About Co-operation Housing

What is Co-operation Housing?

Co-operation Housing is a not-for-profit Australian public company that was established in 2010 by the Federation of Housing Collectives (FOHCOL), with the aim of supporting and growing the housing co-operative sector in Western Australia.

It is a registered community housing provider with the Western Australian Housing Authority, and the only registered community housing provider in Western Australia that specialises in housing co-operatives.

What does Co-operation Housing do?

Co-operation Housing offers a range of services to housing co-operatives, to other organisations and to the wider community. Some of these services are outlined below.

Services to housing co-operatives

As a community housing provider registered with the Western Australian Housing Authority, Co-operation Housing meets the Housing Authority’s registration and compliance requirements on behalf of its member housing co‑operatives. Under this arrangement, both Co‑operation Housing and the member housing co‑operative have specific roles and responsibilities.

Co-operation Housing:

  • oversees all registration, compliance, regulation, quality assurance and reporting processes, including:
    • assisting with asset management
    • conducting asset audits
    • conducting rent assessments
    • providing tenancy management services
    • providing BAS and other bookkeeping services
    • providing growth strategies, projects and finance modelling
    • providing training and resourcing as required
    • publishing annual reports and other external communications
    • publishing member updates and other internal communications
    • acting as a single point of communication between multiple government and other agencies and the housing co-operative.

The housing co-operative:

  • manages its own property portfolio, including:
    • selecting new residents, according to specified eligibility criteria
    • allocating homes, according to household size and other criteria
    • collecting rents, relative to income
    • planning and implementing routine and responsive maintenance
    • identifying and planning long-term maintenance
    • meeting reporting requirements
    • maintaining financial and administrative records
    • maintaining incorporated status under the Associations Act
    • actively participating in Co-operation Housing’s governance bodies, such as its board of directors and advisory groups.

Services to other organisations

We offer a single point of communication between other relevant organisations and our member housing co‑operatives.

We also offer a single point of communication and an information source for other organisations interested in engaging with, supporting or contributing to the housing co-operative sector in any way.

We produce a range of publications including annual reports, newsletters and other communications outlining our activities and those of our member housing co-operatives, in order to promote the co-operative housing model to other organisations and alert them of developments within the co-operative housing sector. If your organisation would like to receive copies of our publications, please contact us.

Property and tenancy management services

We offer property and tenancy management services to other organisations, based on the co‑operative model.

We currently provide property and tenancy management services to an 11-dwelling retirement village in White Gum Valley, owned by the City of Fremantle.

Under this agreement we are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the village and for introducing to its operations relevant aspects of the co-operative model (subject to the requirements of the Retirement Villages Act 1992).

These include inviting residents to actively participate in making the decisions that affect them, facilitating opportunities for residents to achieve consensus in meetings, and affording residents a greater sense of empowerment and ownership of their own homes and community.

Since we took on this role, residents of the village have become increasingly engaged in the management, maintenance and administrative decisions affecting the village, while we retain responsibility for overseeing these processes and for meeting all regulatory, compliance and reporting requirements.

Services to the wider community

Through our member housing co-operatives, we provide affordable, sustainable housing to people on low to moderate incomes who choose to live in this type of housing.

We also encourage and support the development of new housing co-operatives.

We do this by:

  • promoting and providing information about our member housing co-operatives
  • promoting and providing information about the housing co-operative model as an affordable and socially, economically and environmentally sustainable housing option
  • acting as a first point of contact and an information resource for people interested in joining or establishing a housing co-operative
  • supporting and facilitating the establishment, development and growth of housing co‑operatives
  • sourcing funding opportunities for the establishment, development and growth of housing co‑operatives
  • purchasing, leasing and managing properties on behalf of housing co‑operatives
  • providing management and support services to housing co-operatives
  • engaging with government and non-government agencies, peak bodies and other stakeholders in efforts to facilitate growth of the housing co-operative sector
  • promoting the International Co-operative Alliance‘s co-operative identity, values and principles.