekend getaway, strolling the streets of Stratford, Ont., wistfully admiring the pretty Victorians and wondering aloud about the future.

“Would it be feasible to avoid the loneliness that creeps with age by joining forces in a private home with room for shared meals and laughter and cosy nooks for private chats or reading?”

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