Frequently asked questions

What kinds of people live in housing co-operatives?

All kinds of people live in housing co-operatives. Household types include single adults, couples and families, and residents range in age from babies to elderly people.

Some housing co-operatives include a wide range of household types, ages and other characteristics, while others have general characteristics that are shared by all or most residents. This is because most housing co-operatives were originally established by a group of like-minded (and in some cases similarly aged) people. However, these characteristics can also change over time.

The best way to get an idea of the kind of people who live in a particular housing co-operative is to read the description under Our members. If you have any specific questions, contact the housing co-operative directly.

Do residents own or rent their homes?

All of Co-operation Housing’s current member housing co-operatives are based on the common equity (or non-equity) model of ownership. All properties (including all the homes) are owned by the Housing Authority. Individual residents pay rent to live there, and have no personal ownership of the home that they rent. They put no money in when they join, and they take no money out when they leave.

How much and what kind of participation is required?

Every member of a housing co-operative is required to actively participate in its overall management and operation. This involves a significant commitment of time and energy. Requirements include:

  • attending and actively participating in regular meetings, where members collectively make decisions regarding the management and operation of the housing co-operative
  • taking on an official role such as chairperson, secretary, treasurer or maintenance officer, for a particular period of time, and carrying out the duties that role involves
  • being willing to learn how to undertake one of these roles as required
  • attending training to develop and maintain skills in areas relevant to the management and operation of the housing co-operative
  • actively participating in scheduled working bees.

The exact nature and amount of participation required will vary slightly between housing co-operatives. Contact the one you are interested in directly if you would like more detail or have specific queries.

Do residents each live independently, or do they share meals and other activities?

This depends on the individual housing co-operative. Some hold regular social events, while others don’t. In general, though, all residents respect each other’s right to choose the balance between privacy and community that best suits them.

If you would like more detail or have specific queries, contact the housing co-operative you are interested in directly.

How much privacy will I have?

Living in a housing co-operative offers somewhat less privacy than living in other types of housing. It can involve living quite closely together with other residents, and requires actively participating in the management and running of the co-operative as a whole, and reaching and respecting collective decisions relating to issues of management and operation. For this reason, it requires an ability and a willingness to get along well with many different types of people and to truly listen to and respect the opinions, needs and wishes of all members.

Members respect each other’s rights to choose the balance between privacy and community that best suits them. However, if you are a person who particularly values your own privacy, independence and personal autonomy, you might find that a housing co-operative is not the type of housing that will best suit you.

Are pets allowed?

The rules of each housing co-operative are decided collectively by its members. Some have decided to allow pets, while others have decided not to. Contact the housing co-operative you are interested in for information about their pet policy.