A housing co-operative refers to a group of people and the means they use to collectively control and manage their housing. It can buy and own property and enter into contracts. In brief, housing co-ops are essentially housing associations governed by the tenants/ members and give grassroots control over housing.
Picture by See-ming Lee
The advantages of Housing Co-operatives
People set up housing co-operatives for a variety of reasons, which can include the following:
- Often the interested parties have relatively low incomes and are unable to afford a decent secure home without joining with others to pool resources and commitment.
- Housing co-ops give members the opportunity of using skills which would otherwise go to waste. Moreover, they create opportunities for people to develop new skills which are useful in other walks of life.
- They also reduce dependency and give people a stake in where they live.
- Housing co-ops often incentivise members to pool resources and organise other services in demand by its members, such as child care and social activities.
- Finally, any surpluses made by the co-operative can be used by the co-op to improve the co-op's housing; nothing goes to waste.
Links and other sources
- Interested in setting up your own housing co-operative? If so, see here.