If you have a complaint…

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has entrusted the Agency with the job of administering federal co-op housing programs in PEI, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. The Agency knows that our decisions and our service will not always please every co-op, co-op member or other stakeholder. We can’t promise to make everyone happy, but we do commit ourselves to dealing with complaints fairly and openly. 

The Agency must follow CMHC’s program guidelines, our own client-service standards and our Bilingual Services and other policies. Read these documents on our website to learn what the Agency can do and what it promises for your co-op.

If you have a problem with the Agency, this guide will help you find the best way to solve it. Please read it carefully and follow the steps set out.

Where to find information and help

  • You may consult the guidelines for the different housing programs the Agency looks after on the Agency’s website. The Agency has no power to change these guidelines.
  • If you make a complaint under the federal Access to Information Act, Official Languages Act or Privacy Act, the Agency cannot deal with it. Under our agreement with CMHC, we must pass on these complaints to CMHC.
  • If you have a human-rights complaint, you are welcome to use our process but you may also ask for help from your provincial human-rights commission.

If you are a housing co-op member with a complaint about your co-op...

  • If you think your co-op is not following its operating agreement with CMHC (about subsidies, for example), you may call the Agency and ask to speak with your co-op’s relationship manager.
  • For all other problems, please see “Having a problem with your housing co-op?” on the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada website.
  • You can talk to CHF Canada at 1.800.465.2752, its Ontario Region at 1.800.268.2537 or to your local federation of housing co-ops, if your co-op is a member of these organizations. The CHF Canada website has contact information for local federations.

If you have a complaint about the Agency...

We want to hear from you. We have set up a friendly, confidential process to help with your problem. 

If your complaint is about a breach of privacy or confidentiality by the Agency...

  • Call the Agency's Privacy Officer at 1.866.660.3140, extension 637
  • Or dial 0 and ask for our Privacy Officer
  • Explain the problem

The Privacy Officer will work with you to address your complaint. All complaints about breaches of privacy or confidentiality will be reported to the Agency’s Chief Executive Officer.


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If you have any other complaint about the Agency… 

Here are the steps you can take.  

Step 1: Collect Your Information

The Agency needs to know:

  • what is your complaint?
  • is it about a decision or about service?
  • who is the problem with?
  • when did it happen?
  • what would you like the Agency to change? 

Collect all your documents (letters, information, agreements) so that you can answer these questions.


If your complaint is on behalf of a federation or any stakeholder other than a housing co-op, go directly to Step 3.

Step 2: Call Your Co-op’s Relationship Manager

Even if your problem is with the relationship manager, please speak to them first, in case the problem is due to a misunderstanding. Provided your co-op is a member, you may ask your federation or CHF Canada to make the call for you. Be sure to give them all the information listed above.

Step 3: Call the Client Service Champion

If you can’t solve the problem directly with your co-op’s relationship manager, you can talk to the Agency’s Client Service Champion at 1.866.660.3140, extension 637. The job of the Client Service Champion is to work with clients to resolve complaints and problems with our service. The Client Service Champion will help you by

  • making sure you have all of the background information you need, including information from the Agency’s own files
  • hearing your complaint or problem
  • telling you
    • 1. how soon the Agency will get back to you (never more than two days later)
    • 2. how long you will wait for a full response (not more than four weeks from when the Agency first hears your complaint)
  • investigating what happened, telling you how we can resolve it and sometimes suggesting either
    • 1. mediation by the Client Service Champion or a mediator from outside the Agency, or
    • 2. a review of relevant Agency policies and practices that could help resolve the problem
  • if we think it would be helpful, or at your request, giving you a written report on what happened. If a service problem can’t be fixed or a decision changed, the report will say why.
  • apologizing to you on behalf of the Agency, if appropriate, and describing any changes to decisions or service that the Client Service Champion will pursue as a result of your complaint. 

The Client Service Champion will also tell you if the Agency cannot act on your complaint because of agreements or laws the Agency has no power to change.

Step 4: Involve the CEO

If the Client Service Champion can’t resolve your problem, you may appeal to the Agency’s CEO. The CEO will review the steps taken by the Client Service Champion and decide what more, if anything, can be done.

Step 5: Appeal to the Board

If the problem has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may wish to appeal to the Agency’s Board of Directors. The Board will review your case and make a final decision. You may contact the Board through the CEO.

Documents to consult


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Updated: 5 December 2013