WHAT IS A CO-OP?
A housing Cooperative is a group of people who form a corporation to provide housing services for themselves.
Co-op living is unique to all other forms of housing because it represents a community living within a community.
Democratic management is the lifeblood of a healthy co-op and the people who live in the Coop, and who collectively own and operate the housing, are voting members. The members elect a board of directors from among themselves and authorize the board to conduct the day to day business of the Cooperative in a manner that satisfies all of the requirements of its Charter, Bylaws, Agreements, and Policies.
All members in a cooperative share in the advantages and responsibilities of co-op life, which makes it more than just a place to live.
There are many kinds of co-operatives: food co-ops, co-op daycares, credit unions, retail co-ops, worker co-ops and housing co-ops. Any group of people can form a co-operative. The members own the co-operative and the co-operative provides a service they need. Housing co-operatives provide housing.
As a co-op member, you have security of tenure. This means that you can live in your home for as long as you wish if you follow the rules of the co-op and pay your housing charge (rent). As a co-op member, you have a say in decisions that affect your home. You and your neighbours own your homes co-operatively. Members form a community that works together to manage the co-op. Co-op communities are made up of all kinds of people – people with different backgrounds and incomes and special needs. These diverse and vibrant communities are the unique strength of the co-op housing movement.
Members of a housing co-op have a right to:
The mission of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) is to inspire, represent and serve our members in a united co operative housing movement.
Our members are housing co-ops as well as the organizations and people who support them.
CHF Canada sets out a strategic plan to meet member needs, including education and resources, advocacy and enterprise services like insurance, asset management and refinancing.
CHF Canada also connects Canada’s co-op housing movement with housing co-ops in other countries and with co-operative enterprises in Canada and around the world. Our international work is carried out through our support and involvement with Rooftops Canada and Co-operative Housing International.
To learn more, click here.