- What is the current housing charge?
As of February 2021 (Minimum income required Monthly, Annually):
- 1-bedroom: $1099.00 ($4396, $52,752)
- 2-bedroom: $1308.00 ($5232, $62,784)
- 3-bedroom: $1459.00 ($5836, $70,032)
- What if I don’t make enough? Is there a subsidy available?
At this time, if you do not make the yearly amount listed above we are not able to process your application. Applicants can only be approved if they are able to pay the market rent. In addition, you will not be eligible to receive subsidy for the first 2 years after moving into the Co-op.
- How are housing charges set?
Housing charges are determined annually based on budget requirements. The budget is based on the following: Mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities (gas, hydro), maintenance costs, projected expenditures by committees (Board, Landscape, Membership, Finance, Security, Newsletter, Education), dues, special projects. When all projections are added together, the amount is divided by the number of units of each size (7 1bed, 22 2bed, 6 3bed) and allocated proportionately. The members vote on whether the resulting amounts are acceptable. If the amount required is more than members are willing to pay, compromises are made in areas that are variable. Once an acceptable level of charges is determined, members vote to accept them for the fiscal year (February – January).
Housing charges are expected to increase approximately 3% in 2022.
- Is there a deposit required?
Yes. Co-ops call this a share purchase. All co-op members are required to make a share purchase. Each share is worth $10. Currently members at Levellers’ need to purchase 150 shares or $1500.00. Associate members are required to purchase 1 share ($10.00). Share purchases are subject to increase based on budget. The membership is kept up to date on any motion to increase shares. Motions are brought before the membership and voted on at a General Meeting.
- How are members selected?
Members are selected based on several criteria. These include:
- Date of application
- Level of need indicated
- Interview score taking into consideration: commitment, skills, need (social, financial) and overall impression.
Applicants can be rejected for: a stated prejudice with regard to race, religion, sexual orientation or personal lifestyle; b) known history of antisocial or violent behaviour; c) known history of damage to property; or d) stated disinterest in co-op principles.
After reviewing applicants, the committee makes its recommendations to the Finance committee. More than one applicant may be recommended at the same time. The Finance committee contacts the recommendations in the order that they are listed by the membership committee and will ask the potential new member to provide information to do income verification.
- What is income verification?
Income verification is required by Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) and the Co-op to determine if you are able to pay the housing charge, and whether you require subsidy. The annual housing charge payment can be no more than a percentage of your annual income. Currently this is set at 25%.
- What documentation is required?
The coop is under the Federal Community Housing Initiative: Phase II. More information can be found here: Federal Community Housing Initiative: Phase II (FCHI-2) – Reference Guide 2020 (cmhc-schl.gc.ca).
Section 3.3 indicates how the gross income is calculated. Documents must be provided to provide proof of gross income including: employment/self-employment earnings and income (including pensions and employment benefits), investment income, other government transfers, other cash income. The full list can be found in the reference guide.
More information will be provided by the Finance committee.
- Who sees this information? Is it confidential?
All of your information is confidential. Your financial information is reviewed by the members of the Finance committee and our representative with CANA, our management company. Your application information is only reviewed by the Membership committee. The information is kept locked up and is only accessed by authorized people.
- When will I know whether my application for membership at Levellers co-op has been accepted?
Once the Finance committee has completed its review, it will let the Membership committee and Board know whether or not they accept the application. This depends upon how quickly they receive the documents they require. You will hear from the Membership committee as soon as notification occurs.
- What happens if I am successful?
If you are approved, the Membership committee will call you to inform you of the decision. Your contact information is then provided to the Move In Move Out (MIMO) committee. They will contact you to coordinate the move into the co-op (date, time).
Prior to the move-in you are required to meet with the Finance committee to sign the Occupancy Agreement, various other documents, provide the share purchase amount, and provide post-dated housing charge cheques. The number of cheques will depend on how many months are left in the fiscal year which ends January 1. Please come prepared with a sufficient number of cheques to cover the all remaining months and one more for the share purchase. The primary and associate member share purchase can be submitted on one cheque.
- What is the Occupancy Agreement?
The Occupancy Agreement is a package or Rules and Policies which Co-op members follow. It covers things such as what you are allowed and not-allowed to do in a co-op – your rights and responsibilities as a member of Levellers’ Co-op. This ensures respect for all members and towards building a strong community within Levellers’. Living at Levellers’ comes with a commitment towards working with each other. Essentially Levellers’ has responsibilities towards you and you have responsibilities toward the community of Levellers’.
- Do you have any accessible units?
The co-op has 2 accessible units. If you require one, please specify this on your application.