What is a co-op?

Co-op housing is not public housing. Co-ops are self-governed, mixed-income communities, home to people of all ages and backgrounds. To function properly co-ops depend on the participation of its members, and willingness to participate is a strong determinant of how we select our new members. Co-ops are also about building and fostering a positive and inclusive community.

How much do I need to participate?
Sojourn is made up of various volunteer committees including membership, finance, social, maintenance, gardening, Co-op Advocacy, and the board of directors. All members are expected to participate in at least one committee. The committees meet monthly and on average co-op participation requires about 2h to 6h of work per month per adult member. Time varies depending on the committee.

How often do suites come up?
It’s difficult to gauge that – it depends when someone moves out. For the past 5 years, on average we have been having a unit (usually 1 or 2 bedrooms) becoming available every 18 months (approximately). The best thing to do is submit your application and we will keep it on file. When a suite does come up for rent, the membership committe will select a dozen of candidates to attend an interview.

How are new members selected?

The process of admitting new members to Sojourn Housing Co-op is managed by the membership committee: a volunteer group of current co-op members. When a unit becomes available the committee carefully reviews all the active applications and selects a dozen of candidates to attend an individual hour-long interview with the committee. Because co-op living is based on community involvement and positive neighbourly relationships, prospective members are selected based on their willingness to positively contribute to our small community. We are seeking members whose values align with our mission and who are ready and able to participate. As a general rule, prospective members who fill out the 3rd page of the application outlining why they want to live in a co-op and what they can contribute tend to get invited to interviews more often than those who fail to fill that page.

How long should we be on the waitlist until we get offered a unit?

Unfortunately, because demand is much greater than units availability : a spot on the waitlist does not guarantee everyone will eventually get a unit offered. On average, our waitlist has about 80 active applicants per unit size ( that’s approx. 80 applicants for 1-bedrooms, 80 applicants for 2-bedrooms etc). Because co-op living is more than affordable housing and that community participation is one of the core principles, our selection process is mainly based on fit rather than time spent on the waitlist. If you are certain that co-op life is a good fit for you and are determined to make it happen, a good tip is to apply to multiple co-ops and to make sure to follow the process to keep your application active. Due to the high demand for this type of housing, most co-ops keep applications for one year, so make sure to keep yours active. Most, if not all, of our current co-op members, have applied to several co-ops to increase their chances. As an example, one member applied to 26 co-ops and was offered an interview with three different co-ops within 3 years of applying. Don’t let this information discourage you, spots do become available, just be aware that co-ops are about community, active participation, and that we are always excited to offer a unit to an individual (or group of individuals) who will contribute to our positive community! To increase your chances and to stand out do not skip the third page of our application explaining why you think co-op living is a good fit for you. To search for other co-ops that have open waitlists visit CHFBC.ca

What is it like to live at Sojourn?
We are a small, diverse and friendly community embracing people of any age, culture, ability, gender, lifestyle, sexual orientation, religion, belief, income or family unit. We have about the same amount of young children as there are seniors in the building. In the summer or after school kids play together in the backyard while parents can catch up. We have a community room with an large outdoors patio and summer days members meet there to enjoy a BBQ meal with their neighbours. About 4 times a year, there are community events to mark special occasions. This is positive community and a beautiful place to call home.

How many units are there?
There are 30-units at Sojourn, this includes:
1 bedrooms : 12 units
2 bedrooms : 15 units
3 bedrooms : 3 units

Do I own my unit?
Residents do not own their individual units. You apply and are accepted into a unit, which is allocated to you based on the number of people that will be living in it. If the number of people living in a unit changes, you will still be able to stay at the co-op but may need to change units within the building. For example, one person cannot live alone in a two bedroom unit.

What are the units like?
Sojourn was built in the early 80’s. The building is well maintained, but not fancy. Most units are carpeted, there is shared coin laundry on the main floor which has three washers and three dryers. Most units do not have dishwashers, but members can have one installed at their own expense.

Can I renovate?
Members can chose renovate, but any renovation work has to be reviewed and approved by the maintenance Committee. Examples of renovations that were approved by the maintenante Committee in the recent years : removing carpet and installing hard word floor, installing a dishwasher.

Is there subsidy available?
As of December 2020, susbsidies are not available. But there are 5 units that are currently subsidized and should one become available we maintain a waitlist for subsidized units.

Minimum Financial Requirements
The minimum household income required for a small 1-bedroom is $40,480 and $41,520 for a large 1-bedroom.
The minimum household income required for a small 2-bedrooms is $44,560 and $53,200 for a large 2-bedroom.
The minimum household income required for a 3-bedrooms is $61,920.

How long will you keep my application on file?
We will keep your application on file for one year, but there is one important date to keep in mind :
Every August, the membership commitee does an audit of all the applications that were received throughout the past 12 months. To remain active on the waitlist, we ask that those who have applied on or before March 31st send an updated application form during the month of July, ensuring that it arrives by August 1st. Due to the volume of applications we receive, applicants who fail to send an updated application by that date, will unfortunately be removed from the waitlist.
Special Exception :
Applications dated between March 31st and August 1st, will be kept on file until August 1st of the following year. An updated application is only required by August 1st of the following year.

What does the rent include?
The monthly charge includes hydro. It does not include internet or cable.
Note : we have a co-op rebate on internet and basic high speed internet is available for co-op members starting at 35$

Is there any parking?
Yes, there is an underground parking for cars and bicycles

Is there any storage?
Each unit has a small storage locker available in a secure area of the parking garage.