WELCOME TO THE CO-OP HOUSING INFORMATION EXCHANGE ("CHIE")

YOU CAN SCROLL DOWN AND FIND BLOGS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED IN A LINK FOR YOU ON TWITTER...OR BY E-MAIL. IN THE FAR RIGHT COLUMN OF EACH PAGE YOU CAN TRANSLATE A PAGE INTO A LANGUAGE THAT YOU PREFER BY CLICKING THE TRANSLATE BUTTON AND ALSO VIEW A PAGE MENU FOR THIS SITE.

WELCOME TO THE NEW CO-OP HOUSING INFORMATION EXCHANGE THAT HAS A MANDATE TO SHARE FREE INFORMATION ABOUT CO-OPS, SOCIAL/COMMUNITY HOUSING, AND RESOURCES IN CANADA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, UNITED KINGDOM, AND OTHER COUNTRIES.

WHAT MUST BE REQUIRED IS PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT THAT INCLUDE ACCOUNTABILITY AT ALL NON-PROFIT HOUSING CO-OPERATIVES ACROSS CANADA, AROUND THE WORLD, AND ANYTHING LESS THAN THAT SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTABLE.

CO-OPERATION CAN LEAD TO SUCCESS THROUGH SHARING FREE KNOWLEDGE, LEARNING AND THEN UNDERSTANDING!

CHIE HELPS PUT TOGETHER ALL THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE ABOUT NON-PROFIT CO-OP HOUSING IN CANADA, SO YOU CAN GAIN A BETTER PERSPECTIVE.
THE CULTURE OF SILENCE AT MEMBER CO-OPS NEEDS TO END THAT SURROUND THE PRACTICE OF POOR OR BAD GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT.

FOLLOW YOUR CHIE, NOT A FAILED STATUS QUO WITH SELF-SERVING CO-OP HOUSING STAKEHOLDERS.

CHIE IS A SELF-HELP SITE THAT IS YOURS TO DISCOVER. LEARN ABOUT AND ADOPT PRINCIPLED LEARDERSHIP, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES. REVIEW INTERNAL CONTROLS, FRAUD DETECTION AND PREVENTION. LEARN ABOUT CO-OP STAKEHOLDERS, GOVERNING LAWS, AND NEWS MEDIA.

YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO EXPLORE MULTIBLE LINKS AREA AND ITEMS OF LEGISLATION THAT OFFER RESOURCES THAT MAY PROVIDE SOME SOLUTIONS FOR CANADIAN NON-PROFIT HOUSING CO-OPS AND NON-PROFIT HOUSING OUTSIDE CANADA IN DIFFICULTY OR CRISIS.

YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO RESEARCH CO-OP STAKEHOLDERS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, AND LEGISLATION THAT RELATE TO CO-OP'S IN YOUR PROVENCE OR STATE, AND COUNTRY. CHECK FOR INFORMATION UPDATES IN THE LINKS AREA AND OTHER LOCATIONS ON THE CHIE SITE.

IF YOU CAN'T FIND THE INFORMATION YOU ARE RESEARCHING ON CHIE OR KEN'S SITE, TRY SOME OF THE MANY LINKS AVAILABLE, EXAMPLE: CHF CANADA...

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MEMBER TO FOLLOW YOUR CHIE!... BUT REGISTERED USERS THAT INCLUDE OPEN ID CAN POST COMMENTS ON CHIE.
**AS AT MARCH 2, 2014 YOU CAN NOW REGISTER AND JOIN THE CHIE SITE**

CHIE HAS A POLICY TO REVIEW AND DELETE MATERIAL OR COMMENTS THAT ARE DEEMED INAPPROPRIATE OR OFFENSIVE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE SITE ADMINISTRATOR. THE CHIE ADMINISTRATOR WILL NOT BE RESPONDING TO YOUR QUESTIONS OR ENQUIRES...

CO-OP AND SOCIAL HOUSING RESIDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO START THEIR OWN SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE, AND COMMUNICATE INFORMATION TO YOUR FELLOW RESIDENTS ABOUT CONCERNS WITH GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT OR NOT DEMOCRATICALLY RUN WHERE RESIDENT VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE SILENCED. EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL NETWORK SITES INCLUDE BLOGGER, TWITTER, WORDPRESS, AND FACEBOOK, ETC...REMEMBER, FOLLOW YOUR CHIE!

SHARE YOUR STORIES WITH CHIE ABOUT CO-OP HOUSING BY USING THE CONTACT INFORMATION BELOW, AND IT MAY BE PUBLISHED ON THE CHIE SITE.

NOTICE ABOUT CHIE CONTENT AS AT JULY 16, 2017
SOME INFORMATION HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT OF VIEW FOR FURTHER REVIEW AND MAY BE RE-PUBLISHED A LATER POINT IN-TIME AFTER THE REVIEW HAS BEEN COMPLETED AND APPROVED


Ken Hummel, Administrator, Co-op Housing Information Exchange


Contact information, e-mail: <kenhummel@msn.com>




Friday

Co-op Housing - A Fraud and Illegal Acts Friendly Culture

This page has hyper-links that you can click to access additional information! 

Please note that some links are broken due to CHF Canada retiring their website in May 2017 and opening a new website that shares far less information that oppose transparency and accountability! 

 

The nine comments posted below this blog are recommended reading.


There are some 2,220 housing co-operatives with 250,000 people residing in 97,000 housing units across Canada. Some 2,100 are non-profit zero equity housing co-operatives. Each housing co-op is separately incorporated and self-governed under co-op legislation in each province. 


A Fraud and Illegal Acts Friendly Culture exist in the Non-Profit Zero Equity Co-operative Housing Sector in Canada. These co-ops are most vulnerable to embezzlement by their very nature. First, there are no 'owners' watching over every dollar collected as revenue and paid out as an expense. Unfortunately, most people are less concerned when it is not their own money at risk.



Co-ops are governed by unpaid volunteer board of directors that can often lack competencies, with little interest in training that may contribute to a non-existent, inadequate or a disregarded management structure.Governing legislation, by-laws, agreements, along with other rules and regulations may be ignored or not followed. Enforcement of legislation...is expensive and rarely enforced by government, and for modest or low income co-op members' to hold board of directors accountable for mismanagement of non-profit zero equity housing co-ops. 


A good system of internal controls can protect the assets of the co-op, but these controls can lack oversight, and be circumvented through collusion when associative difficulties attributable to poor governance and management that include no understanding of the cooperative formula, a lack or improper exercise of leadership, cliques, abuses of power, favoritism, theft, and fraud...


For housing co-ops, the potential impact of having fraud or theft resulting in loss of cash or other items of value become known to its volunteer members', much less the public, reported in the press, and on social media, can damage the co-op board of directors, and staff management reputation, resulting in loss of confidence by both the community, especially taxpayers or other donors that fund co-ops can have significant long-term negative effects so great that most occurrences of fraud... are most frequently hidden away or 'swept under the rug'. 


Some major non-profit zero equity co-operative housing stakeholders are on behalf of the government of Canada; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is responsible for federal co-operative housing programs and policies. Under an agreement signed with CMHC in 2005, the Agency for Co-operative Housing provides information to co-ops, assesses risks and takes action to mitigate them, and monitors and seeks compliance with operating agreements. Municipalities are responsible for some co-ops within provinces. 


Compliance monitoring is expensive, not done in detail, and many records that may document the co-ops management are not monitored. CMHC seldom enforce compliance with the terms of the operating agreements...with co-ops, and municipal governments within each province seldom enforce compliance of legislation...because obtaining a court order can be expensive in order to force compliance; or appoint a receiver to manage the housing co-operative.


The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada is the nation-wide lobbyist and umbrella organization for over 900 member housing co-operatives, with some 11 regional member housing federations or associations outside the province of Quebec. CHF Canada is the sole partner with the Agency for Co-operative Housing.


Each separately incorporated housing co-operative hire chartered accountants to provide book-keeping services during the fiscal year, and hire an independent chartered accounting firm to conduct the annual audit at the end of the fiscal year represented as the housing co-op annual audited financial statements.


Example, in the province of Ontario where some 557 housing co-ops are located, the firm, Prentice Yates & Clark, Chartered Accountants (PYC) provide accounting and audit services with an extensive list of client non-profit zero equity housing co-operatives located in the greater Toronto area and various communities.


All of the aforementioned stakeholders have a co-op housing client relationship with the co-op board of directors, and staff management that these stakeholders can share information, but may not be shared or released to other co-op housing members' that include Ken Hummel (Ken), Member, Athol Green Co-operative Homes Incorporated.


Ken has communicated at various points in-time with almost all aforementioned stakeholders:

 

THE CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC)

CMHC is responsible for federal co-operative housing programs and policies, and assesses risk and takes action to mitigate them using various types of risk management techniques. Some examples:

CMHC set the financial reporting requirements for the Auditors' Report that enable the preparation of audited financial statements free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. Example CLICK HERE



CMHC contracts the Agency to prepare an Annual Portfolio Performance Review Report based on a Annual Information Return (AIR) submitted to the Agency by some client housing co-ops and its auditors'. The co-op housing portfolio was reported as 542 in 2015. The AIR consist of questions that include "The auditor issued a Communication of Matters identified During the Audit of the Financial Statements that identified significant weaknesses in internal controls, fraud, illegal acts or possible illegal acts. (If yes, please give details.)


Annual portfolio reports sent  to CMHC are unedited. These reports are edited for public review, and appear not to report statistical information or data about weakness in housing co-ops internal controls, fraud, illegal acts or possible illegal acts when published on the Agency's public internet website, web-pages. In 2016, the Agency stopped publishing Annual Portfolio Performance Review Reports on its public internet website

 

CMHC legal action, put a housing co-op into court ordered receivership. In a statement of facts filed in court in September 2015, CMHC says the co-op owed $4.8 million to CMHC as the co-op had not made any payments of principal or interest to CMHC in respect to the mortgage since 2001. The lack of funding was attributed to poor management and persistent corporate governance deficiencies with no proper board of directors since 2001. The co-op construction cost was $3.68 million in 1981. Mist Holdings purchased the co-op in 2016 and the cash sale was not disclosed by CMHC. CLICK HERE

 

CMHC legal action, put another housing co-op into court ordered receivership:

CLICK HERE to review Hoy Creek Co-operative Homes 


THE AGENCY FOR CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING (THE AGENCY)

The Agency has a relationship with its client housing co-ops, board of directors, and staff managers, not individual members residing in client co-ops.

The Agency does not concern itself with housing co-operative governance or democratic functioning, unless problems put the co-ops loans at risk


When a co-op member contacts the Agency and has a complaint about co-op governance or management, the Agency usually refers members of co-ops with governance...issues to a CHF Canada local member housing federation or the Agency's sole partner, CHF Canada.


Within the Agency's website has a password protected client website that share reports about individual co-ops and their peer housing co-ops, and other information. The co-op's username and password are available from a co-op main contact (usually staff manager or co-op president). Some co-op's give the password to everyone on the board, and to any member, on request, as the board of directors decides.


Information in the Annual Information Return (AIR) for housing co-ops allow the Agency to generate some additional reports that include annual risk rating reports for individual housing co-ops, and the Agency's co-op data report that allows the Agency to combine data from many co-ops, and share it with each individual co-op. Other information shared are co-op agreements, and their Agency's correspondence that may contain management consultations for the co-op from the Agency.


THE CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING FEDERATION OF CANADA (CHF CANADA)

CHF Canada has a relationship with its member housing co-op's, board of directors, and staff managers, and its sole partner, the Agency, not individual members residing in their member co-ops!


CHF Canada is a lobbyist organization that sell services to its member housing co-ops. CHF Canada member housing federations also sell services to its member co-op's, and lobby for co-ops with these organizations advocating for housing co-op's, not individual co-op housing members'.


One example of their advocacy work in Ontario is Bill 14 that was proclaimed into law in 2013 that made housing co-op's, and their co-op board of directors, and staff co-op managers less accountable under law to the co-op's general membership CLICK HERE 


In the matter of Bridlewood housing co-operative, purchased by CHF Canada

Some co-op housing members' through collusion stopped co-op monthly mortgage payments in an attempt to put the co-op into receivership, and that some members' may purchase their co-op units far below market value in contravention of law. In an unprecedented move, CHF Canada intervened and placed the co-op into court ordered receivership, and CHF Canada purchased the co-op at a cost far below market value in 2012 CLICK HERE 

 

It appears that CHF Canada accomplished three key objectives: 1) prevented the unlawful sale of the co-op to some resident members', 2) punished co-op members' for their illegal scheme, and 3) provided CHF Canada a business opportunity to profit financially over some years. 

 

It appears that CHF Canada has no intention to return governance of their non-profit housing project back to the co-op housing model for the foreseeable future, if ever, in complete opposition of CHF Canada's co-operative housing principles and values...

 

CHF Ontario region held its annual general meeting in 2000. A resolution was submitted that any member found guilty of a criminal offense related to fraud, theft, and sexual misconduct be ineligible to to run for or act as a director, officer or other position in a housing co-operative or in organizations which comprise the housing co-operative sector.


The resolution was defeated and referred back to CHF Ontario region council. In 2001 CHF Ontario region council decided it could not support the resolution because they believed that co-ops would face a number of problems if they tried to rule out candidates on the grounds set out in the resolution. Co-operatives would have to set up procedures to allow them to check the history of all candidates, and the council was concerned that checks could put people off running for the board because they would not want to go through this process. Council members think it is better to let each co-op member decide whether someone who has a record of offence would make a good director. CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE



CHF Canada in association with it's member housing federation's develop model housing by-laws that can be customized for their member housing co-op's. Ken reviewed a co-op organizational by-law customized for a housing co-op located in Ontario. In Ken's view, this by-law was Autocratic and Draconian. A by-law that is oppressive and does not respect democratic values. Roberts Rules of Order are not allowed. Confidentiality and limiting disclosure are over-reaching and many maters undefined...A Fraud and Illegal Acts Friendly By-law...A sample of that 58.0 meg or 82-page by-law as a 2.2 meg or 4-page PDF CLICK HERE 

 

THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION ONTARIO (FSCO) 

The FSCO mandate is to provide regulatory services to some various business sectors across Ontario that include twelve categories Co-operatives that include co-op housing.  FSCO annual reports include licensing, monitoring, and enforcement activities across the sectors that it regulates with statistics. Example: Public and stakeholder inquires and complaints reporting statistics on co-operatives include all 12 categories of co-operatives reported as a singular statistics.

CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

 

 

 

SOME EXAMPLES OF FRAUD OR FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS...REPORTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA...



The following is a true scenario of a scam that occurred at a housing co-op with advice from the Durham Regional Police Service Fraud Unit on each aspect of the scam CLICK HERE


globalnews.ca September 10, 2017 By Ben Dooley and Kyle Benning, CKNW

"Burnaby housing co-op suing former president claiming she committed fraud"..."Halston Hills says Cameron has turned herself into Burnaby RCMP and admitted the fraud to the co-op." CLICK HERE

 

news1130.com March 16, 2017 By Renee Bernard, Reporter, News1130

"RCMP investigating possible fraud at Burnaby housing co-op"..."The accusation is being leveled at a member of its board of directors."..."Thom Armstrong is the executive director of the Co-op Federation of BC"..."and says checks and balances are in place to prevent money form disappearing."...


"The activities of most co-ops are overseen by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation"..."and as such Armstrong says members with complaints or suspicious about how the board is run can take them to the CMHC. "In all but the most exceptional circumstances that combination of controls is enough to limit or even eliminate the possibility of impropriety," he says.


"Plus he notes because board members are neighbours, shareholders and essentially business partners, it's rare for them to be tempted to defraud the others. It's not known when the RCMP investigation will be complete, but a forensic audit could take years. A new board of directors has been put in place at the co-op since the allegations came to light." CLICK HERE


cbc.ca March 11, 2016 By Glenn Payette, CBC

"St. John's women charged with defrauding housing co-op"...Brenda Dawson was president of the Cumberland Housing Co-op until a couple of years ago."..."CBC was told the fraud was around $80,000. Dawson is also charged with breach of trust. The two charges cover a four-year period, beginning in August 2010." CLICK HERE


ifpress.com September 29, 2010 By Jane Sims, London Free Press

"Former housing co-op president pleads guilty"..."Jason Showers told tenants he would accept cash payments for rent. What they didn't know was the president of their housing co-operative wasn't forwarding the money and was pocketing some of it for himself."... CLICK HERE


stalbertgazette.com May 19, 2010 By Ryan Tumilty, St. Albert Gazette

"Woman convicted in St. Albert fraud faces new charges"..."Bernier is also known as Tamara Lynne Valk who pleaded guilty to a single count of fraud last year involving the Liberton Housing Cooperative."   CLICK HERE


stalbertgazette.com January 27, 2010 By Ryan Tumilty, St. Albert Gazette

"Housing co-op fraud nets jail term"...Judge Jeanne Burch - "Burch chided Valk for her actions which she said worked in complete opposition to the entire spirit of a co-operative." CLICK HERE


nowtoronto.com January 19, 1999 By Alec Scott, Now Magazine

"Co-op board resigns en masse Everyone's keeping mum about the recent putsch at the Windmill Line Housing Co-op near the St. Lawrence Market."

 

"According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which oversees the co-op, the existing board of directors resigned and will not be replaced before the September 8 general meeting. Some residents were not satisfied with the board's management, according to Judith Collins of the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto. The now boardless co-op's office will not divulge details."

 

"What is the public interest in this?" asks co-op member Muriel Cassidy. "We're trying to keep this all in the family."

 

Some other examples may be posted at a later point in-time


MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT''S AND HOUSING CO-OP'S

Some municipal government's are responsible for the oversight of housing co-op's located in some regions,  and may enforce rules, regulations, and legislation that may place a housing co-op into receivership...Some examples:


Regional Municipality of Simcoe v. Matthew Way Co-operative Homes CLICK HERE

Regional Municipality of Waterloo v. Sand Hills Co-operative Homes CLICK HERE

North End United Co-operative Limited CLICK HERE

Regional Municipality of York v. Thornhill Green Co-operative Homes CLICK HERE

Municipality of Chatham-Kent v. Labourview Co-operative Homes CLICK HERE


Some other examples may be posted at a later point in-time



COMMENTS WITH VIEWS AND OPINIONS

The news article headline "RCMP investigating possible fraud at Burnaby housing co-op" dated March 16, 2017 and written by Renee Bernard, Reporter, 1130 News is an appropriate article for this blog and starting point in sharing comments with views and opinions about some co-op housing stakeholders in Canada.


The Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia (CHF BC) Thom Armstrong, executive director was interviewed, and quoted in this article. CHF BC is a lobbyist organization that advocates for building more co-ops, and sell services to their member housing co-ops.


In Ken's view, it appears premature to assume that Halston Hills housing co-op had the necessary internal controls. Internal controls can be circumvented by two or more people, and can lack oversight. Co-ops can have inherent problems that contribute to mismanagement that put co-ops at risk of fraud, and illegal activity.


In Ken's opinion, it would be more appropriate for co-op housing members' that are either suspicious or have accusations or allegations of fraud and/or illegal activities under the criminal code to contact the Police, not CMHC.


In Ken's view, the article concludes by stating, and I quote form it "It's not known when the RCMP investigation will be complete, but a forensic audit could take years. A new board of directors has been put place at the co-op since the allegations come to light."


In Ken's opinion, the RCMP investigation may find evidence of fraud, and other criminal acts without the need for any forensic audit that may only take days or perhaps weeks.


In Ken's view, the replacement of the co-op board with new board of directors raise Red Flags about the co-op governance and management that may involve fraud and other illegal activity.


Will the RCMP complete their fraud investigation? or turn their investigation over to CMHC?

 In my view, News1130 has not followed-up on this story, since their initial report on March 16, 2017, but Global News.CA did on September. 10, 2017. It is important to note that the Global News story did not report on the amount of the alleged fraud or if any criminal charges were filed against Ms. Cameron, the former president, and former co-op member. 

 

A person claiming to be a member of the co-op reached out in social media to News1130 on March 20, 2017 and communicated the following information: "I live in co-op, board took excess of $2 million in 5 years. Imagine how much more when the person in charge was 25 yrs"..."How is this not even made the news! our coop is fallin apart, board is crooked. people are living in rotten conditions"..."you should attend our general meeting next week. lots of info on the fraud."

 

In Ken's view, the CBC March 11, 2016 story about Brenda Dawson, former co-op president charged with fraud, Cumberland housing co-op has not been updated since the news story was originally posted on social media!


CMHC investigated fraud allegations originally reported to the Police from a housing co-op member. This investigation conducted by CMHC employed risk management techniques to mitigate the fraud allegations then dismissed those allegations when the CMHC attempted to hide it and sweep it all Under the Rug! CLICK HERE    


Auditor's attending a housing co-op meeting's of member's, presenting the co-op financial statements, refuse to answer questions from a co-op member asking questions, if audited financial statement figures disagreed with the co-op year end accounting records that should be seen as Red Flags!... CLICK HERE, and CLICK HERE

 

 

A co-op member files an application, and motion under s. 146(1) of the Co-operative Corporations Act in the Superior Court of Justice. The co-op member was frustrated with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario that relate to mismanagement of his home co-op. The applicant asks the court to appoint an inspector to investigate or audit or as the court seems fit investigate the affairs and management of the co-op. The application was dismissed with costs in May 2015, but the case is noteworthy. Stephen O' Brian v. Blue Heron Co-operative Homes Inc. CLICK HERE   

 

 

In Ken's opinion, these type of housing co-ops are also vulnerable to the most common procurement fraud schemes that include collusion and kickback bribery, bid or tender rigging, and their primary red flags CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE 

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) located in the United States is the equivalent of CMHC located in Canada

 

watchdog.org July 27, 2015 By Deena Winter, Nebraska Watchdog

"HUD relents, releases audit of Omaha Housing Authority"... CLICK HERE

 

In Ken's opinion, CMHC is withholding a treasure-trove of information away from the general public at large about fraud and illegal acts, and suspected fraud and illegal acts in relation to the non-profit co-op housing sector. 

 

In an access to information request, CMHC denied Ken access to some information that Ken had already acquired from a housing co-op. CMHC recommendations to the co-op in 2004 included changes to the co-op board of directors meeting minutes that resulted in cheque requisitions and spending approvals being held in-camera, out of view, away from the co-op general membership. Some details about cheque requisitions and spending approvals were shared with the general membership prior to those CMHC recommendations! CLICK HERE

 

In Ken's view, CMHC falls short in safeguarding the public investment in co-op housing, and lack strong corporate governance and transparency they claim are the cornerstones of its operations. 

 

thestar.com May 20, 1995 By Kevin Donovan, Staff Reporter

"Housing millions down drain"..."millions of dollars have been misspent, overspent or wasted down this giant money pit."..."how gross government mismanagement produced an open invitation for abuse"..."this program is sinking under a morass of profiteering, political favoritism, shady business deals, conflicts of interest, suspected fraud, spiralling debt and lack of accountability."..."the Terra Bella housing project"..."the already overpriced City Park project"..."the Consideration Co-Op is close to bankruptcy"..."No single story tells the entire tale of waste and malfeasance."..."People have gotten away with financial murder...they have wasted millions and millions and millions of dollars."..."We have already begun to hear news of wheeling and dealing...bribe offers...requests for kick-backs."..."There isn't a police force in the world big enough to investigate all the rot in non-profit housing."..."Enter The Development Consultant, The Architect, The Landowner, The Developer, The Contractor, and The Lawyers. This is the point where non-profit housing becomes non-profit in name only."..."the Marigold Co-op in Whitby, substandard elevators and smoke detectors were installed. It cost thousands of dollars more to do the job right."..."Co-ops have the highest average unit price."...Co-ops have another built-in cost."..."about $22.5 million, used for developing more co-ops, educational programs, bailing out co-ops in financial trouble and association salaries."..."The deal they did on City Park was so overpriced it was not economically viable."..."Harmony-King Co-op"...

This article is also shared as a PDF Abstract or CLICK HERE   




In addition, Ken has communicated with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), Chartered Professional Accountants Ontario (CPA), the Public Accountants Council for the Province of Ontario, the Attorney General for the Province of Ontario, Ombudsman Ontario, Ontario's Watchdog, Province of Ontario, Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations Companies Branch, Durham Regional Police Service, Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario, CMHC Access to Information and Privacy Office, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Minister Responsible for CMHC, Federal and Provincial Government Parliamentarian's...









Information my be added, revised or deleted without prior notification





Ken Hummel, Administrator, CHIE







  









Thursday

Noted Articles and Research about Co-op Housing

globalnews.ca [GLOBAL NEWS] Online Edition

February 25, 2018

By Jon Azpiri, Global News

 

"B.C quadruple amputee says he'll be homeless after co-op withdraws offer"..."John Black was all set to move into a new home at Creekview Co-op housing on Granville Island."...

 

CLICK HERE to read this article published online

CLICK HERE to see this linked article on twitter with comments  

 

 

globalnews.ca [GLOBAL NEWS] Online Edition

February 23, 2018

By Jasmine Pazzano, Global News

 

"EXCLUSIVE: Oshawa woman claims co-op residence 'tore up' her application"..."The 64-year-old Oshawa, Ont., resident said she submitted an application to Harmony-King Co-Op Homes Inc. about seven years ago, but a staff member at the residences told her late last year that they no longer have her application."-"They tore it up," said the single resident. "That's what they told me."...

 

CLICK HERE to read this article published online 

 

 

cbc.ca [CANADIAN BROADCASTINING CORPORATION] Online Edition

September 18, 2017

By Rosa Marchitelli, CBC News

 

"GO PUBLIC/ 'Completely outrageous': Couple say they were denied co-op apartment over sex of baby"..."A Vancouver family believes they were denied a unit in a co-op housing complex because their baby is a girl and not a boy."..."The couple first contacted Go Public in June after they were told by a representative of Marina Housing Co-operative that they were first on the list for a two-bedroom unit but, before their application could proceed, the co-op board needed to know the sex of their unborn baby."...

 

CLICK HERE to read this article published online  

 

 

facebook.com [Dr. Peter Stockdale] Facebook Page Online Video August 2, 2017

"Watch an illegal 'election' at Fairlea Park Co-op in Ottawa - featuring intimidation, election tampering, no secret ballot, abuse and harassment of a member"...

CLICK HERE to watch and listen to this 55:34 minute video

 

 

 

thestar.com [THE TORONTO STAR] Online Edition 

March 9, 2016 

By Jacques Gallant, Staff Reporter 

 

"TENANTS AWARDED $30,000 OVER VULGAR POSTERS, TRIBUNAL RULES The anonymous messages, put up over several months in 2012 in the co-op building, targeted several residents."... 

 

CLICK HERE to read this article published online

 

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal  87 page ruling on March 4, 2016:

CLICK HERE to review Welykyi v. Rouge Valley Co-operative Homes Inc.

 

 

 

therecord.com [WATERLOO REGION RECORD] Online Edition

February 19, 2015

By Gordon Paul, Reporter, Waterloo Region Record

 

"Accusations fly as Waterloo housing co-op threatens to evict 79-year-old woman" - "She's 79 years old, stands five-foot-three, weighs 90 pounds and is afflicted by a blood disorder that often leaves her bedridden." - "I live a quiet life," Avril Gaouette said in a interview."

 

"How much trouble can I get in?" Plenty, according to the board of directors at Brighton Yards Housing Co-operative, the non-profit housing complex in Waterloo where Gaouette lives."

 

"The co-op, which promotes itself as "a safe, friendly and diverse housing community," is immersed in a dispute that started with a damaged garden and escalated into calls to the police, allegations of verbal abuse from both sides and the issuing of an eviction notice."...

 

CLICK HERE to read this article published online 

 

Comments: In Ken's view, the board of directors and co-op clique have ganged up and are bullying & harassing Ms. Gaouette, and I find it disgusting and shameful. Some 26 comments below the online article sum-up this horrifying situation with a resounding number of 'thumbs-up' in support of Ms. Gaouettee, and 'thumbs-down' against the co-op board of directors...Brighton Yards is a 45-unit housing co-op located in the province of Ontario, Canada. - CLICK HERE for an update on this article


 

 

this.org [THIS MAGAZINE] Online Edition

January 6, 2015

By Josh Hawley, Freelance Journalist


"Tear the house down"..."A call for co-operative housing reform"


"After spending the first 23 years of my life living in co-operative housing, I worry "co-operative" has become nothing more than a platitude used to paint a picture of true democracy. Even at the most local of levels, a functioning democracy needs supervision."...


CLICK HERE to read this article published online


Some excerpts from the article originally published in This Magazine's November/December 2014 print edition that was not published in their online edition:


..."Jeff Schlemmer, executive director at Neighborhood Legal Services in London, Ont. and an adjunct law professor at Western University, describes how the first time the Court of Appeal of Ontario ruled on co-operative housing, they mistakenly compared them to private "social clubs."...


"There are two fundamental misunderstandings of the co-op sector by politicians and the legal system. First, co-ops aren't necessarily communities of like-minded people"..."Many residents have not made a wilful choice to live the co-operative lifestyle."...


"The second major misunderstanding of housing co-ops pertains to the power afforded to the board of directors, which are treated like governmental statutory authorities. Tribunals and boards established by the government fall under administrative law and they proceed through much the same process as the courts. Hearings are held and both parties are given the chance to defend their case."


"A corporation's board of directors would never be equated to these statutory bodies. But somehow, lawyers representing housing co-ops have been able to play the statutory board card, claiming their board of directors have held fair hearings in coming to their decision to evict somebody, for example. In reality, these decisions occur at meetings where members are often easily silenced, and partiality and nepotism can supplant fairness."


"As far back as 1976, it was known that co-op residents were at risk of eviction "on trivial grounds" simply by achieving a majority of votes. Unpopular members, obnoxious or rabble-rousing in the eyes of the few in power, are at the mercy of the co-op's in-group."...


Comment: In Ken's view, Mr. Hawley's article, is the most significant article about co-op housing in Canada published on mainstream and social media since the Toronto Star published Kevin Donovan's article, "Housing millions down drain" back on May 20, 1995. 




maisonneuve.org [Maisonneuve Magazine] Online Edition

June 5, 2012

By Andrea Bennett, Writer of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry


"In the House of the Lord"


An investigative report: fear and manipulation at "The Jackson Avenue Housing Co-operative and the religious battle raging in one of Canada's poorest neighborhoods."...

 

"Under the BC Cooperative Association Act, the majority of people living in a co-op should be members of the co-operative, which grants them voting rights and a say in how it is run. But according to current and former tenants, co-op membership is not extended to most residents"...

 

"There's a real difference between being in the outer circle and inner circle of their coop,"..."Veldman describes the core group members' living quarters as renovated and well-equipped, in contrast to the sparse, tiny suites the JAHC affords to low-income DTES residents. "I realized there was a pecking order" she explains. 

 

"I started to feel like they used religion as a tool to oppress people and motivate them through fear, guilt and shame."...


CLICK HERE to read this article published online




intelligencer.ca [Intelligencer Opinion Column] Online

December 6, 2012

By Chris Malette, For the Intelligencer

 

"MALETTE AT LARGE: Co-op shame"...


..."vandalism is taking place."..."it's all taking place and explain the added shame of it - it's in the co-operative housing complex"..."There's been drug busts here, trash tossed about, fires lit, fireworks blasted off at all hours of the night, mindless acts of spray-painting everything from doors to walls, tire-slashings, you name it."...

 

CLICK HERE to read this opinion column published online

 

Comment: If Ken didn't know Chris was referring to the housing co-op at Bleecker and Emily Street's, Ken would have thought he was referring to a housing co-op located in Whitby, Ontario.

 


digitaljournal.com [Digital Journal] Online

September 26, 2010

By KJ Mullins, Digital Journalist


"The Truth behind co-op housing"


"Toronto - In Toronto there are plenty of co-ops but non-residents are not always sure what they are. Many think of co-ops as city housing for low income residents. They would be wrong."...


CLICK HERE to read this article published online




wordpress.com [Kerry Hall Site] Online

May 20, 2009

By Kerry Hall, Writer and Editor


"Co-operative Woes"


"With rising rents and tenant evictions in Vancouver, some local residents are considering turning to co-op housing as a solution."...


CLICK HERE to read this article published online 

CLICK HERE to read some 200 additional news articles published online 

 

"Ontario Ombudsman: A Watch Dog That Isn't Watching"..."Every lawyer that I've approached on my specific situation here told me to basically shut up and not speak out as a result of legislation being highly lopsided towards co-operative administrators and boards."...

CLICK HERE to read the entire blog published Online




cmhc-schl.gc.ca [Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation] Online

April 2003 and Revised: 2006


"Crisis Situations in Cooperatives: Better Interventions Hinge on a Better Understanding"..."THE SURVEY OF HOUSING COOPERATIVES"...




The Evolution  of Member Conflict in Housing Cooperatives is a CMHC sponsored Report released in March 1993: CLICK EMBEDDED LINK BELOW to review this 97 page Report published as a PDF online

 


 

newmangoodmoon.blogspot.ca [Ken's Site] Online

 

Excerpts from a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Investigation into Fraud Allegations during a Client Visit at a Federal Program Housing Co-operative in 2004.

 

CLICK HERE to read Ken's blog published online   

 

 

cooperativeone.blogspot.ca [Co-op Housing Information Exchange] Online

 

Excerpts from a Toronto Star article by Kevin Donovan.


thestar.com

May 20, 1995

By Kevin Donovan, Toronto Star, Investigative Journalist


"Housing millions down drain"


"First in a series A Toronto Star team is probing aboues in non-profit housing, a program that will cost Ontario taxpayers $1 billion a year. Future stories will look at the players, the problems, and solutions."...


CLICK HERE to read CHIE blog published online





Information may be revised without prior notification




Ken Hummel, Administrator, CHIE










Wednesday

I HAVE A DREAM

                                         

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave a historic public speech about his vision of racial and social equality between black and white people to over 200,000 civil rights supporters. Dr. King's speech had inspired millions of people around the world that also inspired me to write the following:


I moved into a non-profit co-op project many moon's ago, And "I HAD A DREAM". 

I had a dream that all of us would some day understand the true meaning of co-operation!

I had a dream that we would all volunteer some of our time by participating together, share knowledge, and skills to build a community that was safe, clean, and in good repair. 

A community that We All call Our home, feel fortunate, and proud to live in.


Everyone Honoring our membership agreement that make real the promises of democracy, and free us from social injustice. That we all prosper and grow, and can find peaceful enjoyment in our home. It is a dream deeply rooted in my soul, and in the co-operative spirit---We Cannot Stand Alone.


"so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition." (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)


Prosperity meant for you and me, but taken away by the chosen privileged few.

A honest days work lost to people who would not share the same dream. I have peered into their eyes and felt the selfish minds and hearts of their hidden agenda's. I have seen the selfish greed, and injustice...I have seen and felt the fear, disgust, anguish, and despair...  

I know about the injustice, I see and feel the anger, disgust and despair...


Today is now the time to lift ourselves from fear, anger, and despair...Make The Dream Come True. Guarantee and protect our rights under the Co-operative Corporations Act, and co-op by-laws. We Cannot Walk Alone, And We Cannot be Satisfied with the Status Quo. Equality for You, Me, And Our Neighbours, and Equality for All.


Keep Hope Alive, And Keep Dreaming Big...


A dream one day that the so-called not-for-profit co-op housing sector will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. I Had A Dream we all would be "Growing Together" as stated on our co-op sign's that stand on two front lawn's for us and our neighbours to see. 


All dreams aren't realized, and many don't come true, but if we all learn to dream together...Dream Big Dreams That We All Share, then maybe WE can turn it into reality someday for everyone.


Ken Hummel, Member, Athol Green housing co-op


Published in the Co-op newsletter, March 20, 2007 and edited online, January 19, 2015



CLICK HERE  and watch the MLK "I Have a Dream" speach


CLICK HERE  and learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King


August, 28, 2013 marked the 50th. Anniversary of the 'I Have A Dream' speech that was the largest peaceful demonstration ever held in the United States of America!



Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in the USA on January 18th., or the third Monday of January every year.


Some links may be revised without prior notification

Ken Hummel, Administrator, CHIE 

Housing Strategy and Co-op Housing

The federal government of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was in consultation with various housing stakeholder's and the general public that include several social media websites that will help create a National Housing Strategy.  

 

CMHC - What We Heard: Shaping Canada's National Housing Strategy in a 66-page in PDF :: CLICK HERE

 

My letter in PDF sent electronically to the National Housing Strategy Team at CMHC :: CLICK HERE

Big city mayors demand $12.6 billion in dedicated housing cash at the #TOHousingSummit held in Toronto, Ontario on September 30, 2016 

 

A National Housing Stakeholder round-table discussion was held on September 19, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario. Representatives from 25 National Housing Stakeholder Organizations shared their thoughts and findings during the day long discussion with a brief summary CLICK HERE and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister, Responsible for CMHC spoke to these Housing Stakeholders CLICK HERE

 

On September 7th, 8th, and 9th. 2016 CMHC hosted a round-table discussion on Canada's National Housing Strategy with expert group's that presented their idea's in brief summaries. 

 

On September 7, 2016, Six Sessions were held that discussed housing:

0:45 to 3:50 - Session One had Karen Cooper discuss 'Social Inclusion' and expanding choices for people with low incomes, build upon the existing resources, and set up a housing secretariat and to provide certainty in its funding... 

 

4:20 to 9:27 - Session Two had Graeme Stewart discuss 'Maintaining and Preserving Existing Rental Housing' that included reinvestment in social and co-op housing... 

 

9:40 to 12:40 - Session Three had Andy Yan discuss 'Housing Needs Data' and how it monitors Canada's housing stock affordability... 

 

12:50 to 21:22 - Session Four had Greg Christenson discuss 'Senior's Housing' and the intergration of health into housing... 

 

21:30 to 26:33 - Session Five had Ron Wickman discuss 'Assessable Housing Universal Design and Visitability' and the roll of the federal government... 

 

26: 45 to 32:13 - Session Six had Michael Rice discuss 'First Nations On-Reserve Housing' he said as almost like being in another country and that many First Nations are in section 95 housing...

September 7, 2016 

September 8, 2016

September 9, 2016

 

 

 Ken sent an email with a PDF File Attachment about the need for affordable housing in regards to the Liberal government 2016 Spring budget to Celina Caesar-Chavannes, MP, Whitby


In Ken's view, there will be some discussion to re-mandate CMHC, with the federal government transferring an undetermined amount of money to some co-op housing stakeholder's, territories, provincial government's and that they in turn will transfer money for housing to municipalities.  

 

 In Ken's opinion, a National Housing Strategy should include an Ombudsman for Co-operative Housing where co-op housing member's could file formal complaints.

 

In Ken's view, part of that strategy in Ontario is contained in Bill 7. 

The government of Ontario announced in a news release on September 14, 2016 the reintroduced legislation as part of their affordable housing strategy CLICK HERE 

 

Bill 7, Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 CLICK HERE 

First Reading was Carried on September 14, 2016.  

Second Reading was Carried on September 28, 2016  

Third Reading was Carried on December 6, 2016 

Royal Assent was received on December 8, 2016

Standing Committee on Social Policy - Bill 7 

A Public Hearing on Bill 7 will be held on November 28, 2016

Ken does not support Bill 7 in its current draft. Some background information about Bill 14 (Non-Profit Housing Co-operative Statute Law Amendment Act, 2013) proclaimed into law on September 24, 2013

 

Bill 7 has no previsions that provide Co-op housing Member's the same rights under law that Tenant's of Landlord's have under Law and the Residential Tenancies Act at the Landlord and Tenant Board

Bill 7 includes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that effect co-op housing member's noted under schedule 5 of this proposed legislation.

 

You are urged to contact your MPP and other parliamentarians and share your views, opinions and propose amendments to Bill 7. Some contact information: 

 

Chris Ballard, Liberal MPP, Minister of Housing 

Ernie Hardeman, Progressive Conservative MPP, Critic, Municipal Affairs and Housing 

Percy Hatfield, New Democratic Party MPP, Critic, Municipal Affairs and Housing 

Lorne Coe, Progressive Conservative MPP, Whitby-Oshawa  

 

In Ken's view, part of this legislation relates to co-op housing and a proposal to transfer Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) housing units to a co-op housing land trust. 

 

Some background information:

Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto proposal to transfer the TCHC scattered units to a Co-op Land Trust. CLICK HERE to review the 5-page proposal in PDF.


openingthewindow.com

February 10, 2016

By Joy Connelly


"Who will pay for a transformed TCHC?"

CLICK HERE to read this co-op housing advocate blog 





Some information and comments about Bill 7: 

cbc.ca September 14, 2016 

By Shanifa Nasser, CBC News 

 

"Fleeing faster: New Ontario provision allows domestic and sexual abuse victims to break rentals early" CLICK HERE to read this article

 

 

cela.ca  

September 14, 2016

By Jonathon Robinson, JD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School 

 

"Destabilizing Tenancy Rights Is Not the Solution to Ontario's Housing Shortage"

CLICK HERE to read this blog

 

"Changes to landlord/tenant law in Ont make it easier to evict people where landlords avoid repair/maintenance duties" 

(Rick Lindgren, Staff lawyer with the Canadian Environmental Law Association) 

 

 

Additional background information about co-op housing in Toronto, Ontario:

A Case Study: Atkinson Housing Co-operative:


Atkinson Housing Co-operative has 147 apartments in two buildings and 263 townhouse homes that represent some 500 members. CLICK HERE for some history of the co-op and background information. It should be noted that the Atkinson housing co-op website does not appear to have been updated since 2011.


Some information was reviewed about member engagement that relate to the democratic process.


The co-op posted a notice for a re-scheduled Annual General Membership Meeting for May 25, 2011.

The notice stated in part that "The AGM is re-scheduled from last week as quorum was not achieved. A minimum of 20 members must attend this meeting in order to achieve quorum." CLICK HERE


In Ken's view, the co-op requires only 4% of its membership to attend the AGM to meet quorum!


In Ken's view, the co-op is not truly governed and managed democratically. Ken would expect at least 51% or some 255 of its some 500 members to attend the co-op meetings of members to be considered a democratic functioning housing co-operative with perhaps some measure of success.


It should be considered wishful thinking to consider this housing co-op as democratically managed by its membership, but it may provide some comfort for the people residing at the co-op project.


What were some of the determining factors that concluded this community was ready to transform into co-operative housing with very poor member engagement?


In Ken's view, Atkinson housing co-operative represents a considerable source of annual revenue for CHF Canada that may represent over $20,000 in membership dues in 2016 and in addition, its member housing federation, CHF Toronto that collected an undetermined amount of money through membership dues and services sold to the co-op in 2016.


Research additional information about Atkinson housing co-op and co-op housing CLICK HERE 


Co-op Housing Information Exchange (CHIE) shares information about co-op housing CLICK HERE  

 

Do You think co-op housing is worthy of additional financial support through a National Housing Strategy? You are encouraged to comment below. 

 

You are urged to share this blog on other social media platforms...






Information may be revised and/or deleted without prior notification




Ken Hummel, MemberAthol Green Co-operative Homes Incorporated 


Tuesday

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board

NON-PROFIT HOUSING COOPERATIVES

 

On June 1, 2014, Bill 14, the Non-profit Housing Co-operatives Statute Law Amendment Act, 2013 was proclaimed into law. This Bill amends parts of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA); and sets out a few amendments, including that non-profit housing co-operative eviction tenure disputes will come under the RTA. This means that applications for eviction orders will now be filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board and not the Courts. 

 

 

coophomesaction.ca

An Interview With A Legal Aid Lawyer On Co-op Housing Evictions :: CLICK HERE

 

 

The Landlord and Tenant Board website has a page for Non-profit Housing Cooperatives. Online services FAQs for co-op members, forms in pdf, and links to the Act and Regulations...::

CLICK HERE to acess Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board


FAQs on Co-Ops :: CLICK HERE 

 

Social Justice Tribunals Ontario Co-operative Application Process 9 Month Pilot Review Nov. 26, 2015. 


 

The Co-operative Application Process 9 Month Pilot review states in part on page 13 and Ken quotes ..."PART 5: Conclusion"..."moving forward, the LTB will need to continue to monitor its co-op processes and performance measures to ensure that co-op clients are receiving the same level of service that all LTB clients receive." 

 

In Ken's opinion, the conclusion of this review offer encouraging words to all co-op housing member's that they will eventually all receive the same level of service that all LTB clients receive.  

 

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLll) has a Free search database for decisions at the Landlord and Tenant Board :: CLICK HERE 

 

 

Review some Co-op housing application's to end occupancy rights and eviction with some member respondents, and order's issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board ("LTB"). Click hyper-links below:

 

 

The Co-op applied to the LTB for an order to end the occupancy of the member unit and evict the Co-op Member(s) because the Co-op Member(s) did not pay the regular monthly housing charges and/or the Co-op Member(s) have persistently failed to pay the monthly housing charges when due.

File Number: CEC-00202-15 

File Number: SWC-00391-15-AM   

File Number: TEC-00103-14

File Number: TEC-00108-14  

File Number: TNC-00022-14 

 

 

The Co-op applied to the LTB for an order to end the occupancy of the member unit and evict the Co-op Members based on the Co-op Members' written notice of termination of intention to terminate membership and occupancy rights... 

File Number: SWC-00250-15    

 

 

The Co-op applied to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order to end the occupancy of the member unit and evict the Co-op Member, because the Member seriously impaired the safety of another person and this behaviour occurred in the residential complex in a way that is inconsistent with its use as a residential premises and has caused or can be expected to cause serious damage because of a Hording Disorder.  

File Number: TSC-00132-15 

 

 

The Co-op applied to the LTB for an order to end the occupancy of the member unit and evict the Co-op Member. The Member no longer meets the qualifications for occupancy, the Member did not pay the regular monthly housing charges that the Co-op Member owes, the Co-op Member or someone visiting or living with the Member wilfully or negligently caused undue damage to the member unit and seriously impared the safety of another person in the residential complex; and the Co-op Member abandoned the member unit.    

File Number: CEC-00197-15  

 

 

The Co-op applied to the LTB for an order to end the occupancy of the Member(s) unit and evict the Co-op Member(s). The Co-op Member(s) substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex for all usual purposes by the co-operative or another member or the co-operative or occupant of the residential complex. Or substantially interfered with with another lawful right privilege or interest of the co-operative or another such member or occupant. And/or wilfully or negligently caused undue damage to the member unit or the residential complex. And/or seriously impared the safety of person(s) in the residential complex. 

File Number: SWC-00232-15 

File Number: SWC-00413-15 

File Number: CEC-00298-15 

File Number: SWC-00361-15 

File Number: EAC-00159-15 

File Number: TSC-00128-15 

File Number: NOC-00092-14 

File Number: SWC-00194-14 

 

 

paralegalscope.com [Paralegal Scope Magazine] Online

March 7, 2015

By Elizabeth, in Access to justice, LTB, Residential Tenancy/LTB, Tribunals 

 

"Who is the Landlord? LTB Review to Sort Out Non-Profits' Role"...

CLICK HERE to read this article online 

 

 

rabble.ca Online

January 16, 2014

By Josh Hawley, Freelance Journalist

 

"Evictions for all? What effects will Bill 14 have on co-op residents"...

CLICK HERE to read this article online 

 

 

 

nlstoronto.org [Neighbourhood Legal Services] Online

November 1, 2013

 

"NEW CO-OP HOUSING LAWS: LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE"...

CLICK HERE to read this article online 

CLICK HERE for some background information on Bill 14




 

 

Information may be revised, added or deleted without prior notification 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Hummel, Administrator, CHIE






Sunday

CHIE Co-op Talk

CHIE SHARES INFORMATION AND COMMENTS ABOUT OPERATING AGREEMENTS THAT RELATE TO RENT GEARED-TO-INCOME SUBSIDY ISSUES AND CANADIAN NON-PROFIT CO-OP HOUSING.


________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

THE ISSUE: ALMOST ALL CHF CANADA MEMBER FEDERAL NON-PROFIT CO-OP HOUSING PROGRAM OPERATING AGREEMENTS ARE SCHEDULED TO END BY 2021 WITH CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION ("CMHC")

 

This web-page blog has hyper-links for additional information! Please note that some hyper-links are broken due to CHF Canada retiring their website in May 2017 and opening a new website that shares far less information that oppose transparency and accountability! 

 

MORTGAGEBROCKERSNEWS.CA 

July 21, 2017 

By Ephrain Vecina 

 

"CMHC responds to Ontario housing co-ops"

CLICK HERE to review this article

 

YAHOO.COM 

July 13, 2017 

 

"CMHC tells Ontario housing co-ops to abandon low-income members" - "18.5 million in private lending for building modernization caught in red tape"

CLICK HERE to review this article

 

 

THESTAR.COM 

June 11, 2016 

By Jordan Press, The Canadian Press 

 

"Mortgage relief for co-op housing providers announced Liberals say $ 150 million over four years will help tenants stay in their homes"... 

 

..."Gazzard said his group wants to see federal and provincial governments provide more income assistance to low-income, or fixed-income tenants like seniors and those with disability issues so co-op housing providers could focus funds on managing properties instead of income subsidies."

 

"We want the co-ops to be self-sustaining. The co-ops themselves want to be self-sustaining." he said. "What's not sustainable, though, is the provision of affordable rents to low-income people. That, we believe, is a government assistance duty and the government should pick that up."

CLICK HERE to review this article 

 

COMMENT: 

In Ken's opinion, its not realistic to expect non-profit zero equity housing co-ops to be self-sustaining with many of its inherent problems and those co-op stakeholder's that pander...to each other!

 

In Ken's view, Nicholas Gazzard, and his group have absolved themselves of the cause and effect of why a 'Co-op Housing Crunch' continues to exist, which Ken finds absurd and totally ridiculous. 

 

In Ken's view, some of Mr. Gazzard's comments are a betrayal that sacrifice low-income people by throwing them under the bus and confirms what Ken has been saying since 2013 at the start of the CHF Canada You Hold the Key campaign that you can review in some background information below. 

 

 

 

CBC.CA 

March 24, 2016 

By Liam Britten, CBC News 

"Federal budget's 2.3 B for non-profit housing welcomed by co-ops"...

 

"the announcement of a $30 million bridge fund for co-op renters on rent assistance who were facing the end of their assistance. That funding will give those on assistance an extra two years of the status quo while a new agreement is negotiated between the federal government and the province."...CLICK HERE to review this article  

 

COMMENT: 

In Ken's view, Mr. Thom Armstrong, Executive Director, Co-operative Housing Federation, BC, and the article shared erroneous information that it was the first time in 23 years the federal government put new money into co-op housing... 

 

It should be noted that in 2009 and 2010, the federal government renovation and retrofit stimulus program provided $150 million to federally administered social housing projects that include co-op housing And $850 million to social housing that included co-op housing administered by the provinces and territorial governments across Canada.

CLICK HERE and then click the second google search link for information

 

Some Background Information Below: 

The Liberal Party of Canada formed a majority government after the general election was held on October 19, 2015 with an election campaign promise to renew co-op housing operating agreements.

 

In Ken's view, CHF Canada and its member Co-op Housing Federations started their You Hold The Key - Co-op Housing Crunch campaign in 2013 to lobby all levels of government and their member housing co-ops in support of renewed operating agreements between CMHC and federal program housing co-operatives that are member's of CHF Canada, and CHF Canada member federations. 

 

CHF Canada has urged members' of its member housing co-ops to contact their Members' of Parliament in regards to this campaign. Ken contacted his MP and the Prime Minister of Canada.

CLICK HERE to view Ken's correspondence in PDF

 

There are 2, 200 housing co-operatives that represent 97,000 co-op units in Canada. CHF Canada's annual report indicated it had 909 member co-ops in 2013. Ken estimated that CHF Canada had some 57,450 member co-op units with an estimated 180,000 people residing in these housing co-ops outside the province of Quebec.  

 

In Ken's view, as at March 10, 2016 CHF Canada had 1,500 or 0.83% of the 180,000 people residing in their member co-ops across Canada contact their Member of Parliament in regards to this campaign.

 

In Ken's view, as at March 3, 2016 CHF Canada had 280 co-ops in support of their You Hold the Key - Stop the Co-op Housing Crunch campaign that represent 31% of their 909 member housing co-ops reported in 2013.  

 

How democratic is the decision making process to have resolutions carried at the CHF Canada Annual General Meeting (AGM)? - Quorum is established at a CHF Canada AGM when delegates attend from at least 15% of CHF Canada Member Co-op's. 

 

Examples: 

242 delegates attended the 2015 AGM that represent 25% of CHF Canada Members 

226 delegates attended the 2013 AGM that represent 23% of CHF Canada Members 

 

How many member housing co-op's hold a membership meeting with quorum  established when 25% or less of the co-op membership attend and have members' vote on resolutions that provide delegates with a mandate on how they should vote on a resolution at the CHF Canada AGM? 

In Ken's view, there are no surveys or statistics available that may determine the number of member housing co-op's that give their delegate's a mandate to vote on resolutions at CHF Canada AGM's.

 

Delegate's & alternate's that attend and vote on resolutions at CHF Canada AGM's may not have a mandate from their housing co-op's that support or oppose resolutions at the CHF Canada AGM's. 

 

Example: Athol Green Co-operative Homes Inc. had a delegate & alternate attend the 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 CHF Canada AGM without a mandate from the co-op general membership in support or in opposition of any resolutions on the CHF Canada AGM Agenda!

 

In Ken's opinion, the co-op housing democratic process is a fallacy!   

 

In Ken's view, CHF Canada and their Member Housing Federations are playing a money shell game or scheme to re-direct co-op funds for capital repairs...for its member co-ops with Canadian taxpayers' money that comments & links below explain!

 

Please note that some comments below are hyper-linked to additional information that appear not to be shared by CHF Canada...in their 'You Hold the Key - Co-op Housing Crunch campaign. You and Parliamentarians are urged to review these comments with important information. 

 

COMMENTS:                                                                                         

Its Ken's understanding this type of co-op housing provides housing for mixed incomes, not just for people with low-incomes. In Ken's view, CMHC provides co-ops in its co-op portfolio rent geared-to-income ("RGI") rent subsidy funding for low and moderate income Canadian's...through its operating agreements that relate to a co-ops annual or monthly mortgage payments.

 

Its Ken's understanding co-ops annual mortgage payments may equal the total amount of RGI rent subsidy funding provided by CMHC. At the end of Operating Agreements, when the co-ops mortgage is paid in full, we should expect co-ops to allocate that money once used to pay the co-op monthly mortgage go towards  internal RGI rent subsidies for its low and moderate income co-op residents members' that would allow them to remain in affordable housing.

 

In Ken's view, the Agency for Co-operative Housing provides data on federal programs co-ops that suggest a significant number of co-ops are in difficulty and many problems are due to poor governance and management, resulting in poor property conditions... 

Click link :: CHF Canada NewsBriefs, National Edition, Spring 2011 Pages 6-9 in PDF

 

Lack of oversight for capital repairs and replacements, including quality of finishes resulting in poor property conditions and a history of low contributions to a capital reserve fund are some examples. A number of additional issues contribute to the poor governance and management at co-ops. Click link: Crisis Situations in Housing Co-operatives 

 

In Ken's opinion, co-ops can have general membership's that place their own personal self-interest above the best interest of the co-op by not providing the co-op a net income to cover expenses. Example: Setting and maintaining co-ops monthly market rent well below the market rents of other types of housing stock located in the same geographical area that CMHC monitors.

 

In Ken's view, almost every section 95 housing co-op built between 1979 and 1984 likely may need capital repairs to maintain co-op building's that may be in part as a result of its membership's neglect or willful negligence over some years.

 

 

In Ken's view, CHF Canada developed the co-operative housing refinancing partnership for section 95 housing co-ops with some of Canada's credit unions. This program would assist section 95 housing co-ops to obtain new financing for capital repairs. Co-ops that enter into this partnership would prematurely end their current mortgage obligations and operating agreements with CMHC.

 

In Ken's opinion, business partners along with CHF Canada would profit from fees and commissions etc. from its member co-ops that enter into this partnership while most resident co-op member's in receipt of a RGI rent subsidy may loose their affordable homes after the mortgage agreement ends with CMHC, and Ken would find that shameful...

 

In Ken's view, CHF Canada and CHF BC are not advocating for low and moderate income resident co-op members' that rely on RGI rent subsidies because CHF lobbyist are not recommending prior to end of co-op operating agreements that the money once needed to pay the co-op mortgage be allocated towards funding RGI rent subsidies at their member co-ops, 

 

 

Ken finds the absence of that CHF Canada recommendation as being harmful for those RGI co-op members'. Are co-ops being advised to allocate the money once needed to pay the mortgage through operating agreements with CMHC, go towards capital repairs...?

 

 

In Ken's opinion, CHF Canada should be seen as being hypocritical by lobbying for additional RGI subsidy funding, but also at the same time encouraging their member co-ops to end their operating agreements prematurely with CMHC that may result in Canadian's with low or moderate incomes on a Rent-Geared to Income rent subsidy to loose their affordable homes.

 

In Ken's opinion, CHF Canada and CHF BC...appears to be exploiting the end of operating agreements with it's member housing co-ops for their own personal self-interest.

 

 

Ken views CHF Canada and CHF BC as being disingenuous with all their rhetoric about lost federal dollars needed to fund RGI rent subsidies in their 'you hold the key' or 'co-op housing crunch' campaign. Its a money shell game and the scheme is to re-direct funds for co-op capital repairs... 

 

The following hyper-links summarize why a CHF Canada Co-op Housing Crunch exist: Poor co-op housing member engagement, combined with co-op housing stakeholders that pander to each other are linked to the inherent problems that create crisis situations at housing co-operatives. Those links explain in some detail why very few new housing co-ops have been built in Canada since 1995. NP co-op housing can be viewed as a Fraud-Friendly Culture that has been described as a drain-hole for Taxpayers' money, where many have come to feast as explained in a Toronto Star article!  

 

 

CHF Canada lobbyist will continue to lobby all levels of government for more money for it's member co-op's because of the inherent problems that will continue exist at its member housing co-ops!

 

 

CHF Canada locks Ken out of their EOA Member Network and Facebook site you hold the key campaign site for expressing his views and opinions: CLICK HERE


All levels of government should be encouraging non-profit housing co-ops to invest in some key priorities: 1) incrementally raising rents annually to ensure contributions to capital reserve funds are adequate and meet the future needs of co-ops, and 2) at the same time, re-allocate the funds once needed to pay the co-op mortgage go towards co-op RGI rent subsidy pool's for low and moderate income resident co-op members'.

 

It should be noted that in 2009 and 2010, the federal government renovation and retrofit stimulus program provided $150 Million to federally administered social housing projects and $850 Million to social housing administered by provinces and territorial governments across Canada. 



Ken Hummel, Administer, CHIE



Links to Some Background Information:                                          


CHF CANADA LOBBYING FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING


You may need to be registered as a member with CHF Canada to open the link below!

CHF CANADA CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING REFINANCING PARTNERSHIP

Some examples of News Media coverage of the #youholdthekey campaign

 

METRONEWS.CA 

March 25, 2014 

By Sam Smith, For Metro 

"B.C won't pay for federal co-op housing subsidy shortfall"... 

CLICK HERE to view article

 

 

GLOBALNEWS.CA 

January 22, 2014 

By Erica Tucker and Vassy Kapelos, Global News 

"Fears of Evictions across Canada as feds end co-op housing subsidy"... 

CLICK HERE to view article and video 


CBC.CA

August 15, 2013

"Low-income housing hit by federal program end"...

CLICK HERE  to view article



Closing comments and link to supplemental information:


In Ken's view, CHF Canada lobbyist will use this campaign to convince the government to provide extra funding for rent subsidies that should be seen as the wrong approach. CHF Canada, some other co-op housing stakeholders along with all party support from the government of Ontario and passage of Bill 14 into law had already read the 'Tea leaves' on these issues many moon's ago.


Eviction Law Reform speeds up the eviction process of co-op housing members' - Bill 14, Non-profit Housing Co-operative Statute Law Amendment Act was fast-tracked into law on September 26, 2013 at the urging of CHF Canada and its lobbyist that call it a victory for housing co-ops in Ontario.

 

In Ken's view, CHF Canada lobbying of Bill 14, don't allow co-op housing members' to file applications to seek remedies for maintenance, housing charge disputes, and harassment issues at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). Tenants of Landlords are protected under law and can file applications to seek remedies on those three issues at the LTB. Bill 14 was proclaimed into law on June 1, 2014.


In Ken's view, when CMHC federal program Co-op operating agreements expire, CHF Canada want that money once needed to pay down the Co-op mortgage to be re-allocated towards its Member Co-op housing capital replacements and repairs, and not towards rent subsidies for modest or low income co-op housing resident members'.


In Ken's view, CHF Canada are truly disingenuous about their concerns for vulnerable and disadvantaged people that reside inside their Member Housing Co-operatives.


In Ken's view, mainstream News Media outlets are buying into and reporting on what CHF Canada and what Politician's say, without investigating deeper into the reasons behind the issues that are not being shared with them and Canadians...


Mainstream News Media outlets should get in touch with their CHIE...


CLICK HERE to access information and issues in regards to Bill 14


CHIE will provide you with updated information when it becomes available




KEN WELCOMES YOUR VIEWS AND OPINIONS ON THE CHIE SITE THAT CAN BE POSTED IN THE COMMENT AREA BELOW AND SOME OTHER POSTED BLOGS ON CHIE.


Comments and Information on this blog may be subject to change without prior notification



Comments and information on this blog were last updated/revised in September 2016.



Ken Hummel, Administrator, CHIE




Friday

STAKEHOLDERS CAN PANDER TO CO-OP HOUSING DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

Published on February 25, 2009, and revised October 2015.

By Ken Hummel, Member, Athol Green Co-operative Homes Inc


The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada ("CHF") a self described umbrella group for non-profit housing co-operatives ("co-ops"), and the national voice of the co-op housing movement in Canada since 1968. CHF is also a lobbyist group that seek out funding from the federal government, provinces, and regional municipalities for co-ops, and other types of non-profit housing. CHF is also a business that profits mainly from its member co-ops.


CHF has some 9 member housing federations or associations that sell memberships & services to its member co-ops, claimed to be over 900 across Canada outside of Quebec. Some other CHF members' include management companies, and other businesses partners that may not have direct affiliation with the non-profit co-operative housing sector.


Conflict of interest has tarnished the image and reputation of the Canadian Non-Profit Co-operative Housing Sector. An independent investigation is needed that is totally objective, impartial and transparent. Recommendations are needed to ensure an affordable and efficient system of accountability.

 

All levels of government are unwary and reluctant to allocate funds to non-profit co-ops, and other types of non-profit housing because of the millions of dollars spent and wasted for a combination of reasons such as conflict of interest, duplication, profiteering, suspected fraud, and a lack of accountability.


The non-profit housing sector has been described as a "money pit" that should raise "red flags", and a lucrative trough of public money that many have come to feast.


In Ken's view, CHF and other co-op stakeholders appear to pander and be coddling co-op board of directors and perhaps management companies or general managers/coordinators at member co-ops and hurt the reputation and future of co-ops.


In Ken's view, the lack of or absence of principled leadership, integrity, core values and ethics associated with poor or bad governance and management at housing co-ops with it's 'inherent problems' are often ignored and hidden away. 


There are about 2000 non-profit housing co-operatives across Canada and each is separately incorporated and self governed under co-op legislation in each province. CHF does not have legal or administrative control over the operation of individual co-ops. CHF provide services to co-ops who are members of CHF, however do not become involved as advocates for individual members of co-ops as it is the housing co-op that is their member.


CHF and its member federations rely on their member support from the payment of annual membership dues each year, and buying their services. retaining member loyalty and support, and attracting new members is essential for CHF and its member federations continued operation.


Education workshops, mediation services, chairing and/or recording co-op meetings of members', and commercial programs that CHF has developed over the years such as insurance services are available to its members at additional cost.


Individual members' that live in member co-ops pay for the cost of membership dues, and services provided by CHF and its member federations. It is important to note that co-ops boards of directors that may include staff ("coordinator/general manager") or a management company are usually the only stakeholders at member co-ops involved in the decision making process to acquire and pay for the co-ops membership annual dues, and any associated services provided by CHF and its member federations.


CHF and its member federations that provide a chairperson and/or person to act as recording secretary at its member co-op meeting of members' or provide mediation services to co-op projects in difficulty or crisis resulting from poor governance and management, can be viewed as a conflict of interest because CHF and its member federations have a relationship with the co-op board of directors that may also include a management company or general manager, and CHF rely on them to pay for the annual membership dues, and any other services provided to their co-op members.


CHF and its member federations can also be viewed as advocates for the board of directors, management companies or general manager, if any, at its member co-ops.


Conclusions maybe reached that CHF and its member federations are in a conflict of interest that pander to co-op board of directors, management companies, and general manager, if any, at member co-ops in difficulty or crisis.


CHF lobbied the government of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ("CMHC") to contract their sole partner, the Agency for Co-operative Housing ("the Agency") in the administration of federal program housing co-ops to monitor whether co-ops are abiding by the terms of their operating agreement with CMHC, ("compliance monitoring"). CHF helped to create and establish the Agency that staff many former management and staff from CHF.


Compliance monitoring is expensive, not done in detail, and many records that may document the co-ops management are not monitored. If a co-op breaches the operating agreement then obtaining a court order can be expensive in order to force the co-op to comply with the operating agreement ("specific performance"); or appoint a receiver to manage the co-op project.


A conclusion can be reached that the Agency would not recommend this type of action be taken because of their close business partnership with CHF, and over time will unlikely resolve the problems with many, if not all co-ops in breach of the operating agreement. These two co-op housing stakeholders can be viewed as coddling and pandering to the board of directors, management companies, and general manager, if any, and this can help explain why there appears to be a lack of accountability in the co-op housing sector.


In addition, management companies or staff coordinators hired by the board of directors can also be seen as coddling and pandering to the board, in order to keep their job or build a more profitable relationship with the board of directors.


The co-op general membership and/or individual members can also be seen as coddling and pandering to the board that may build a relationship with them that they may seem self-serving in their own personal self-interest over the collective best interest for the co-op, or that individual members maybe harassed and/or threatened with eviction. Poor 'member engagement' is seen as a huge problem across the Canadian co-op housing sector!


A conclusion can be reached that its not in the best interest of co-ops or its general membership to be coddling and pandering to the board of directors, management companies or coordinators, if any. We all should expect good governance and management at our co-ops that exemplify strong principled leadership and high ethical standards.


Some background information in regards to the business of lobbyists in Ontario, Canada and U.S.A can be access in report linked below, and other video and news stories:


thestar.com

October 20, 2010

By Rob Ferguson and Robert Benzie, Queen's Park Bureau

"Ontario tightens lobbying rules after scathing report"

http://tinyurl.com/akflqey



cnn.com

January 22, 2013

Posted by Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick, CNN

"Just re-elected Rep. Emerson resigning for lobbying job"---"Retiring congresswoman leads 2013 lobbying revolving door"


Click link below to watch 7:29 video and read this ridiculous list type news story:

http://tinyurl.com/af3eghx


youtube.com

Posted in 2012

Representative Jo Ann Emerson: Somebody that We, in Missouri's 8th. District Used to know...


Click link below to access and watch 4:12 video:

http://tinyurl.com/ar7t8us



youtube.com

Posted in 2013


John Stossel interviews Charles J. Sykes, author of the book "A Nation Of Moochers"


Click link below to access and watch 8:00 video:

http://tinyurl.com/bmqy93n



youtube.com

Posted in 2013


A Lobbyist And A Politician Walk into A Restaurant...


Click link below to access and watch this short video:

http://tinyurl.com/kq7px2k


An example of CHF's lobbyists efforts with the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton back in 1996 and 1997, re: Report and CHF Canada correspondence. Click link to access:

http://tinyurl.com/3cnhxbv


Ottawa-Carleton Community Services Committee Meeting Minutes, click link, then scroll to pages 3 through 6:

http://tinyurl.com/3mwkwb9



In Ken's view, there are plenty of news or social media outlets that report negative information about co-op housing and CHF Canada member non-profit co-ops that are often ignored and hidden away from view.


Lobbyist groups have been described as professional moochers that use their influence peddling, trying to shape public opinion that via for and expect Taxpayers dollars to support their special interest that include themselves.


Profiting in the Canadian non-profit co-operative housing sector, CHF Canada lobbyist expect Taxpayers money to solve the inherent problems with this type of housing that has been on the long road of self-destruction for over 40-years!



Ken is the organized voice that offer fair criticism about CHF Canada and its member non-profit co-ops in Canada.




Information noted above may be revised and/or deleted without prior notification.



Ken Hummel, Administrator, CHIE