Joining Our Community
To become a Co-Op member you will need to understand what a housing Cooperative is, and what we would expect from you as a member. Please review the information below so you understand the commitment you would be making.
What are the Co-Op expectations?
A housing co-operative is a collection of people living and working to create a wholesome and caring community. Each member has a vote in how their living environment is run, as well as a responsibility to ensure that the goals of the co-op are achieved. Our co-op is essentially a business, and all members are expected to share in the workload of running and maintaining it. All members have specific assignments relating to organizing and carrying out responsibilities relating to the co-op. Members meet monthly in various meetings to organize and carry out co-op business. Everyone is responsible for ensuring that their surroundings are kept in order and tidy. Information regarding significant changes in your household, including household members, employment status, new pets, or different vehicle, need to be forwarded to the Membership committee. Members are responsible for the conduct of their visitors and household members.
Who owns the co-op?
Members own the co-op through purchasing shares and paying monthly housing charges. To join a co-op, shares must be purchased in advance of move in. These shares are purchased back by the co-op when the member vacates (prorated against any monies owing to the co-op or property damages).
Housing Unit Information:
The co-op offers 57 market value two and three bedroom townhouse units. A small number of these units are subsidized thru BC Housing. There are currently no subsidized units available.
Two bedroom unit: $1,040 per month – 1,480 square feet (sqft.) – $40,400 per year combined household income required – $2,080 Share Purchase Price. Full bathroom, balcony, enclosed yard, fridge, stove, one parking stall per unit.
Three bedroom unit: $1,140 per month – 1,530 square feet (sqft.) – $44,400 per year combined household income required – $2,280 Share Purchase Price. Full bathroom, main floor 1⁄2 bathroom, balcony on alcove units, enclosed yard, fridge, stove, one parking stall per unit. Hot water heating and basic cablevision is included in the monthly housing charges. Electricity, phone and internet are not included.
A sector support levy is included in the monthly housing charges. This levy funds the work of the Co-operative Housing Foundation of Canada. Any change in housing charges are voted on voted on by the membership.
Do I have to join a committee?
Yes! To be a member in good standing with the co-op, every unit must have at least one adult member on a committee.
Garden Square Committees:
Participation is what keeps our co-op working. As stated above., it is mandatory that at least one adult from every household is a member of a committee – there is a committee for every interest! These are the current committees in our co-op.
Board of Directors – Works in conjunction with our management team (CANA Management) to ensure the co-op is running as well as possible.
Maintenance – Looks after the repairs maintenance of the units and grounds.
Membership – Arranges move in/out inspections, interviews potential members and welcomes new members into our community.
Recreation – Arranges parties and celebrations. Booking the common room for various functions. Handles food and refreshments for work parties.
Task – Assigns jobs to every unit so our community is well kept and clean. Monitors and follows up with these assignments.
Pool – Maintains our poor and makes sure we can all swim safely.
Each household is also assigned a minimum of one task towards running the co-op. Tasks are assigned for common property maintenance such as lawn care, sidewalk maintenance, and common room cleaning.
Task assignments and sign ups are held quarterly. The task committee will contact you regarding any responsibilities you might have.
Is the co-op pet friendly?
Yes. One domestic animal (dogs up to 20 inches tall or a cat). The Co-op Pet Policy outlines the restrictions that apply for the health, safety and comfort of all members. Requirements include proof of spaying/neutering, vaccinations and licensing with the city. We are unable to accept exotic pets.
How do I become a member?
Download the application form, complete it and then return via email, or regular mail……
After the application has been received, the membership committee will file the application in the order received. When a unit becomes available, a Membership Committee representative will contact applicants on the wait list to arrange interviews. At least two Membership Committee members will be present to conduct the interview. This is an opportunity for the co-op to learn more about you, and for the applicants to learn more about us.
After the interviews, recommendations will be made to the Board of Directors, who will determine by vote, whether or not to extend membership to any or all of the applicants recently interviewed. Recommendations will be based on several key factors, such as verification of employment and income, reference checks with employers, previous landlords and a credit check. A sense of how well the applicants would fit into the GSHC community is also important. Past volunteering is considered an asset and a willingness to participate in co-op life is essential.
What should I do to prepare for my interview with the Membership committee?
* Be prepared to bring copies of last year’s T-4 earnings and your last three pay stubs
* Be prepared with your questions about the co-op’s activities, expectation of members or its governing
* Consider which co-op committees you would be most interested in serving on
* Explain what it means to you to live in a co-op and why you have chosen to apply to Garden Square
Application Credit Bureau check
We check the landlord and employment references of all applicants selected for interview. In addition, Credit Checks will be conducted on applicants submitted to Board for final approval. All personal information will be used in strict confidence to evaluate your application.
Each unit must provide proof of household insurance prior to move in and must read and understand the Occupancy Agreement, it is legal and binding. Members are responsible for notifying the Property committee of any damage to the unit by completing work requests. A 60 day notice is required for moving out.
To apply, download the membership application form the the download link below:
Complete the application, sign, scan and then return it via email to:
Or, return the application via Canada Post to:
Garden Square Housing Co-Operative
5116 Smith Ave.
Please note that both the applicant and co-applicants MUST sign and date the last page of this application. If there are any signatures missing, we will be unable to accept the application.