What do COF and COFSAB stand for?
COF stands for the Condo Owners Forum; SAB stands for Society of Alberta.
The Condo Owners Forum Society of Alberta is a not-for-profit registered society in the Province of Alberta.
What is the purpose of COF?
The Condominium Owners Forum Society of Alberta (“Condo Owners Forum” or “COF”) is a not-for-profit association of Alberta Condominium Owners who believe that we must improve condominium:
- Owner Education
- Stakeholder Networks
We couldn’t find a similar organization in Alberta, so we decided to do something about it.
Did you know that there are an estimated 440,000 condominium units in the Province of Alberta and up to 1/3 of homes are condos – and that condominium living is the fastest growing type of home ownership in the Province?
Who is the target audience for COF?
The target audience is the resident condo owner, tenant or prospective owner. However everyone and anyone in the condominium ‘world’ is welcome to participate, including property managers, suppliers to condominiums, realtors and government.
We believe that communication needs to improve between condo owners and everyone else.
Why has COF been created?
We believe COF is the vehicle that would be the most useful, easiest way to improve education, communication and networking among owners and the service people who support condos, from the board of a corporation to owners, staff and contractors.
While laws and regulations form the basis for management of condominiums and essentially establish a minimum requirement for condo management, we believe self-education and spreading knowledge of ‘best practices’ can significantly improve the overall condo living environment and experience – and our property values.
Why focus on communication?
Many of the problems people experience in condo-living stem from a lack of communication – between neighbours; between Owners and the Board of the corporation; between Owners and the management company or condominium property manager; between the Board and the condominium property manager; between contractors and the Board or condominium property manager. Improving communication by learning and understanding everyone’s roles can only improve the experience of condo Ownership.
To us, a major component of communication is networking – sharing with others our mutual concerns and issues and learning from each other.
We also want to work with all condominium stakeholders – Owners, tenants, the industry, and provincial governments – to promote good governance.
Are there similar organizations in other places?
With a large concentration of condominiums, both British Columbia and Ontario currently have large and well-organized groups dealing with similar issues. While their provincial condominium legislation is different, we believe we can learn a lot from them in the areas of governance and management.
To the best of our knowledge, we are one of only two formally constituted organizations representing Condominium Owners in Alberta. We are networking closely with others to share resources and learning.
Are there similar organizations in other places?
With a large concentration of condominiums, both British Columbia and Ontario currently have large and well organized groups dealing with similar issues. While their provincial condominium legislation is different, we believe we can learn a lot from them in the areas of governance and management.
In Alberta, there are organizations similar to COF in Sherwood Park, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. We are networking closely with many organizations to share resources and learning.
How is COF organised and financed?
At this time COF is supported by condo Owners like you free of charge in using portions of the website.
Other parts of the website and participation in the Forum are available by becoming a member simply by registering.
In order to continue the work of the organization and provide more member only services and seminars our membership fee structure is under development (anticipated launch of Dec 2017).
Does COF have sponsors?
No and Yes
NO: COF does not have sponsors for the organization. COF wants to remain independent of business or commercial support so as not to be put in the difficult position of advocating a change which may not be supported by a commercial, business or even independent condo-owner sponsor. However, realizing that support of Organizations will help COF grow and sustain itself there may be limited opportunities for sponsorship.
YES: There are opportunities at events we organise, such as workshops or courses for the room, for lunches or coffee or as a general host etc. However, the course or event content itself must be financially self-supporting. This means that participants must be prepared to pay for programs, albeit modestly..
That means we will be developing a membership and sponsorship structure in the near future. Watch for the announcement of these programs soon. (anticipated Dec 2017)
What are the plans for the future of COF?
First and foremost we are an group of Owners in conversation with one another about issues and questions of Condo living. The FORUM exists to facilitate that discussion. You must be a registered member to view and participate in the conversation.
We want to develop educational programs and opportunities for networking.
We want to focus on condo governance. There are now few Alberta condo-specific courses for those who want to be better Owners and Board members. There is more on what we have found to be needed within the newsletters published so far, available under the menu.
Shouldn’t there be an apostrophe in Owners’ (or Owner’s)?
Probably, and for grammatical purists, yes. But where? Before the ‘s’ implies the forum is for or by only one owner, which would be silly. After the plural ‘s’ means the forum is for or by all owners, which would be correct. When designing the logo, we decided to omit the ‘s’ for better appearance. But it got you thinking, didn’t it?