Co-operative housing is a form of non-profit housing for their members.
While each co-op is owned by its membership, individual members do not own equity in their housing. if a member moves out, the vacated unit is available to another individual or family on the co-op’s waiting list..

Some co op households pay a reduced monthly rent (housing charge) geared to their income. Government funds cover the difference between this payment and the co op’s full charge. Other households pay the full monthly charge based on cost.

Because co ops charge their members only enough to cover costs, repairs, and reserves, they can offer housing that is much more affordable than average private sector rental costs.

Co op housing also offers security. Co ops are controlled by their members who have a vote in decisions about their housing. There is no outside landlord.
Each member is expected to contribute to the co-op in some manner.

Generally, there are social, membership, maintenance, landscaping, newsletter, finance and other committees. These groups work together to bring information to the board of directors. Depending on the co-op, there may be different activities during the year where the neighbours get together to socialize.

Simply,. by the nature of its set-up, people are expected to work together for the good of the co-op. These communities are made up of residents of mixed ages and backgrounds.

How does co-op housing work? Who runs it, who manages it, and who maintains it? Each co-op is governed by a board of directors elected from the co-op membership at an annual general meeting. Each co-op has a set of bylaws that were ratified when the co-op was founded, and that are amended as necessary by the membership. Larger co-ops often have greater resources to work with, and may have dedicated building managers and maintenance staff; smaller co-ops have fewer resources, and may share building management with other co-ops or engage outside management companies. Many housing co-ops have committees apart from their boards that are responsible for finances, capital projects, safety, environment, member engagement, and more.

Member Obligations: Payment of Housing Charges
Members of the co-op must pay monthly housing charges and are expected to make their payments in full and on time.

Most co-ops may also require a new member to pay:

  • the first month’s housing charge;
  • the last month’s housing charge; and
  • a maintenance (damage) deposit. These payments are normally due when the member moves into the co-op.

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Download: what-is-a-co-op.pdf