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CHF Canada is grateful to the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Toronto for allowing us to borrow from Words, Words, Words: The Co‑op Housing Dictionary. We also thank the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association for letting us draw on their website glossary.
Scroll down to browse the glossary, or use the alphabetical index to jump directly to the section you want.
maintenance guarantee — See member deposit.
manageable costs — The operating costs that a HSA co‑op has some control over. Manageable costs include salaries and benefits, maintenance materials and services, bad debt, and administration costs, such as professional services and office supplies.
mandate — A formal decision by a housing co‑op to house a specific group of people, such as seniors or special-needs households, in some or all of its units. Rules about mandates for HSA co‑ops are set out in the Housing Services Act.
mandatory payment — The annual drop in mortgage subsidy paid to a SHRA co‑op by the service manager. Not really a payment, it was like bridge-subsidy withdrawal in the earlier Ontario co‑op program. The mandatory payment is set by formula. The funding model was changed by regulations released in September 2007. The mandatory payment provision was cancelled effective in those fiscal years beginning January 1, 2008 and later.
Manitoba Co‑op Homestart Program — A Manitoba housing program that ran from 1986 to 1992. It helped co‑ops and other housing groups renovate and convert existing buildings to housing co‑ops.
market charge — Co‑ops use this term to mean either
Also called “market rent.” See also maximum housing charge.
market housing charge — See market charge.
market rent — See market charge.
Market rent index (MRI) — An index set by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, based on the rent increase guideline and the percentage change in the average rents in a district as reported by CMHC. HSA co‑ops use the index in the annual calculation of subsidy and RGI subsidy.
maximum reduction in federal assistance — The largest amount by which the operating assistance from CMHC can fall after year 15 of an FCHP (ILM) co‑op's operations. The cut may happen all in one year or over some years. See also year 16.
member — In CHF Canada or a federation, an organization accepted into membership by the board of directors. In a housing co‑op, a person accepted into membership by the board of directors. Such a member has
member deposit — A sum of money a co‑op holds while the member household lives in the co‑op. The co‑op may keep some or all of the deposit if the unit is not clean and free of damage or if there are housing-charge arrears when the household moves out. Most co‑ops do not pay interest on these deposits. Some co‑ops call the deposit a “maintenance guarantee,” “residency deposit” or “security deposit.” See also member loan and share.
member loan — A sum of money lent to a housing co‑op as a condition of membership. The loan is returned to the member on move-out. Most co‑ops do not pay interest on member loans. See also member deposit and share.
member involvement – The active and voluntary involvement of co‑op members in the governance of their housing co‑ops. Member involvement in governance includes making sure that the co‑op runs according to co‑op principles, meets all the responsibilities of membership, supports good governance, principled leadership and sound management, attends and participates in membership meetings.
member share — See share.
members’ meeting — Where members come together to discuss and make decisions on co‑op issues. Each member has one vote.
MemberTel™ — See Business MemberTel™.
MIF — See Mortgage Insurance Fund.
See also minimum rent.
Ministry of Community and Social Services (Ontario) (MCSS or COMSOC) — The ministry that deals with
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Ontario) (MMAH) — The Ontario ministry that deals with
Minutes – the official written record of a meeting.
MNP — See municipal non-profit.
modified unit — A unit in a housing co‑op that has been modified to be used by a person with a physical disability or to allow a person with a physical disability to live independently.
Mortgage — A loan secured by real property. Most Canadian housing co‑ops obtained mortgages from private lenders or Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to buy or build the co‑op. The funding program sets out how the mortgage must be repaid.
mortgage insurance — A guarantee to a mortgage lender to pay the outstanding loan amount if the borrower does not repay the loan.
Mortgage Insurance Fund (MIF) — A pool of funds at CMHC made up of mortgage insurance premiums paid by borrowers and money earned from their investment. CMHC uses the pool to support its mortgage guarantees to lenders. The MIF may lend money to a co‑op to solve financial or building problems if the loan will prevent or cure a mortgage default.
mortgage subsidy — The subsidy that was from a service manager that was needed to bridge the gap between the part of its mortgage a SHRA co‑op could afford to pay (affordable mortgage payment) and the full mortgage payment. The amount of mortgage subsidy was set in the benchmark year and went up or down when the mortgage payment changed. See also bridge subsidy.
The funding model for SHRA co‑ops was changed, effective for fiscal years beginning January 1, 2008 and later and the term mortgage subsidy is no longer used. See operating subsidy.
MRI - See Market rent index
MSM — See service manager.
municipal non-profit (MNP) — Non-profit housing owned and run by a municipality. It provides housing for low- and moderate-income people.
municipal service manager — See service manager.
NACHA — See Northern Alberta Co‑operative Housing Association.
National Housing Act (NHA) — The act that sets out the federal government role in housing. It provides the authority for the three formal federal co‑op housing programs, as well as the Student Housing Program and the Federal/Provincial Housing Program.
NHA — See National Housing Act.
non-profit housing — Housing owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis. Usually, but not always, funded under a government housing program, it provides housing for low- and moderate-income people. See also municipal non-profit, non-profit housing co‑operative, and private non-profit.
non-profit housing co‑operative — Housing jointly owned and run by its resident members. It provides housing at or near cost in a community setting. If there is a surplus, the co‑op may use it to
If a non-profit co‑op dissolves, its net assets must go to a non-profit or charitable organization.
Northern Alberta Co‑operative Housing Association (NACHA) — The federation of housing co‑operatives in northern Alberta.
occupancy agreement — A contract between the co‑op and the members in a household that
occupancy charge — See housing charge.
OCHAP — See Ontario Community Housing Assistance Program.
ODSP — See Ontario Disability Support Program.
OHC — See Ontario Housing Corporation.
OMSSA — See Ontario Municipal Social Services Association.
On Co‑op - See Ontario Co‑operative Association
ONPHA — See Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.
ONPHP — See Ontario Non-Profit Housing Program.
Ontario Community Housing Assistance Program (OCHAP) — A program started by the Ontario government in 1981. It helps Section 95 (56.1) co‑ops and non-profits house people who need rent-geared-to-income assistance. The Ontario government transferred the co‑op part of the program to the federal government on April 1, 2001.
Ontario Co‑operative Association (On Co‑op) - The provincial association representing the broad English-speaking co‑operative movement in Ontario.
Ontario Disability Support Program (Ontario) (ODSP) — The Ontario government program that replaced the Guaranteed Annual Income Support for the Disabled (GAINS-D).
Ontario Housing Corporation (OHC) — A crown corporation of the Ontario government set up to oversee the province’s public housing. Fifty-four local housing authorities managed these units, which were built from the 1950s up to the mid-1970s. On January 1, 2001, Ontario turned over ownership and control of public housing to local housing corporations.
Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) — The provincial organization that brings together and represents municipal social-services staff.
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Program (ONPHP) — See Project 10,000.
Ontario Region — See CHF Canada, Ontario Region.
Ontario Works (OW) — The Ontario social assistance program that replaced Family Benefits Assistance (FBA) and General Welfare Assistance (GWA). See also Ministry of Community and Social Services (Ontario).
Ontario-program co‑ops — Housing co‑ops that started up under housing programs of the Ontario government. The Social Housing Reform Act (2000) cancelled the operating agreements of Ontario-program co‑ops, set new program rules and gave administration of the program over to service managers. See also provincial-program co‑op and SHRA co‑op.
operating agreement — A contract between a co‑op or non-profit housing provider and government. It sets out the rights and obligations of both parties. Also called the “project operating agreement.”
operating subsidy — Funds provided by government to a co op or non-profit housing provider to help it meet its mortgage and operating costs. See also bridge subsidy, federal assistance, interest-reduction grant, mortgage subsidy and predetermined assistance.
HSA co ops use the term subsidy. It is the difference between indexed benchmark costs plus mortgage costs plus property tax costs and indexed benchmark revenues.
Organizational By-law or Rule — The rules set by the members about how the co‑op will operate.
over-housed — The term used for a household living in a co‑op home with more bedrooms than allowed by provincial legislation or the co‑op's by-laws or operating agreement with government. See also under-housed.
OW (pronounced as two letters) — See Ontario Works.
participation — Members participate when they share the responsibility of running the co‑op. Some examples of participation are
The historical model of mandatory participation, with its focus on enforcement, has created some challenges for co‑ops. Since the late 1980s the sector has promoted a more positive concept of member involvement as being key to successful democratic functioning and a healthy community.
Peel-Halton Co‑operative Housing Federation (PH-CHF) — The federation of housing co‑ops in the Peel-Halton region of Ontario, including the cities of Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton.
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) — the federal law that sets out the co‑op’s duties to protect personal information collected by the co‑op. Some provinces such as Alberta and BC have their own privacy legislation that meets PIPEDA’s standards.
PH-CHF — See Peel-Halton Co‑operative Housing Federation.
PID — See project in difficulty.
plain language — A way of presenting information so that it is easy to read and understand. It uses
PNP — See private non-profit.
policies — Rules co‑op members set for themselves as a group. Usually they deal with such matters as parking, arrears and pets. Some co‑ops pass by-laws or rules instead of policies.
portfolio management officer — The contact person usually appointed for each co‑op by the federal or provincial funding body. Some provinces and service managers use the term “housing administrator.” The Agency uses the term "relationship manager". "Social housing consultant" is also used.
portfolio officer — See portfolio management officer.
predetermined assistance — Assistance to Section 95 (56.1) co‑ops to help them pay their mortgage. After a co‑op’s first three years, the assistance drops each year until the co‑op is making the whole mortgage payment without help. Co‑ops call this process “step-out.” Most Section 95 co‑ops no longer receive predetermined assistance. Sometimes called “interest-reduction grant.”
private non-profit (PNP) — Non-profit housing owned by a non-governmental group, such as a church, ethnic group, service club, labour union or local community group.
procedures — A process for carrying out a by-law or policy. By-laws and policies say what must be done. Procedures say how it is to be done. Usually, the board of directors approves procedures. Members must approve by-laws and policies.
program rules — rules that co‑ops must follow according to the government housing program they were developed under.
Project 3000 — A not-for-profit housing program started up in Ontario in 1986. This program aimed to serve
Fewer than 100 co‑op units were funded under this program. The Social Housing Reform Act (2000) cancelled the operating agreements of Project 3000 co‑ops, set new program rules and gave administration of the program over to service managers. In 2012, the Social Housing Reform Act was replaced by the Housing Services Act.
Project 3600 — A not-for-profit housing program started up in Ontario in 1986 with the goal of developing 3,600 co‑op and non-profit homes. About 600 co‑op units were funded under the program. The Social Housing Reform Act (2000) cancelled the operating agreements of Project 3600 co‑ops, set new program rules, and gave administration of the program over to service managers.
Project 10,000 Ontario Non-Profit Housing Program — A not-for-profit housing program started up in Ontario in 1991 with the goal of funding 10,000 housing units. About 3,700 co‑op units were funded under this program. The Social Housing Reform Act (2000) cancelled the operating agreements of Project 10,000 co‑ops, set new program rules and gave administration of the program over to service managers.
project occupancy charge (POC) — The highest rent (housing-charge) level, in the earlier Ontario co‑op program, to which the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing would pay a rent-geared-to-income subsidy. It was often, but not always, the same as the market charge. Although the Social Housing Reform Act replaced this program with a new funding model, some Ontario municipalities continue to use this term.
project operating agreement — See operating agreement.
property tax subsidy — Part of the operating subsidy a SHRA co‑op gets to make its housing charges affordable in earlier years. The amount of property-tax subsidy is set in the first year, based on the amount of property taxes due, and goes up or down when the property taxes change. Called a pass-through, it protects co‑ops from the immediate effects of changes in property taxes.
Provincial Housing Program — The new name for Homes BC, the not-for-profit housing program of British Columbia. The program is administered by the British Columbia Housing Management Commission.
provincial-program co‑op — A co‑op developed under a program funded or cost-shared by a provincial government. In Ontario these programs include
public housing — Housing built under a federal public-housing program and originally owned wholly by a province or by a partnership of the federal and provincial or territorial governments. In Ontario, public housing is now owned by local housing corporations.