Policy Example: Orientation of New Members

ORIENTATION OF NEW MEMBERS June 6, 2008

Requirements to get onto the waitlist for owners or renters & become a SOCIAL MEMBER of WindSong

a) Come for a tour
b) Receive a summary of important policies & Mission Statement – either a one-page short form, or a password protected section of the website.
c) Attend one community meeting
d) Attend one social event
e) Attend an expectations gathering
f) Approval as a social member

The interested person/family is to take the initiative in deciding when to attend meetings or functions. A WindSong calendar of events & meals to be added to the WindSong website (Echota has volunteered to manage this and will work with Patrick to set this up) so that this does not require babysitting by WindSong. Some consideration could be given to out of town buyers.

Requirements for buying or renting a home/room at WindSong

a) A purchaser or renter must have attended a community meeting within the last six months. If not, a subject clause will be included in the Offer to Purchase or rental agreement requiring attendance at the next community meeting
b) If the purchaser/renter has not attended a social event within the last six months, then at least one social event needs to be attended prior to subject removal, or in the case of a renter prior to move-in.
c) Renters must provide references.
d) Purchaser/renter must attend an ‘expectations’ gathering. Ideally this would have happened prior to a home coming on the market and prior to the potential member being added to the waiting list. This gathering would be either part of the Orientation Team mandate or a separate team. The team would be a minimum of 4 households with a variety of opinions & ages, thereby representing the community as a whole with the intention of avoiding any unintentional biases. The purpose of the ‘expectations gathering’ is for both the potential buyer and the community to ascertain whether or not WindSong is a good fit. It would also be the mandate of this team to bring forward concerns to the rest of the community and also to clearly communicate to the prospective purchaser any concerns the community might have.
e) Purchaser/renter must receive, understand and sign off on WindSong’s Mission Statement and all policies prior to subject removal or in the case of a renter prior to move-in.
f) Purchaser/renter must have access to at least one year’s worth of meeting Minutes & Decision Log as part of their orientation.
g) In the case of a ‘red flag’ where the prospective purchaser still wants to move into WindSong, the community or individual members of the community to consider putting in an offer for the home so that the seller is not restricted in selling their home.
h) Agree to participate in and, if prior to purchasing or renting, to pay for consensus training before getting full membership & voting rights at community meetings.
i) Payment in advance of the $135.00 CCS deposit by both a purchaser or a renter.

Expectations Gathering
The intention of an ‘expectations gathering’ is to ensure that the prospective buyer(s) / renter(s) expectations are in concert with what WindSong has to offer and to clarify to the prospective buyer(s)/renter(s) what WindSong’s expectations are of them. It is also an opportunity for the team running the gathering, and for the purchaser, to discover whether or not the prospective buyer(s)/renter(s) is a ‘good fit’ for our community and whether they will be happy living here.

Post Move-In Requirements for Renters & Owners & Becoming a FULL MEMBER of WindSong

A Full Member of WindSong is eligible to vote at all meetings and to participate fully in all activities at WindSong.

a) Attend a welcoming pot luck dinner
b) Team up with a buddy
c) Attend a consensus-training workshop prior to attaining full membership privileges and voting rights. This requirement could be done prior to move-in if a training session were already scheduled. However, the training must have been taken within 6 months prior to move-in.
d) CCS orientation and tasks assigned to each adult member of the household together with payment of the CCS deposit of $135 per adult.
e) Six-month check-in to see how it is going, to be done by orientation team.

Requirements for Temporary Residents/Caregivers
a) There are no requirements for someone living at WindSong for a period of one month or less.
b) For temporary residents or caregivers who are expecting to live at WindSong for longer than one month they would need to go through a basic orientation with the orientation team. The orientation would include familiarizing the individual with all appropriate policies, such as recycling, parking etc. and would also, on a case-by-case basis, decide whether or not the individual needed to participate in the CCS.

WindSong’s First Right of Refusal

“121 (1) A bylaw is not enforceable to the extent that it……

(c) prohibits or restricts the right of an owner of a strata lot to freely sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise dispose of the strata lot or an interest in the strata lot.

As noted earlier, a bylaw will not be enforceable, so the best you can do is have an informal policy that (hopefully) you can get each of the owners to adhere to.

Windsong homeowners would have nothing to lose because they would get the same price from either an outside purchaser or WindSong residents.

Note that a refusal to approve a purchaser on account of any of the grounds of discrimination set forth in the B.C. Human Rights Code (i.e. race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or sex) could result in a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal. There is very little you can do to insulate yourself against this kind of claim, other than avoid this kind of activity.

This is the more sensitive area and so the policy would need to address this somehow.

a) Develop criteria as to what would create a ‘Red Flag’ (see below)
b) In order to avoid this scenario, the ideal situation is that the expectations gatherings occur prior to a home coming up for sale. However, as that is not always possible, this option would only come into effect where this has not happened and where the expectations gathering has raised some ‘red flags’ for the community.
c) If the community felt strongly that the prospective buyer(s) were wrong for WindSong then one solution would be for a group of individuals within the community to purchase the home instead and either rent it out and/or re-sell it at a later date.

Red Flags

‘Red flags’ act as a guideline only and would just alert the team that further exploration is required in these circumstances.

a) Individual/family has ‘care needs’ expectations eg: childcare, elder care, financial assistance or disability care.
b) Individual/family wants to ‘change’ or ‘fix’ WindSong
c) Individual/family is already struggling with substance abuse
d) Individual/family who is already or intends to foster care troubled youth
e) Individual/family obviously does not have time to participate in community

Orientation of teens & young adults prior to move-in and when they become an adult after move-in

a) For 13-18 year olds attend a simplified orientation meeting and be made aware of any policies that could affect them. This would include an informal graduated process for them to include themselves in CCS.
b) If 19 years or older at move-in required to sign off on all policies and become oriented into the CCS system. This would include a deposit of $135 and being assigned a specific task.
If 19 after move-in, attend an orientation to sign off on all policies and become integrated into the CCS system. This would include an initial deposit of $135 and being assigned a specific task.

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