View Court Housing Co-op
View Court is a friendly, quiet, mutually supportive
and diverse community of individuals, working together to maintain
and develop a secure and independent home for all of us.
Formed as a self-managed housing co-operative
since 1980, View Court comprises 32 suites in two characterful
buildings dating from early in the last century, and is located
at 12 West Tenth Avenue in Vancouver. Suites are in various
sizes: small bachelors, several sizes of one-bedroom suite,
and two two-bedroom suites in the house next door to the main
building. As a housing co-operative under Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation rules, View Court is owned and operated
by its membership. Budgets, housing charges, and general policies
and procedures are established by twice-yearly general meetings
of the membership, and carried out by the Board of Directors
and three committees: Finance, Maintenance, and Membership.
Facilities include a very attractive backyard with a garden;
laundry machines; a meeting area; a secure bike room; and secure
storage lockers. Housing charges are typically below market
rents for comparable commercial rental housing.
All members are expected to perform occasional
light duties such as vacuuming the hallways, polishing brass
fixtures, or mopping the laundry floor. All members are also
expected to participate in one of the committees or the Board
of Directors, each of which meets about once a month. Together,
these communal tasks normally require well under ten hours each
month, typically averaging less than half that.
Each new member must purchase $1000 in shares
in the co-op, which is refunded (less expenses etc.) upon leaving
the co-op. New members may make arrangements to pay part of
their share purchase over time. The value of the shares is used
by View Court to generate income to help support the operation
of the co-op, and also may work in effect as a damage deposit.
After one year of active membership, a member may apply for
subsidized housing charges, which are linked to a percentage
of income rather than the fixed monthly "market rate,"
to a maximum equal to the market rate, and a minimum set by
the general membership. This allows members to expect a secure
and stable home in spite of fluctuations in their incomes. Availability
of subsidies, as well as the actual subsidy rate, is decided
by the general membership each year, according to the financial
condition of the co-op and the needs of the membership.
Apart from a secure home and relatively inexpensive
rent compared to the open market, View Court has a friendly
atmosphere in which everyone knows everyone else, and individuality
is valued and respected as much as social participation. As
members of a housing co-operative, we also enjoy other advantages
such as lower home insurance rates and discounts at various
businesses that recognize the value of supporting the co-operative