Co-operative Law

Iler Campbell is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of On Co-op’s 2017 Provincial Co-op Conference

September 12th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Please join us  at On Co‑op’s upcoming AGM and Conference – the program looks great. We’re proud to be a Gold Sponsor.

 

We’re on the road – again! Co-op managers: join us for a human rights workshop

September 12th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

On Friday, October 13, 2017, we will host our first IC Education event in Peel Region.  This event for co‑op managers is co‑sponsored by our friends at Peel‑Halton Co‑operative Housing Federation.

If you are grappling with human rights issues at the co‑op you manage, this may be the event for you. We’re going to talk about  how to distinguish a human right from a personal preference and how far the housing provider’s duty to accommodate extends and what the Rouge Valley decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario means for co‑ops.

And we’d love to see you there!  We have a few spaces left. To register, click here. 

Update on CMHC’s reno/retro program

September 6th, 2017 by Celia Chandler

In its 2016 budget, the federal government announced a renovate and retrofit (reno/retro) program of forgivable loans administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).  CMHC issued a one‑time call for applications in June 2016 and made its final decisions on applications in June 2017.   Not surprisingly, the demand for funding greatly outstripped the available funds; we’re told that highest priority was given to projects in greatest financial need for work that addresses the risk of losing units (due to health and safety issues, regulatory or legislated requirements). By now, those who were lucky enough to be given the nod are busy working towards starting their projects quickly – all funds are to be spent by Nov 30, 2017.

We’re busy helping many with the paperwork to register these forgivable loans as mortgages on the title to their property.  If you’re a housing provider looking for legal support on these, please give us a call.

Applications now open for Toronto’s first new housing co-op in 7 years

August 24th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Naismith Co‑op, Toronto’s first new housing co-op in seven years, is now accepting membership applications.  Located at 10 York Street in downtown Toronto, the new co‑op is comprised of 7 two bedroom units in a 65‑storey condominium.

Naismith came about thanks to a deal negotiated by former city councillor Adam Vaughan with the condo’s developer, Tridel, under section 37 of the provincial Planning Act. Section 37 allows for a community benefits agreement to be negotiated in exchange for the approval of a development that does not meet regular zoning regulations.

Naismith joins over 165 co‑ops in the Greater Toronto Area that are part of the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT).

Tom Clement, Executive Director of CHFT, says that since the co‑op will be choosing applicants by lottery, this is a great opportunity for interested and qualifying applicants to have an equal chance of being selected.  In the past, co‑ops have selected applicants on a first‑come first‑serve basis.

All qualifying applicants who submit an application form by midnight on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 will be included in the draw.  The co‑op will fill seven two‑bedroom affordable units with a monthly housing charge of $1,075.00 plus utilities.

To qualify for a two‑bedroom unit at this rate, the applicant’s annual household income must be below $51,500 (before taxes) when they sign the housing agreement. No additional rent subsidies are available.

New affordable housing stock is wonderful news. We believe in the potential of co‑ops as much as we ever have – and we hope to see many more in the future!

You can learn more about Naismith Co‑op and apply to be a member here.

Adam Vaughan brought me to tears: dispatches from CHF Canada’s 2017 AGM in Niagara Falls

June 14th, 2017 by Celia Chandler

The Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) AGM, a highlight in my annual calendar, is over for another year. Last week, co‑op members, staff, and others in the sector gathered in Niagara Falls to learn, to strengthen ties across the country, to hear from politicians, to make organizational decisions, and yes, to have fun. For me, all those things happened and more.

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It’s that time of year – CHF Canada’s annual conference! 

June 6th, 2017 by Iler Campbell

Once again this year, Iler Campbell LLP lawyers are honoured to have been asked to speak at the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada’s Co‑operative Management Conference and Member Education Forum in Niagara Falls this week.   CHF Canada provides this annual opportunity for housing co‑opers from across the country to gather to discuss emerging issues, strategize about their collective response, make new friends and renew old acquaintances.

Celia Chandler, a regular presenter for CHF Canada and its regional federations, will participate in the legal issues town hall for managers on Wednesday.  On Thursday, Celia will give a presentation to members on human rights and in particular, when co‑ops have a duty to accommodate behaviours that do not conform to the community standard.

Lauren Blumas, no stranger to the co‑op world, will deliver a workshop on Thursday afternoon on the legal issues stemming from aging in place.  On Friday morning, Lauren and Andrew Noble of the Non‑Smokers’ Rights Association of Ontario will discuss how to deal with smokers in co‑op communities.  This is sure to draw a crowd, especially with the federal promise of legalization of marijuana on the horizon.

If you’re at the conference, please be sure to say “hi” to Lauren and Celia.  And stay tuned to this blog for future Iler Campbell speaking engagements.