The Application Process
Are You Eligible?
It’s important to remember that each housing co-op has its own application process, and has approved its own membership criteria. Contact the co-op that interests you to find out how their application process will work.
During the application process, you can expect the following:
Many co-ops hold regular information meetings where you will find out more about that co-op, can ask questions, and can pick up an application.
The co-op will complete a credit check and landlord check to make sure that you meet their membership criteria.
The adults within the applicant household (usually anyone over the age of 16) may be asked to take part in an interview with co-op members or staff. You will also have explained to you your rights and responsibilities of living in your co-op.
You may be placed on a waiting list if no units are available at the time you apply.
The co-op will consider your application based on criteria that will always include: agreeing to take good care of your home, a willingness to live in a diverse community, and most important: demonstrated financial responsibility. The co-op will always check references as part of your application.
During the application and/or interview process, it’s ok to ask questions. Co-op staff or member selection committee members will be happy to explain how the co-op works, and any specific rules about parking, pets, noise, smoking, etc.
What if I am looking for a subsidy?
If you are looking for a Rent Geared-to-Income (RGI) subsidy, or a Below Market Rent (BMR) subsidy, there is a special process to follow. When contacting a co-op, you should first mention that you are looking for a subsidy so that they can give you the correct information about the steps to follow. Many co-ops operate under the Housing Services Act (HSA), so they will refer you to the Social Housing Registry of Ottawa at (613) 526-2088 to put your name on the centralized waiting list for Ottawa. The Registry can give you more information about the application process and how long you can expect to wait.
The co-ops who use the Social Housing Registry can be found in CHASEO’s Co-op Housing Information Package (pdf).
Other co-ops manage their own waiting list for RGI subsidy. Again, when you contact these co-ops, you should mention that you are seeking subsidy. They will let you know whether their waiting list for subsidy is open or closed. The co-op may only take your name and contact information, or they may ask you to complete the application at the time of your call. Once your name is first on the list, the co-op will contact you to complete the application process explained above.