About the Co-op Lifestyle
The members do not own equity in their housing. If they move, their home is returned to the co‑op, to be offered to another individual or family who needs an affordable home.
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 housing co‑operative is a legal association, incorporated as a co‑operative. Canada’s housing co‑ops are guided by international co‑operative principles.
- 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