What Is A Housing Co-Op?

From the outside, a housing co-op looks like the other homes in the neighborhood. It can be a new apartment building, a row of townhouses or a charming old triplex. What makes it different is not bricks and mortar, but the way its residents share the responsibilities and control of their homes.

A housing co-operative is more than just a place to live. It is a legal association formed for the purpose of providing homes to its members on a continuing basis. A co-op is different from other housing associations in its ownership structure and its commitment to co-operative principles.

Co-ops are controlled by their residents, who are members with a voice and a vote in decisions about their housing. There is no outside landlord. Co-op housing offers a home, not an investment. In a typical Canadian co-op, at least one-quarter to one half of households pay a reduced monthly charge [i.e. rent], based on their income. The others pay the full monthly charge set when the members approve the co-op’s yearly operating budget. Housing co-ops are non-profit and operate as close to actual cost as possible. The full monthly housing charge increases only as the co-op’s costs increase.

In a non-profit housing co-op you are:

In a housing co-op you have the right to: