Learn About Co-ops
A Good Place to Call Home
Housing co-ops are member-owned and controlled businesses. Co-ops can provide affordable alternative to home ownership while providing control over one’s housing.
The people who live in housing co-ops are members not tenants. Housing co-ops meet a variety of needs, and offer affordable housing to low and moderate income individuals and families.
Co-op’s are democratically run and each member has a vote. A Board of Directors is elected by the membership, and the Board is made up of members who live in the co-op.
This Board then manages the business of the co-op. Members have the opportunity to 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, and saving for future repairs.
As a co-op member, you have security of tenure. While as a member you don’t own your unit, you can live in your home for as long as you wish as long as 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.
Non-profit Co-operative Housing Means…
Non-profit co-op housing is design to be affordable. Unlike rent, co-op housing charges rise only with increase in operating costs, and are approved by the membership. Co-ops provide housing at cost to low and moderate income earners.
Members have the right to continue to live in the co-op for as long as they choose, providing they respect the obligations of membership.
Each member has one vote in making decisions on important matters such as housing charges, the election of directors and the regulations members will be expected to follow.
Good Quality, Modest Housing
Co-ops seek to provide the highest quality housing possible within cost guidelines, both in initial construction and through continuing maintenance. Most are newly constructed but many groups have restored and updated existing housing and other buildings.
Co-ops are communities within larger communities. Members share common goals and a sense of identity and pride from working together. Co-ops make good neighbours, and can revitalize decaying neighbourhoods. Many set up recreational, social, educational and mutual help programs.
Co-ops accommodate all kinds of people and celebrate diversity. In some, units are reserved for householders with special needs. For seniors and many families, co-ops are often just the right combination of security and affordability. Some groups such as new immigrants, women, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, and single parents have developed their own co-ops.