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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.
referral agreement A written agreement between a co‑op and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. It binds the co‑op to accept applicants referred by the local housing corporation. The agreement sets out the conditions for referrals.
regional housing program office (RHPO) The regional branches of the Ontario governments housing ministry.
regulations Detailed rules put in place under the authority of government legislation, such as the Social Housing Reform Act in Ontario. The authorizing act sets out who can make the regulations. Most regulations need Cabinet approval. Others need only a minister's approval.
Regulator The public authority or agency that holds co‑ops accountable for their obligations under their funding program. In Canada, regulators include the Agency for Co‑operative Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, provincial government ministries, and in Ontario, municipal service managers.
rehabilitation (rehab) Improving or renovating an existing building.
Relationship manager See portfolio management officer
rent-supplement program A government program that helps co‑ops house low-income members. These households pay a fixed portion of their income towards their housing charge. The rent supplement makes up the difference between what the member pays and the co‑ops normal charge. The assistance is paid directly to the co‑op. See also Community-Sponsored Housing Program (Ontario), income-tested assistance (ITA), Ontario Community Housing Assistance Program, rent-geared-to-income (RGI) and subsidy.
rent-geared-to-income (RGI) The reduced housing charge a person of low or modest income pays. The payment is based on the households income. See also income-tested assistance, rent supplement program and subsidy.
rent-geared-to-income subsidy The difference between the reduced charge a person of low or modest income pays and the co‑ops full housing charge or, in SHRA co‑op, the indexed benchmark rent (formerly, "project occupancy charge").
Rent subsidies See rent-geared-to-income subsidy. See also income-tested assistance, rent supplement program and subsidy.
replacement reserve Money that a co‑op or non-profit group sets aside in a fund to make major repairs or replace worn-out capital items such as roofs, furnaces, stoves, refrigerators, carpets and plumbing. Also called capital reserve. Project operating agreements and, for SHRA co‑op, the Social Housing Reform Act set out rules on spending and investing the funds.
replacement reserve plan A plan setting out
CMHC uses the term to mean a three-year replacement reserve plan approved by CMHC. A co‑op with an approved plan has greater control over building up and spending its reserve.
Requisition a formal written request from the members of a co‑op for the board of directors to call a general meeting of the members. Rules for requisitions are in provincial or territorial co‑op acts.
Reserve Fund Forecast Part of a capital reserve plan. The forecast projects how much needs to be spent to cover a buildings capital repairs and replacements, projects rates of return on investments and estimates the necessary funds to cover future costs.
reserves Money set aside for a special purpose. An example is a replacement reserve.
residency deposit See member deposit.
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) A CMHC program that helps building owners make major repairs to their buildings. CMHC may partly or completely forgive the loans. Some provinces share the costs with CMHC and deliver the program. Co‑ops can use one part of the program (RRAP - Disabled) to make units more accessible for people with disabilities. Many older co‑ops received RRAP funding when they first bought their properties.
Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) - The act that governs relations between landlords and tenants in Ontario. It deals with rent increases, evictions and other matters. In co‑ops, the act applies only to their tenants, that is, to non-member households.
resource group (RG) A community-based group that offers services that help a new co‑op or non-profit housing provider start up.
RG See resource group.
RGI See rent-geared-to-income.
RGI Subsidy See rent-geared-to-income subsidy.
RHPO See regional housing program office.
Risk rating See A technique used by the Agency for Co‑operative Housing to determine how stable a co‑operative is. The rating gives the Agency a way to measure a co‑operatives financial strength and helps the Agency assess a co‑ops capacity to pay its bills and provide housing of good quality. Annually, the Agency sets a composite risk rating for each co‑operative it administers.
Rooftops Canada An international development organization founded in 1984 by people active in the co‑op housing movement in Canada. Rooftops works with groups in Asia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean and eastern and central Europe to develop co‑op and community-based housing.
RTA - See Residential Tenancies Act
RUF See Risk Underwriting Fund.
rules Directions for the conduct of a co‑op or its members. Once the
Rules of association Directions for the conduct of a co‑op or its members. Once the co‑op's members have approved the rules, they have the force of law, except where they conflict with municipal by-laws or provincial or federal laws or codes. See also by-laws.
SACHA See Southern Alberta Co‑operative Housing Association.
SAF See Special Assistance Fund.
Section 34.18 Program See Section 61 Program.
Section 56.1 Program See Section 95 Program.
Section 61 Program A federal housing program for non-profits and co‑ops (1973-1978). The section number refers to the section of the National Housing Act that governs the program. The program was called the 34.18 program until the sections of the act were renumbered. Today, there are about 7,700 co‑op units under this program.
Section 95 Program Several federal housing programs funded under Section 95 (previously 56.1) of the National Housing Act. Co‑ops use the term to refer to the co‑op program that ran from 1979 to 1985. Today, there are about 39,000 co‑op units under this program.
sector One of three housing sectors:
Co‑ops use the term sector to mean the co‑op sector, referring to both co‑ops and people who are active in co‑op housing.
sector support The payment a co‑op could make under the Federal Co‑op Housing Program and the Ontario co‑op programs from capital funds to a co‑operative housing federation. These payments have helped CHF Canada and regional federations provide services to housing co‑ops. See also sector support levy.
security deposit See member deposit.
Security of Tenure Fund A fund to help co‑op members who may have trouble paying their housing charges because their income dropped after they moved in. Other conditions apply. FCHP co‑ops must keep such a fund.
service agreement An agreement between a service manager and local SHRA co‑op to delegate RGI administration to the co‑ops. The SHRA makes service managers responsible for RGI administration but lets them sign service agreements with co‑ops and other local housing providers to do the work.
service manager A municipal level of administration in Ontario. Service managers administer Ontario Works, child-care services and social-housing programs. There are 47 designated service-manager areas, including ten DSSABs, with HSA co ops in 31 of them. See also District Social Service Administration Board.
SHA See social housing agreement.
SHRA See Social Housing Reform Act.
SHRA co‑ops See HSA co‑op. Housing co‑ops that started up under housing programs of the Ontario government and are now administered by service managers under the provisions of the Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA). In 2012 the SHRA was replaced by the Housing Services Act. Co‑ops that were once called SHRA co‑ops are now called HSA co‑op. See also Ontario-program co‑op and provincial-program co‑op.
SHSC See Social Housing Services Corporation.
SHSC Financial Inc. The separate corporation set up by the Housing Services Corporation to oversee management of the investment program for the capital reserves of HSA housing providers. The Ontario Region nominates two representatives to the 15-person board of directors.
share The financial instrument a person must buy in most provinces to become a member of a co‑op. The shares give the co‑op working capital and the member occupancy and voting rights. When members of a non-profit co‑op move out, they sell their shares back to the co‑op at the price they paid for them. Some co‑ops add an amount to offset inflation. In co‑ops without shares, members pay a small one-time membership fee. They may also pay a member loan, member deposit, residency deposit or security deposit.
social housing agreement (SHA) An agreement between a province or territory and CMHC. The agreement gives the province or territory responsibility for federally funded social housing in return for a fixed amount of funding from CMHC each year. It replaces all housing agreements in place between the province and CMHC when signed. In some provinces, federal co‑ops were part of the transfer and in others they were not. See also devolution.
Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA) The SHRA (2000) cancelled the operating agreements of provincial-program housing providers in Ontario, set new program rules and gave over program administration to service managers. In 2012 the SHRA was replaced by the Housing Services Act.
Social Housing Services Corporation See Housing Services Corporation.
Social Housing Services Corporation (SHSC) Ontario's Social Housing Reform Act (2000) set up the SHSC to
The majority of SHSC directors represent service managers. Three non-profit, two co‑op and two provincial nominees also serve on the board.
Southern Alberta Co‑operative Housing Association (SACHA) The federation of housing co‑operatives in southern Alberta.
SPP - See Special Priority Policy
Special Assistance Fund (SAF) This CHF Canada fund makes or guarantees loans to member organizations that are unable to borrow money from commercial lenders and that meet other rules. Housing co‑ops may not borrow money through SAF. See also Risk Underwriting Fund.
special needs Disabilities or other difficulties people may have that call for special efforts by the co‑op to house them. For example, many co‑ops have units specially fitted up for people who use wheelchairs.
Special Priority Policy (SPP) - A rule in the HSA that requires HSA co‑ops to give priority to applicants who are leaving a situation of family abuse.
Stabilization Fund See Federal Co‑operative Housing Stabilization Fund.
Staff Association - An organization of co‑op housing staff, often employed directly by housing co‑ops. Staff associations provide education, networking and other services for its members. Also called staff organizations.
step-out A process that takes place in Section 95 (56.1) co‑ops. After the third year of operation, the predetermined assistance goes down each year by an amount equal to 5% of the co‑ops share of the mortgage payment. Step-out stops when the co‑op is paying the full mortgage payment from member housing charges. The amounts taken away from predetermined assistance are added to the co‑ops income-tested assistance.
Student Housing Program A federal loan program intended to add to the housing available for students. A change to the National Housing Act in 1964 allowed CMHC to lend mortgage money to co‑operative and charitable, as well as university-owned, student residences. As the program funded only 90% of the cost, the other 10% often had to be raised by means of a second mortgage.
subsidy For housing co‑ops, either
subsidy pool In Section 95 (56.1) co‑ops, the sum of money the co‑op gets from government each year to help low-income members pay their housing charges. See also income-tested-assistance and subsidy surplus fund.
subsidy reserve See subsidy surplus fund.
subsidy surplus fund The money Section 95 (56.1) co‑ops get from government each month to help low-income members pay their housing charges. Some funds not used by year end may be kept in the subsidy surplus fund to be used in future years. Anything above $500 per unit, plus interest, goes back to government. All interest earned on the fund must go into the fund. Also called "subsidy reserve."
surcharge A fee applied in addition to the market charge. Under the terms of the Section 61 Program, higher-income households may have to pay a surcharge. Surcharges also apply to higher-income members of FCHP co‑ops approved in 1991.
targeting plan An agreement between each SHRA co‑op and government that sets out the number of households of different income levels and the number of special-needs households the co‑op will house.
Tenant Protection Act (Ontario) (TPA) The act used to govern relations between landlords and tenants in Ontario. It was replaced by the Residential Tenancies Act.
TPA See Tenant Protection Act.
tripartite agreement A three-way agreement Section 61 (34.18) co‑ops in Ontario signed with the province and CMHC. This agreement sets out the terms on which these co‑ops have access to rent supplements. See also Community Sponsored Housing Program.
University Student Co‑operative Housing Fund This CHF Canada fund acts as a lender of last resort for co‑ops developing or operating student housing.
waiting list A list of households waiting for a suitable unit. Co‑ops usually keep an internal list and an external list. The internal list is for current members who want to move to another unit. The external list is for people who want to join the co‑op.