What are the benefits of co-op housing?

Lady walking home

Housing co-ops offer a number of benefits to their members and to their local communities.

Find out if housing co-ops maybe a suitable housing option for you.

For members, the benefits include:

  • access to affordable and socially, economically sustainable housing that they can manage and govern themselves
  • a sense of long-term security of their housing situation
  • a sense of belonging to a community based on mutual co-operation
  • the safety and security of living somewhere where there are always other familiar people around
  • opportunities to gain training and experience in roles such as chairperson, secretary, treasurer or tenancy and maintenance officer
  • ongoing opportunities to develop and share skills, practical help, support and encouragement
  • access to education and skills development
  • access to other support

For the local community, benefits include:

  • a positive contribution to the social balance and cultural diversity of the community
  • the addition of a number of socially, economically and environmentally responsible members to the local community
  • enrichment of the social and co-operative atmosphere of the community
  • overall strengthening of the local sense of community

In addition, because housing co-ops are managed by their members, they tend to be better maintained than other types of rented dwellings. Research has found that they also tend to have better security, lower crime rates and a higher overall quality of housing than either privately or publicly managed rented dwellings.

What do you need to consider?

If you are considering co-op housing, ask yourself the following questions. Can you:

  • Attend regular (at least monthly) meetings and contribute to the management of the housing co-op by making decisions about properties and activities of the housing co-op?
  • Volunteer and dedicate at least several hours a week working for the housing co-op, in areas such as administration, tenancy and maintenance coordination?
  • Take on an official role within the housing co-op i.e. Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Maintenance or Tenancy Officer or be prepared to learn how to do this?
  • Attend regular training to improve your skills?
  • Respect, listen to and value the opinions of your fellow Co-operative members?
Neighbours drinking tea

If you answered ‘Yes’, to all these questions, housing co-ops maybe a suitable housing option for you.

Want to know the eligibility criteria?

Learn how to apply to a co-op

Where the co-ops are located

Scroll to top