About Co-op Housing

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

How Does a Housing Co-op Work?

Housing co-ops are member-owned and controlled. Co-ops can provide an affordable housing alternative for people on moderate incomes. The people who live in housing co-op’s are members not tenants.

Co-ops are democratically run and each member has a vote. Members elect from among themselves, a board of directors to manage the business of the co-op. Members elect the Board of directors, approve the annual budget and set policy. The monthly housing charges (rent) are set by the members to cover the costs of running the co-op.

As a co-op member, you have security of tenure. This means that you can live in your home for as long as you wish if you follow the rules of the co-op. What sets co-ops apart from private rental housing is that they are democratic communities where the residents make decisions on how the co-op operates.

Applying to a Co-op

First, you must decide which co-op(s) you wish to apply to because each co-op has its own application. Contact the co-op to find out how to apply. Many co-ops hold regular information meetings where you will find out more about that co-op, can ask questions, and can pick up an application. You may be placed on a waiting list if no units are available at the time you apply.

The co-op will consider your application based on criteria that will always include: agreeing to take good care of your home, a willingness to live in a diverse community, and most important: demonstrated financial responsibility. The co-op will always check references as part of your application.

After you have completed an application, you may be invited to an interview where you will be asked some questions. You will also have explained to you your rights and responsibilities of living in your co-op.

Learn More About Co-op Living

We invite you to learn more about the benefits of living in our sector and the challenges we face today:

Co-operative Living & Principles

Emerging Issues in Co-operative Housing

Looking for a Co-op?

CHASEO offers a directory of all the co-ops in our region and lets you know which ones have vacancies available for application.

As vacancies are often limited, we invite you to explore the rent geared-to-income (RGI) housing applications for the Greater Ottawa Region.

7 Co-op Principles