— developed by and for senior cooperative housing members and sponsors

The Senior Cooperative Housing Education Program is a comprehensive education program for senior cooperative housing members, staff and developers.  It includes specific education modules for member owners, board directors, managers and developers of senior housing cooperatives.

The program includes:

    1. Seven education modules
    2. Each module is about a two hour session
    3. Provided individually or as a fully integrated program
    4. Provided on site at your cooperative
    5. Customized for a cooperative’s specific needs
    6. Specifically designed and delivered programs for developers and new cooperatives

Program modules will address information covering:

LEGAL – Includes information on cooperative structure, forms of ownership, member-occupancy agreement, tax treatment, and open meetings requirements.  This module also discusses the duties and powers of members, board of directors and officers, management agreement, and board and manager relationships.  If desired, the module will also cove new construction issues such as the declaration, developer control and fiduciary responsibility, transfer of control and the cooperative agency agreement.

FINANCIAL – Includes information on understanding financial statements for members, board members, and finance committee members.  It reviews financial structure of cooperatives including share loans, master mortgages, and limited equity.  The role of the finance committee is presented relative to financing the cooperative, reserve planning, budget development and monitoring, bank relationships and investment guidelines.  HUD’s role in the financial structure including budgets, reserves and financial audits is also covered.

COMMUNITY – The primary focus is establishing the community the cooperative desires – who is responsible, encouraging dialogue, encouraging participation.  What activities are desired, how are activities funded and who participates.  How do you go about establishing committees relative to governance and committee responsibilities, reporting requirements, terms for committee members, board involvement, and management involvement?  There is also a portion of this module that addresses the community beyond the cooperative including local, state and national government units and state cooperative councils.

GOVERNANCE – What are the governance requirements for a senior housing cooperative – roles and responsibilities of members and board of directors, and duties of directors? How to effectively link with members through committees, open meeting requirements and other options.  Governance and fiduciary responsibilities for a board of directors, along with monitoring and control, conducting meetings and board of directors evaluation are also covered.

TRANSFER OF RESPONSIBILITY – With the completion of a new construction  project, the building and furnishings are transferred from the developer to the cooperative member owners.  At times, the expectations versus realities can be quite different. This module covers the possible issues and conflicts with the transfer.  It speaks of resolving conflicts, negotiating resolutions,  and appropriate techniques and process.

WORKING WITH THE MANAGEMENT COMPANY – What is the role of the management company relative to hiring the manager, compensation and management contracts?  What are the board and management relations?  What are the duties of the manager – extent of power, hours of service, annual budget, committees, and community?  What are some of the common frustrations and solutions?

AGING IN PLACE AND FAIR HOUSING LAWS – What is independent living versus assisted living?  What are the options for senior housing?  What are the roles and participation for the members, board of directors, and management?  How might you recognize the need for assistance?  What are the requirements for adapting units?  What do you do when a member becomes a danger and/or when a member moves out?  Federal/state fair housing law requirements are also reviewed.

The Senior Cooperative Housing Education Program was developed and is distributed as a joint effort by the Minnesota Association of Cooperatives, Senior Cooperative Foundation and Cooperative Development Services.