BY-LAW NO. 30
By-law No.30 was passed by the Board of Directors on November 26 1996 and December 10, 1996
By-law No.30 was passed by the General Membership on December 12 1996, June 30 1999 and April 27 2004.
Introduction to By-law
Windmill Line Co-operative Homes Incorporated (the “Co-operative”) receives funds from the federal government to provide housing charge assistance (subsidy) to Co-operative member households in accordance with the terms of the Section 56.1 Agreement signed by the Co-operative and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
This By-law sets down guidelines that relate to the allocation of subsidy by the Co-operative and to the rights and responsibilities of the households receiving assistance. Requirements relating to the application process, daily administration, Co-operative reporting and the role of the Subsidy Committee are incorporated in the Subsidy Procedures and the Subsidy Application Form, which are approved and amended by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) as needed.
“Basic Housing Charge”: see paragraph 6.1
“Bedroom Premium”: The difference between the Basic Housing Charge for the unit to which the household is entitled and the Basic Housing Charge for the unit that the household chooses to occupy.
“Social Assistance Housing Charges”: see paragraph 6.4
“Subsidy Pool”: funds received from the federal government for assistance to lower-income household under the Section 56.1 Agreement.
Article 1: Income Eligibility Criteria
1.1 To apply for assistance, a household’s Basic Housing Charge for the unit size for which it is eligible exceed 31% of the household’s adjusted gross monthly income. Each eligible household’s assistance will be calculated as a percentage in the range of 31% -33% as determined according to the Subsidy procedures.
1.2 Full-time students who have no employment income in a household with no other persons earning income are eligible for subsidy only under the conditions stated in Article 12 below.
Article 1.2 has been suspended as per a motion at a General Members’ meeting on April 27th, 2004.
Article 2: Unit Size Eligibility.
2.1 The following occupancy standards will govern the minimum requirements of household composition for subsidy at the two-bedroom level and the three-bedroom level. All households that meet the income requirements are eligible for subsidy at the one-bedroom level.
(a) To qualify for subsidy at the three-bedroom level, the household must include two children.
(b) To qualify for subsidy at the two-bedroom level, the household must include:
i. If there are no children, at least three adults; or
ii. one child.
2.2 For the purpose of determining unit size eligibility, a “child” is a person under age 21 or a person living full-time (or, when approved by the subsidy committee, under a joint or shared custody arrangement) with a parent or guardian and attending school, college or university full-time.
2.3 Maximum occupancy standards for the Co-operative units are established by the Occupancy By-law. If a household receiving subsidy exceeds the maximum occupancy standards by one person, or more, then the household will be eligible to apply for a larger unit, with appropriate subsidy, under the terms of the Occupancy and Membership By-laws.
2.4 When a household receiving subsidy changes its composition and no longer meets the minimum unit size eligibility standards for its current unit, then one of the two following may happen:
(a) If the household is willing to move to a smaller unit but none is available, the household will continue to receive subsidy at the higher level until the first unit of appropriate size is available. Once a unit of appropriate size becomes available subsidy will be reduced to the level of that unit, whether the household chooses to move into it or not.
(b) If the household wishes to remain in the larger unit, it may do so but it will be subsidized only to the level of the appropriate unit size.
2.5 Households may occupy units with more bedrooms than those to which they are entitled under the unit eligibility standards. The difference between the Basic Housing Charge for the unit to which the household is entitled and the Basic Housing Charge for the unit that the household chooses to occupy is called the Bedroom Premium. Except as described in paragraph 2.4(a) and except for exemptions granted by the Board, the household will pay the Bedroom Premium in full.
Article 3: Applications and Approvals
3.1 Households applying for assistance must complete the Co-operative’s Subsidy Application Form and provide the proof of income and other documentation that the Co-operative reasonably requires.
3.2 Staff will verify that the households applying for assistance qualify and will calculate the amount of subsidy required for each household. Applications are approved by the Subsidy Committee.
3.3 All persons in a household (Co-operative members, non-members, long-term guests and children) must declare all their income when the household applies for subsidy.
Article 4: Allocation of Housing Charge Assistance
4.1 Assistance is normally allocated on a first come, first served basis.
4.2 Assistance is allocated only when sufficient funds are available in the Subsidy Pool.
4.3 Notwithstanding paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2, households that include physically challenged people and that occupy units designated “handicapped” by the Co-operative are always eligible for subsidy.
4.4 Such households are exempt from any suspension of subsidy allocation voted upon by the general membership.
Article 5: Subsidy Appeals, Exemptions and Investigations
5.1 Any household denied assistance or disputing the amount of assistance granted may appeal to the Subsidy Committee with a final appeal to the Board.
5.2 The Board, on the recommendation of the Subsidy Committee, may exempt a household from paying the Bedroom Premium on medical or compassionate grounds. The household must provide the documentation by the Subsidy committee.
5.3 Staff may investigate a household’s income, composition or other qualifications for subsidy.
5.4 The household must cooperate fully in appeals and investigations and must give complete information in the form required to staff or the Board.
5.5 Following termination of subsidy for any reason, the household must continue to cooperate in any investigation of its qualifications for subsidy during the time when it was receiving subsidy.
Article 6: Depth of Assistance
The depth of assistance is determined in accordance with the principles of the Sectio56.1 Agreement
6.1 For each of the three sizes of Co-operative units (one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom), the Co-operative establishes a Basic Housing Charge. The Basic Housing Charge is different from the housing charges described in the Occupancy By-law. The Basic Housing Charge is calculated as follows:
(a) The Basic Housing Charge for all one-bedroom units is the current charge for a 1F unit after deducting all charges for cable television.
(b) The Basic Housing Charge for all two-bedroom units is the current charge for a 2A unit after deducting all charges for cable television.
(c) The Basic Housing Charge for all three-bedroom units is the current charge for a 3A unit after deducting all charges for cable television.
6.2 The adjusted gross monthly income is arrived at by verifying all income of a household’s occupants, then applying exclusions and deductions in the amounts specified in the Subsidy Procedures.
(a) The following types of income are excluded entirely:
i. The living-out or travelling allowances for all earners;
ii. Capital gains, such as insurance settlements, inheritances, disability awards and proceeds from the sale of effects;
iii. Child tax benefits;
iv. The first $300.00 of the monthly earnings per child under 23 years of age living full-time (or when approved by the subsidy committee, under a joint or shared custody arrangement) with a parent or guardian and attending school, college or university full-time.
(b) After the exclusions above have been applied, the following deductions are made to arrive at adjusted gross income:
i. in a one-adult household with dependent children, amount approved by the Board is deducted from the adult’s income, if the income is other than social assistance benefits.
ii. In a two-adult household with dependent children, an amount approved by the Board is deducted from the income of the household member with the second-highest income, if the income is other than social assistance benefit.
iii. In a household with more than two persons receiving income, the income of the third-highest and lesser earners is deducted, except for an amount approved by the Board.
6.3 For households whose income is not social assistance, the depth of assistance is determined by applying to their total adjusted gross monthly in the percentage decided by the general membership: see paragraph 1.1. The minimum housing charge shall be $111.00 plus cable charges.
6.4 Households whose income is social assistance pay the Social Assistance Housing Charges, as recommended initially by the Subsidy Committee and reviewed thereafter by the Finance Committee in the budget process.
(a) Social Assistance Housing Charges are calculated to ensure that the Co-operative receives an adequate portion of the funds designated by the province for shelter costs without affecting any recipient household’s standard of living.
(b) Social Assistance Housing Charges are set as fixed amounts in order to avoid administrative difficulties caused by using percentage calculations with social assistance income.
6.5 The Board may approve a minimum subsidy and households who would receive less than the minimum shall not be entitled to a subsidy.
Article 7: Internal Waiting List for Assistance
7.1 When internal allocation of subsidy is suspended, a waiting list may be established, consisting of households who meet all the eligibility requirements for subsidy.
7.2 Priority on the waiting list is by date of approval of the application. Exceptions may be made by the Board, on the recommendation of the Subsidy Committee.
Article 8: External Waiting List for Assistance
8.1 A waiting list may be established of applicants to the Co-operative who would require assistance
8.2 Normally households on the internal waiting list will have priority over applicants on the external waiting list.
8.3 Whenever at least 15% of the Co-operative units are receiving subsidy, the Co-operative may suspend acceptance of applicants from the external waiting list by majority votes at a general members meeting.
Article 9: Annual Verification of Income and Household Composition
9.1 All subsidies terminate on the last day of the fiscal year of the Co-operative.
9.2 Households receiving subsidies must annually provide the Co-operative with a new Subsidy Application Form showing household composition and the gross income and assets of all members of the household.
9.3 Failure to re-apply annually as described in paragraph 9.2 or failure to provide the required documentation for the annual verification will result in subsidy being terminated on the last day of the fiscal year of the Co-operative.
Article 10: Mid-year Changes in Income or Household Composition
10.1 All mid-year increases in gross household income of more than the amount specified in the Subsidy Procedures must be reported to the office staff on a new Subsidy Application Form within 30 days of any such increase.
10.2 All mid-year changes in household composition in households receiving subsidy must be reported to the office immediately.
10.3 Households receiving subsidy will receive 60 days’ notice of any increase in housing charges. If a household’s mid-year increase takes place mid-month, the month in which the mid-year increase occurred will not be counted as part of the 60-day notice. The 60-day notice will start the first day of the month after the change is reported, provided the change is properly documented.
10.4 Household whose income decreases between annual income verification dates have the option of reporting the decrease so that the level of their assistance can be adjusted upwards, provided that sufficient funds in the Subsidy Pool are available. The adjustments will take place on the fist of the month after the change is reported, provided that the change is properly documented.
10.5 When the income source of a household receiving subsidy changes from social assistance to another source, or from another source to social assistance, such a change must be reported to the office within thirty days.
Article 11: Other Charges and Deposits
11.1 Parking Charges are not subsidized.
11.2 A household that receives subsidy when it is first allocated a unit in the Co-operative will pay a member deposit equal to the net monthly housing charge plus 40% of the full monthly housing charge. If the household’s subsidy is later terminated for any reason, the household must increase its deposit until its member deposit equals the full monthly housing charge plus 40%.
11.3 A household that does not receive subsidy when it is first allocated a unit in the Co-operative will pay the member deposit equal to the monthly housing charge plus 40%. If the household later receives subsidy, the member deposit for that unit will be decreased only if the full housing charge for the unit is decreased as specified in paragraph 3.2(c) of the Occupancy By-law.
Article 12: Adult Students:
Full time students who have no employment income in a household with no other persons earning income are normally excluded from receiving subsidy. However, exceptions may be made by the Subsidy Committee with the following condition:
12.1 The student must be 25 years older or more.
12.2 The student must have lived in the Co-operative for at least 3 years.
12. 3 The student must have a good record of participation in the Co-operative.
12.4 The household must pay at least 50% of the household’s Basic Housing Charge.
12.5 The subsidy will normally be granted only for the months of full-time attendance at an educational institution.
12.6 Proof of full-time attendance at an accredited and recognized institution must be submitted with the application.
12.7 The subsidy will be made available for a maximum of 4 academic years per person.
Article 12 to 12.7 has been suspended as per a motion at a General Members’ Meeting on April 27, 2004
Article 13: Termination
13.1 Subsidy may be terminated for any or all of the following reasons:
(a) An increase in income that disqualifies the household according to the Co-operative’s income eligibility guidelines.
(b) Failure to report total household income.
(c) Failure to report increases in household income within the 20 days of such increase or failure to report a change in household composition immediately.
(d) Wilful falsification of the Subsidy Application Form or of supporting documentation.
(e) Failure to provide information reasonably requested by the Co-operative to verify applications or failure to cooperate fully with any investigation by the Co-operative.
(f) Failure to provide annual verification of income and household composition with the time specified by the Subsidy Committee.
(g) Failure to abide by the Subsidy By-law.
13.2 If a household has broken any provision of this Subsidy By-law, the Subsidy Procedures or any agreement with the Co-operative relating to subsidy, the Co-operative may terminate subsidy retroactively to the date of the breach. The household may be required to repay to the Co-operative all subsidy received since the effective termination dates. Any subsidy not repaid may be treated by the Co-operative as arrears.
13.3 The Board, on the recommendation of the Subsidy Committee, may continue granting subsidy to a household after a breach of the By-law as described in paragraphs 13.1(a) to 13.1(g), if the household repays all funding.
13.4 A decision to terminate subsidy, other than for failure to reapply, is made by the Board, on the recommendation of the Subsidy Committee. Appeals of this decision will be limited to the Board.
13.5 When a household is being evicted, any subsidy allocated will be terminated as of the date on which the household is required to vacate the unit.
Article 14: Confidentiality
All information received by the Subsidy Committee, the Board, the Co-operative staff or others regarding households receiving subsidy is confidential and shall not be revealed to anyone except as required for the purposes of the By-law.
Article 15: Repeal
By-laws Number 16, 17, 18 and 19 and any other amendments enacted to those By-laws, of the Co-operatives are repealed when this By-law comes into force provided that this repeal shall not affect the previous operation of these By-laws or affect the validity of any act done or right or liability acquired pursuant to any of these By-laws prior to their appeal.
Appendix to Subsidy By-law (not part of the By-law)
Section 1.1 – The percentage of household contribution was previously set at 28% by the General Members’ Meeting on July 31, 1990.
Section 8.3- Indefinite suspension of allocations from the external subsidy waiting list was voted by GMM on July 31, 1990. The waivers signed by new members who have arrived in the Co-operative since then are being lifted gradually, as funds allow, following a motion at the GMM on March 22, 1992.
Subsidy By-law # 16 approved August 17, 1993, by GMM
Amended September 30, 1993 by GMM
Amended February 19, 1995 by GMM (By-law No. 17)
Amended February 19, 1995 by GMM (By-law No.18)
Amended March 23, 1995 by GMM (By-law No. 19)
Amended October 22, 1995 by GMM (By-law No. 19)
Amended and Consolidated as By-law No. 20 December 12, 1996
Approved as Amended by the General Membership June 30, 1999
Approved as Amended as By-law No. 30 by the General Membership April 27th, 2004.