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







  









9 comments:

  1. In summary - When individual co-op housing member's are denied information or information is withheld that can detect or red flag fraud...or potential fraud, theft, and other illegal activities; it places housing co-op's, and perhaps individual co-op member(s) at risk to those activities.

    In Ken's view, most, if not all co-op housing perpetrators, and those who protect them act in a shameless manor and are unapologetic for their deeds that they may personally profit.

    In Ken's opinion, CMHC, other major co-op housing stakeholder's, and most individual co-op housing board of directors...should be publicly shamed that deliberately place housing co-op's, and its membership, and resident occupants at risk to fraud and other illegal acts.

    Ken exposes some predators, predatory-creep-protectors (PCP) and those who fall into both those categories that they may be vilified and held to some accountability...on social media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RE: the news article posted and linked in this blog "Burnaby housing co-op suing former president" dated September 10, 2017 written by Ben Dooley and Kyle Benning for CKNW.

      In Ken's view, comments posted below this article were removed by the administrator of the website that posted this news article back on Sep. 10. Ken documented, and quotes from some of these comment's that are now posted on CHIE below:

      Comments were posted by Brian Banister
      "Sadly this is not as uncommon as you may think. Our co-op had a treasurer who did not pay their own housing fees for over a year."...(posted on September 10, 2017)

      "I have sat on the board of directors and been president of a co-op. Ugly, crooked things do happen."...", and lack of participation by members is what leads to most problems. Like any corporation it is open to corruption, especially if directors are left in a position of "power" (which should never be the case) for longer than they are legally supposed to. This happens a lot. Bundle that with membership who have poor understanding of what a co-op is and all kinds of problems arise from illegal membership terminations due to personality conflicts to out and out monetary fraud."..."When someone commits a fraud like this they do not do that against an entity, on it's own, they do it against their fellow members. It's dispicable." (posted on September 11, 2017)

      "At our co-op the treasurer did mark her housing fees as paid for a year when they were not. Since no actual money was stolen it was a civil matter, which we eventually wrote off as a bad debt in our financials. A lot of co-ops are undergoing expensive upgrades in BC due to the age of the infrastructures, and with 2020 coming fast now is the time to get it done. Our did a 2 million dollar plus upgrade. A lot of money could be stolen in many ways. As you say though, it is hard to determine what happened with so little info in the article." (posted on September 11, 2017)

      It should be noted that others that include Ken (goodmoon)Hummel posted comments that were also deleted below this article in regards to the Halston Hills housing co-operative located in Burnaby, British Columbia. Ken will continue to monitor the internet for any further updates on this news story for additional information.


      Delete
  2. A person frustrated, and dismayed about what is happening at a housing co-op goes onto social media in April 2017 and shares some detail with the following claims that I quote from posted on social media: ..."The Board Members of this Co-Op need to be investigated for fraud."..."The Co-Op Board are scammers"..."There are Units in this building for folks on Housing Connections List. But the Board gives these Units to their friends instead."..."Members of the Board in these Co-Ops give the Units geared for Housing Conn Applicants to friends/families. They get away with it"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay replied to information on social media in July 2017 to some Politician's, housing, and co-op housing lobbyist. Ken quotes Kay's replies from social media..."I'm all for social housing. We need more of it. I've worked in nonprofit run by the Masons. Very well run. But co-ops are not."..."I worked as an independent coordinator and also for a firm that managed only co-ops. No difference in issues."..."most Boards made up of people who have no idea what they're doing. Property Mngt. firms don't care as long as they're getting 50$ a door"..."Many deep core subsidies were fraudulent. "Members", Boards uncooperative in providing proper financial info. Not enough gov oversight."

      Delete
  3. Information in the following comments that also include excerpts from some published articles help explain what's going on in the co-op housing sector in Canada, and the United States...

    This Magazine article "Tear the house down A Call For Co-operative Housing Reform" dated January 6, 2015 and written by Josh Hawley

    ..."confusion has created a sector which is barely understood by many in it, let alone those on the outside.. As a result, this sector is largely left to its own devices to regulate and manage itself"...

    "Jeff Schlemmer, executive director at Neighbourhood 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"..."according to Schlemmer,it's more accurate to think of them as "subcontracted providers of government social services." many residents have not made a wilful 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."..."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."...

    "Although eviction may be the terminal fear for some members, it is far from the only consequence of the procedural unfairness that plagues co-ops. Many liken their experience to being continually bullied and victimized."...

    "Members who raise concerns with the lack of oversight and issues of governance in co-op housing are often given the runaround or subsequently targeted as dissidents."...

    This entire article can be accessed through a link provided on the Co-op Housing Information Exchange(CHIE)

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    1. Ontario Superior Court of Justice - May 2015

      Stephen O' Brian v Blue Heron Co-operative Homes Inc.

      "ENDORSEMENT"
      "5. Housing co-ops can best be seen as a cross between Animal Farm and lord of the Flies. Control often does not rest with Members but with a Board of Directors, managers, cliques, and union-style housing sector groups. Co-Ops are also dominated by rank favoritism, endemic factionalism, overarching self-interest and an "Us vs. Them" mentality. At times, they eerily resemble a cult."

      This court case is linked and can be located near the end of this blog

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    2. Co-operative Member Advocacy Network - January 14, 2007

      "How Gneiss Housing Co-op Continues to slam" (I've redacted the names)

      "After five months of non communication from the co-op. in essence they've ignored every effort I've made to co-operative, comply and every effort on their part not to show common decency and courtesy to a family"...

      "In court on October 27"...an application in stead of a motion and to return"..."preferring a date after the November 13th election/general membership meeting."

      "Initially ignoring my pleas for an appeal relating to an eviction notice the co-op graciously has granted me: Five minutes before the general membership
      I must come alone
      The date is set for November 13th when the co-op was well aware my legal representation would be extremely busy"...

      "If quorum is not present the boards decision to evict stays , and if there is quorum most of the representatives of the board and of the membership have been placed in a position of fear for their own homes if they don't vote accordingly with the board of directors decision

      I don't feel I will get a fair hearing or appeal at the meeting on November 13th"...

      "There is no accountability by the Board to any federal, provincial or the Canadian Federation of Co-Op Housing, the Landlord or Tenant Act, or any other body. This board does not even have to answer to any of these people or laws. Just their own by laws which are not always followed."

      "They have accountability to CMHC, however as a mortgage holder, therefore they will not intervene unless there has been default on the mortgage and it's terms."...

      "There is a feeling amongst certain members of the co-op of harassment and coercion and oppression. This results in many members feeling fearful and unwilling to take any action."...

      "Other Board members are enticed to support the co-coordinators and president's decision view and outlooks. They are enticed with protection and subsidy and grants of free rents and renovations and upgrades on their units. This bribery creates hardship of members not in favor and keeps the board staked."

      "Previous attempts by other members to regain fair control of board have resulted in members leaving either by choice or eviction through harassment."...

      "This board is in distress and is run by inexperienced members who are not knowledgeable of proper board governance."

      "They are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars with no accountability of their actions or proper function, proper governance and each member's legal liability."...

      "Someone needs to help stop this senario pf "lord of the flies" or as we call it here in our coop Survior."


      The call for elections
      Attention All Members
      Re: Elections for the Board of Directors

      "The Election's will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2007 from 1:00 to 3:00pm."...

      "A list of members running for the Board will be handed out prior to the meeting on January 21, 2007."...

      "the call for elections"
      "If only you could read the apathy, nepotism, favoritism, oppression and fear that is written between the lines. You see, the present board is made up of our Coordinator's posse (family members, favorites) - She has been running this place like her own for almost 15 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

      By TruthIsChange for everyone Jan. 14, 07 12:00 AM

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    3. Ms. Jane Stillwater is a freelance writer and published author that has written about her experiences living in a housing co-op located in the United States.

      Some excerpts from a blog created by her on November 28, 2009 on smirkingchimp.com

      "My special "Survivor Savo Island" housing co-op newsletter"...

      "I've just been once again reminded that you've got to be a real survivor to live here -- and you certainly have to be able to outwit, outplay and outlast in order to survive if you are one of our management companies!"

      "As for myself, I've survived living at Savo Island Cooperative Homes for over 30 years now and have gone through so many "elimination ceremonies" here that I'm now one of the very few Survivors left out of the original group who arrived on the "Island" back in 1979."

      "57 families first moved into a brand new Savo Island back in 1979 and we were all so idealistic"..."And then, back in the 1980s, things changed"..."crack cocaine suddenly started appearing from out of nowhere, and it hit the streets of Berkeley like a ton of bricks. By 1984, Savo too started to have dealers and crack houses."

      "By the 1990s, a lot of Savo's original residents had left -- either to by houses in the suburbs or to go off to jail -- and alot of new residents moved in (a lot of them being relatives of a group of new board members who took over the board in approximately the mid-1990s and began to run Savo Island with an iron hand)...

      "In the 2000s, the big thing here at Savo was rehab. And I've fought tooth and nail for this rehab to finally get completed, starting back in 2001"...

      "there's apparently been a secret alliance between other tribe members now on the board which keeps trying to vote me out of the game. So far, my rent has been raised illegally, the board majority has called six (6) different executive sessions to try to figure out how to get me off the board, I've been given two illegal eviction notices"...But I'm still here"...

      "But my own survival skills here are noting compared to the survival skills of Savo Island's various past management companies. So far, we've watched fourteen (14) different management companies come and go. Dealing with Savo Island's self-interested board of directors has been a real challenge that most management companies avoid us, and savo apparently has such a bad reputation in the local property-management industry that only the bravest companies are willing to try to take us on."...

      "So on December 31, 2009, I'm going to have to say goodbye to our current management company, with tears in my eyes -- because "The tribe has spoken"...

      "And our next management company (number 15) starts work at Savo Island on January 1, 2010. They too are an excellent management company"..."And I wonder how long they too will last on the "Island"? But whatever happens, I will do whatever I can help this new company avoid elimination -- just like I have done for the past 14 other management company "Survivors" before them."...

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  4. opednews.com

    Some excerpts from a blog created by Jane Stillwater on June 25, 2007

    "My latest housing co-op newsletter: The special "Pirates of Savo Island" issue"

    "Note 1: Why is this essay being posted on OpEd News? At first glance, it seems to be rater small-potatoes and too personal in nature to be a full-fledged news item. But these people in my housing co-op are doing the exact same thing locally that Bush, Cheney, etc. are doing nationally -- they are considering government resources to be their own personal entitlement and violating all sorts of rules that apply to the rest of us but don't apply to them because somehow they are above all the rules."

    "According to them, only we peons need to obey rules. Humph. The latest development at my housing co-op, which is on the verge of bankruptcy"...

    "There be sharks in the waters off the coast of Savo Island. Beware! The Boson: Arrgh! These pirates don't even get along with their fellow pirates!"...

    "The Pirates of Savo Island are in for a fight! And be aware! Don't ever try to cross swards with me or my family or you WILL be cut adrift."

    Ms. Stillwater's entire blogs about her housing co-op can be accessed through links provided on CHIE. Author's Bio: Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She has recently published a book entitled, "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips For Touring Today's Middle East"...

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