Alternative Living: Housing Cooperatives…


To continue my investigations into alternative living options, I found out about this particular option several years ago. There are co-operative’s in the city I live near. I feel it would be beneficial not only financially for all ages but also would allow inhabitants to get to know each other well as they all have a say in the ‘running’ of the community.

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A housing co-operative, unlike a commune, is a legal entity, and is a membership-based corporation, which owns residential real estate. With a share purchase in the co-operative, each shareholder has the right to occupy one housing unit. This means member’s resources are pooled giving them buying power leverage. The members also have, through elected representatives, the ability to select who will live within the co-operative. There are two options for the tenure a) non-ownership and b) ownership – with the former a lease is written out for the resident and is subject to the corporation’s bylaws and rules.

Many co-op housing is run by non-profit organizations and some are funded by governmental grants. However, they are not all for low income families or the elderly and benefit from not having a landlord but a Board of Members.

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Co-operative housing works well for many people and gives them an option for home ownership they possibly would not have had otherwise.

Have you heard of cooperative housing?

Do you know anyone that lives in one?

3 thoughts on “Alternative Living: Housing Cooperatives…

  1. excellent Idea of Social housing , I am a student of Housing Studio at Dept. of architecture, Bangladesh University, Bangladesh.

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  2. One of my teachers in high school lived in a co-op and had us all over once. At the time, I thought it was fascinating the way the complex was laid out — walkable, very community-oriented. They definitely have their place.

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