M’akola Housing and Operating Agreements

Understanding Operating Agreements

Until recently, most affordable subsidized (also called social housing) rental properties were partially funded by the Federal and/or Provincial government under various affordable housing subsidy programs across the country. These funds (subsidies) were provided through “Operating Agreements” which were property-specific contracts allowing for individual properties to be rented based solely on household tenant income. This model is referred to as “Rent Geared to Income,” or RGI. Different Operating Agreements used different methods for determining program eligibility as well as different methods for determining rent subsidies and utility allowances.

Understanding the National Issue

The Expiration of Operating Agreements is recognized as a National issue, with more than 600,000 affordable housing units being affected across Canada between now and 2030.  For additional information and resources related to the expiration of affordable housing Operating Agreements, please see visit the Federation of Canadian Municipalities website at

Expiring Operating Agreements Once an Operating Agreement expires, the property receives no outside funding and the M’akola Group of Societies is entirely responsible for all costs associated with operating and maintaining the unit. This includes all maintenance activities, major repairs, property taxes, insurance costs and all administrative expenses. All current Federal Operating Agreements are set to expire between 2012 and 2030.

Impact on Tenants M’akola Group of Societies, owns and manages properties which are impacted by the expiration of these operating agreements. M’akola also manages properties which are not impacted by this issue and therefore for those units, subsidies (funding) does not end and the property continues to be operated on a M’akola Rent Geared to Income (MRGI) basis.   Tenants are encouraged to verify which type of property they live in to confirm how these changes may or may not impact their family situation. For a detailed list of expiration dates of Federal Operating Agreements by housing project address click here.

Operating without Government Subsidy Properties that no longer receive government subsidy will be converted from M’akola Rent Geared to Income (MRGI) units to M’akola Affordable Rent (MAR) units. Affordable monthly rents on MAR units are below the market average and determined by M’akola. Theses MAR rental amounts do not change based on household income. Utility subsides are not available for MAR units.  These conversions will take place as government subsides expire on individual properties.  Government subsidies on Federal Operating Agreements housing units are set to expire between 2012 and 2030.

Planning for the Future of Affordable Housing

As Federal subsidies expire, monthly rents must cover the costs of operating and maintaining the properties.   M’akola operates as a non-profit society and to be sustainable, M’akola must ensure that housing units, and the Society overall, are operated on a break-even basis. Grandfathering in Elders at M’akola Tenants whose ONLY source of income is OAS and/or CPP may be “grandfathered” under the terms of their original tenancy agreement.  If a tenant is grandfathered the rental amounts and/or utility subsidies for these tenants will not be affected.  This is not available to new tenants or to tenants who transfer to other units.  Tenants who qualify for other forms of social assistance but have chosen not to apply may not be eligible for grandfathering.

Types of Housing Units

M’akola Rent Geared to Income (MRGI) – Monthly tenant rent contribution amounts and subsidy contributions for MRGI units are determined based on household income and composition. Typically the tenant rent contribution is determined based on 30 per cent of a household income or portion thereof. This is determined at the beginning of the rental term, and reviewed on an annual basis.

M’akola Affordable Rent (MAR) – Monthly rents for MAR units are set by M’akola and do not change based on household income  and composition.  Applicants must meet household income limit guidelines to qualify for MAR units.

For more information on our application process or to apply for housing click here.

M’akola Assisted Living (MAL) are located in the Jesken Aerie facility in Victoria and the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum facility in Cowichan. Assisted Living units provide housing and services to Elders, seniors and persons with disabilities.

More information about MAL Units


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