About Co-operative Housing
Co-operative housing is a unique way of renting. People become members of housing co-ops for various reasons. From a decent place to call home to affordability and security are some of those reasons.
The people who live in housing co-ops are called members and they are responsible for managing the co-op. Co-ops are member control; there is no landlord, members elect a board of directors from among themselves and the board in turn oversees the running of the co-op. Many co-ops hire a staff or a management company to do the day-to-day work. The members make the big decisions. Each member have one vote to decide on things like, the annual housing charge (rent), electing members to the board, by-laws, etc.
About half of all co-op households pay a monthly charge geared to their income. Government funds cover the difference between this payment and the co-op’s full charge.
If you live in a non-profit housing co‑op you are:
- A voting member who contributes to the governance of the co‑op
- Part of a community where neighbours look out for one another
- Living in housing that will stay affordable because it’s run on a non-profit basis and is never resold
In a housing co‑op members have the right to:
- Vote on the annual budget, which sets the monthly housing charges
- Elect a board of directors made up of people who live in your co‑op
- Run for the board of directors yourself
- Receive audited financial statements that show how the co‑op spent your money
- Pay only a limited portion of your income for your housing, if you meet eligibility rules
- Live there for as long as you like, if you keep to the by-laws agreed on by the co‑op membership