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Old 04-09-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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Hi, I am new to this forum and I was looking for information about the co-op housing in Vancouver. I was on the official website www.chf.bc.ca and I found the idea of the co-op housing very attractive for middle income families with children. Is there anybody in this forum who can tell more about co-ops and what are the conditions actually. All my information is from the official website and I was hoping to get an opinion from an "insider" as I am considering to apply in the near future.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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I don't know what they are like in Van but here in Ontario they are really great. One of my daughters her hubby and two kids lived in one and they had no complaints at all. Check them out yourself. Go to the co-op and talk to the people that live there.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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Thank you lucknow. We will definitely check with the co-ops directly. I have the list ready.
Does anybody have an idea what is the approximate waiting time (for non-subsidized apartments)?
Is it months or years?
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:55 AM
 
1,746 posts, read 4,793,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martusha View Post
Hi, I am new to this forum and I was looking for information about the co-op housing in Vancouver. I was on the official website Welcome to the Co-op Housing Federation of BC and I found the idea of the co-op housing very attractive for middle income families with children. Is there anybody in this forum who can tell more about co-ops and what are the conditions actually. All my information is from the official website and I was hoping to get an opinion from an "insider" as I am considering to apply in the near future.
I've heard, co-op housing is very popular in Vancouver. Interesting topic. I'd like to learn more about co-op housing, as well.

I hope, more people on this forum have knowledge about co-op housing who would share their experiences. How do those co-ops operate? Do you have to follow particular rules and be an active member of the community? How does it work? What do Vancouverites think about co-op living? Would you live in a co-op or rather not?
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:37 PM
 
71 posts, read 162,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martusha View Post
Hi, I am new to this forum and I was looking for information about the co-op housing in Vancouver. I was on the official website www.chf.bc.ca and I found the idea of the co-op housing very attractive for middle income families with children. Is there anybody in this forum who can tell more about co-ops and what are the conditions actually. All my information is from the official website and I was hoping to get an opinion from an "insider" as I am considering to apply in the near future.

It's not a bad option. I lived in one for awhile a decade ago. The rent will be cheaper than the comparable place that's a non co-op. Also, they fix your unit when needed and generally the units are nicer than the regular for rent places. For families with kids it's a great option!

Takes few years getting into some of them. Of course, some are better than others - make sure you know which ones are good...
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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Thank you for the response Stateblue. Did you live in Vancouver co-op?
My family is in a process of relocating from New York to Vancouver. My husband is already there studying at UBC/looking for a job and I am still in NY working. We have a 2.5 year old son and we are exploring alternative housing options as Vancouver real estate can compete with NY. The salaries though are way below those in NY. It's going to be tough.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
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You mentioned non-subsidized, so your application shouldl go to the top of the pile. I'd have your husband (near UBC) check out what's near. Co-ops tend to be self-replicating; that is, a certain type of client rolls through the units. If you source the westside, near UBC you'll probably do just fine.
You should be careful or you will get in and find it's not a good fit, expecially for your child.

I owned a moving company for ten years and saw a LOT of coop issues from all sides.

I'd check out the Olympic housing; the city of Vancouver is going to be really pushing to get revenue out of those units, and it's a whole new game in town.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Thank you Thewightguy for the suggestions. This is very helpful.
I actually already looked up the list with all the co-ops in Vancouver. We will go the co-ops and will try to figure out which are better. Do you have some recommendations what to pay attention to.
Yes, you are right. We are looking for non-subsidized co-ops, so we shouldn't wait that long, right?
We are actually looking for Kitsilano co-ops. We love that area.
Olympic housing looks really nice too, but the Kitsilano is on the top of our list
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:56 PM
 
71 posts, read 162,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martusha View Post
Thank you Thewightguy for the suggestions. This is very helpful.
I actually already looked up the list with all the co-ops in Vancouver. We will go the co-ops and will try to figure out which are better. Do you have some recommendations what to pay attention to.
Yes, you are right. We are looking for non-subsidized co-ops, so we shouldn't wait that long, right?
We are actually looking for Kitsilano co-ops. We love that area.
Olympic housing looks really nice too, but the Kitsilano is on the top of our list

Kits is on top of most people lists that's why it's super expensive to buy there.
There are some co-ops there so worth checking out. Especially if you guys are not subsidized, this will make it easier to get into a co-op.
I lived in Richmond which has many co-ops alas, it's further from UBC than Kits.

I wouldn't go with Olympic Village - it has had many issues, and the construction quality is poor, many problems have been reported so I would stay away. And it ain't cheap. Even after the recent price reduction, it is still overpriced considering it's in the not-so-good area and negative publicity.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
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What everyone else has said.

Peronally, I find Olympic Village too claustraphobic, buildings too close together and yes, lots of negative feedback, pour construction, etc.

I like the co-ops around Granville Island, not exactly sure of the addresses, but one on Lamey's Mill Rd and think Amber Place? .. both in the Kits area.

The bigger one on Amber .. has 4 buildings, closer together than I'd like, but still enough space for good air flow and gorgeous gardens and walkways everywhere. It's actually on the seawall walkway that you can walk or bike all the way to UBC. Lots of activity oing on.

I'm familiar with the one of Lamey's .. seems well run, and always friendly. Unlike an apt, it definitley has a real community feel to it where everyone looks out for each other. Whenever something needs fixing, it gets fixed. Also keep up on maintenance well, replace hot water heaters, cupboard and rug upgrades, that kind of thing.

Joining a co-op means putting a certain amount down, which you are supposed to get back if and when you leave providing the place is in good condition. Back when I joined a co-op twenty years ago, the amount was either $1,000 or $1,200. Not sure of today's prices?

Like Dwight mentioned, they try to keep a co-op balanced with people on subsidy and people working who are making decent money. There's a ceiling, high and low, how it's balanced financially. It makes it so it's affordable for everyone involved .. the people paying the most still find it's lower than normal rent, and it enables elderly retirees to afford it also.

Suggest that you get your names on the lists asap. There may be a long wait list, but again, pretty sure they pick and choose accordingly, to balance financially. The place I eventually got into after only six months of waiting, had a three or four year wait-list. They go down the list and if little or no response, they carry on to the next one. You could get chosen earlier than anticipated.

Being a co-op means the members all help out in various ways, ie gardening committee, secretarial, maintenance, etc. This one in particular, everyone must take a turn vacuuming the hallways, but it comes up very seldom .. unless you're disabled or elderly. Same on the committees.

The co-op usually likes at least ten hrs a month of your time on whatever committee you choose to be on. Five was a little frowned upon. Found that certain meetings would arise .. the general, then the committee meeting, and maybe some other impromptu meeting.

I worked an early, physically demanding job and the last thing I felt like when I got home was pushing the lawn mower around. and I'm not a meeting type person. but it was a nice place to live (north vancouver - long ways from UBC). I was single at the time and it always had a safe environment - feel to it. Great for families.

In the end, figured if I put $10/hr to the ten hours they'd like volunteered, then you could actually put $100 extra to somewhere more to your liking .. so for the lower rent, you make up for it in time is where I'm going.

I like the co-op feel of community, any that I've had experience with have had a nice mix of people, young and old and friendly.

Important for sure, where you look. If you can find anything around the Granville Island to UBC area, sounds like where you'd like to live.

Last edited by stone-ground; 04-14-2011 at 03:03 PM..
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