What is a Housing Co-op?

Housing co-ops mean different things to different people. For some, they provide no more than a place to live on a subsidy. For some with higher incomes, they offer cheap rent and act as a stepping stone to home ownership. And for others still, they are alternatives and tools of resistance to the capitalist housing machine, land speculation and exploitative landlords.

It is up to you and your neighbours to decide what kind of co-op yours is going to be. What is most important to remember, however, is that housing co-ops were founded on mutual aid, self-help and as a means for residents to control their own housing.

Your housing co-op, like all co-operatives, is ostensibly part of the global co-operative movement.

Is a co-op a type of intentional community?

How do co-ops differ from other forms of subsidized housing?

There are seven globalized “co-operative” principles:

  1.  Voluntary and Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training and Information
  6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
  7. Concern for Community