Video: Community Land Trusts – everything you’ve wanted to know

August 9th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Community land trusts – What do they do? How are they formed? How can you find out more about this type of organization to try to start one in your own community?

A video of Iler Campbell lawyer, Claudia Pedrero’s webinar on the topic is now online. In the webinar, Claudia goes over the community land trust model, and how this form of organization can, and is, being used as a grass-roots model for community stewardship of land and community assets. Drawing on her work both as a lawyer and a board member of a Toronto community land trust, she explains how community land trusts differ from non-profit organizations, and how community land trusts are presenting themselves as an alternative form of land ownership and management.

Download a copy of her presentation here.

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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Free webinar: Community Land Trusts – everything you’ve wanted to know

July 17th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Community land trusts – What do they do? How are they formed? How can you find out more about this type of organization to try to start one in your own community? Iler Campbell lawyer, Claudia Pedrero, will discuss the community land trust model, and how this form of organization can, and is, being used as a grass-roots model for community stewardship of land and community assets. Drawing on her work both as a lawyer and a board member of a Toronto community land trust, Claudia will discuss how community land trusts differ from non-profit organizations, and how community land trusts are presenting themselves as an alternative form of land ownership and management.

Join us August 8 at 12:30 PM 

Register to attend here.

Can’t attend but would like to be sent the recording afterwards? Sign up to be notified here. (We’ll send the recording out to all attendees too, so no need to sign up twice.)

Law Society elections send a message on diversity and it’s not what you’d hope

June 27th, 2019 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) is once again facing a court challenge claiming that it has violated Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to freedom of conscience, speech and religion. This court challenge follows the LSO’s successful defence of its decision to refuse to accredit the proposed law school at Trinity Western University (TWU) because of a requirement that attendees sign a covenant agreeing not to engage in homosexual activities. The LSO took the position that this prevented equal access to the legal profession in Ontario by excluding individuals who identified as LGBTQ.

The new battle relates to a Statement of Principles that the LSO requires lawyers to provide as of last year. It’s another example of the LSO attempting to enshrine principles of diversity, anti‑oppression and anti‑discrimination in a profession that is known for its lack of inclusiveness and diversity. In this case, the opposition to advancing these values is coming from other lawyers and is proving to be divisive for the governing council of the LSO — the democratically elected body that oversees its governance Read the rest of this post