Federation’s Role Regarding Housing Co-op Member Grievances

PHCHF often receives phone calls from people living in a housing co-op who have a conflict or disagreement with their co-op. Everyone’s voice matters and all complaints should be dealt with, but only through the appropriate channels in your co-op.

While PHCHF cannot provide legal advice or represent a co-op member who disagrees with their housing co-op, we can help individuals seeking resources available publicly. It is important to stress that our federation cannot take sides in a conflict within your housing co-op. PHCHF is a federation of housing co-operatives, and our services & assistance are provided only at the request of the co-op’s Board of Directors. PHCHF is not a government agency and has no authority over the operations of your co-op.

If you are experiencing a problem within your housing co-op, we suggest you first look at your co-op’s Occupancy and Organizational By-law(s), in addition to internal policies that are relevant to the situation in question. The best approach to resolve a conflict is to clarify what your obligations are as a member and the co-op’s obligations to you. If you do not have these documents, you should ask for copies at your co-op’s office. You may also find it useful to see a copy of the Co-operative Corporations Act, the legislation governing the operations of all co-ops in Ontario. Ask at your co-op’s office and/or we welcome you to contact our office to learn more.

To learn more about the mandate of the Peel/Halton Co-operative Housing Federation, click here.

Having a Problem with Your Co-op?

Different types of co-operatives exist to serve the needs of the members. In the case of housing co-operatives, members have certain rights & responsibilities to help support a positive community-building process. There are 7 principles upon which co-operatives all around the world are based – what do these principles mean to individuals living in housing co-operatives? To download a sheet developed by the ON Co-op Association that explains each co-operative principle in plain language, click here.

Conflict in Housing Co-operatives

Issue #1 – What is conflict?

Issue #2 – Member-to-member conflict

Important Notes to Remember:

  1. Co-ops have bylaws that every member possesses has rights & responsibilities to follow.
  2. Co-ops have general meetings where each member has a voice – there are benefits to approaching housing this way.
  3. The co-op business model is unique because there is an opportunity to educate members in a positive way.