Q: What is a housing co-op?

A: Housing cooperatives provide not-for-profit housing for their members -the people who live there. Living in a housing co-op is much like renting with a few important differences. If you live in a housing co-op you are:

-A voting member who contributes to the governance of the co-op

-Part of a community where neighbours look out for one another

-Living in housing that will stay affordable because it's run on a non-profit basis and is never resold.

The members do not own equity in their housing. If they move, their home is returned to the co-op, to be offered to another individual or family who needs an affordable home.

Q: Who can live in a housing co-op?

A: Anyone, housing co-ops are mixed income communities.

Q: What is the difference between market rent and subsidized housing charge or rent?

A: Some co-op households pay a reduced monthly housing charge (rent) geared to their income. Government funds cover the difference between this payment and the co-op's full charge. This is known as subsidy. Other households pay the full monthly charge based on cost, which is called market housing charge (rent).

Q: Are you the same as New Brunswick Housing?

A: No, we are a private non-profit housing resource group. However, we do work closely with New Brunswick Housing . Also, we look to New Brunswick Housing for referrals when we have a subsidized apartment available. Housing Alternatives does not maintain a waiting list for subsidized housing but draws from New Brunswick Housing's list.

Q: How do I apply for a subsidized apartment?

A: In order to be placed on the list for subsidized housing, including any subsidized apartments offered by Housing Alternatives, you simply call 1-833-733-7835 and register with NB Housing to apply.

Q: Does Housing Alternatives Inc. have regularly priced apartments?

A: Yes the majority of the apartments and townhouses have regularly priced market rent, while about 30% are subsidized by government. Because co-ops charge their members only enough to cover costs, repairs, and reserves for future maintenance, they can offer housing that is much more affordable than average private sector rental costs.

Q: How do I apply for a market rent apartment?

A: . Please note that there is no waiting list for regularly priced market rent apartments.

We recommend checking the Housing Alternatives website 'Available Units' page and, if there are available units, Apply Online.

Q: How can I tell if I would require subsidy - or if I could rent a market unit?

A: The easiest way to tell if you would be eligible for subsidy is to figure out whether you would be paying more than 30% of your gross income if you were renting at market prices. Gross income is clearly indicated on your paycheque stub or pay summary. It is your income before taxes, CPP and EI premiums are taken out and before any union dues, medical premiums or other voluntary deductions are deducted. If you multiply your gross income (make sure you include income of everyone in the household) by 30% and it is less than the market price (heated) on the apartments you like, you may be eligible for subsidized housing. (Note: Child tax credit is not considered income.)

Certain apartments are designated as subsidized; others are designated as market. Generally, a subsidy is attached to a particular unit and is not transferable.

Here are a few examples:

Example 1:

Your household earns $28, 000/year before taxes. The apartments you like seem to cost about $825 heated. Can you afford it?

28, 000/year breaks down to $2333/month. 30% of $2333 is $700. You should not be paying more than $700 for a heated apartment. You should apply for subsidized housing by calling 1-833-733-7835. They will match you with a suitable subsidized apartment.

Your annual income would have to be $33, 000 in order to be eligible for the market apartments you have been looking at.

Example 2:

You receive $927 per month from Income Assistance. You receive a child tax credit each month of $600.

To calculate the amount of rent you should be paying based on your income, simply multiply $927 by 30%. Do not take the child tax credit into consideration; it does not count as income.

30% of $927 is $278. This is approximately what you should be paying each month for housing. If you have not applied for subsidized housing, you should. Generally, any household on Income Assistance is eligible for subsidized housing. If you have not yet applied for subsidized housing , you should call 1-833-733-7835.

Example 3:

You earn $ 42, 000/year as a household with two adults working. The apartments you like are in the $900-1000 range, heat included.

$42, 000/year breaks down to $3500/month. 30% of $3500 is $1050. Therefore, you can afford $1050/month for a heated apartment. The apartments you like would be a good fit for your budget.