The soul of the cooperative movement is in the people who believe that one must gather together a community of like minds who chose to be responsible for the collective space.In co-op housing there is no landlord and members do not sign a lease. Instead members sign an occupancy agreement which outlines the terms of their membership in the coop. Members are then able to participate as voting members and with others, collectively govern the operations of the co-operative. Each year, the membership elects a Board of Directors to handle the administration of the co-op. Volunteer committees assist in the tasks pertaining to the management of the co-operative community.
What this all ensures is that our members enjoy lower housing costs and are able to have a sense of ownership in a clean, well maintained, secure building where people know their neighbours.
More information on Co-operative Housing can be found on:
VALUES OF CANADA’S CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING MOVEMENT
1. The international co-op principles guide the way we govern and manage our housing co-ops.
2. Continuing to operate our co-ops on a not-for-profit basis is fundamental to our future and to our promise to those in need of housing in Canada.
3. Co-ops strive to house members with a mix of incomes.
4. Housing co-ops treat their employees and other providers of management services fairly and value the contribution they make to their communities.
5. Housing co-ops are inclusive communities and embrace diversity by fostering a membership of differing backgrounds and abilities.
6. A commitment to environmental sustainability guides the operating practices of housing co-ops.
7. Co-ops aim to provide a high-quality living environment for their members and do their best to respond to their changing housing needs over time.
8. The right of members to live in their co-op is protected as long as they respect the rules that they have together agreed will govern their housing.
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATIVE ALLIANCE PRINCIPLES
1. OPEN MEMBERSHIP – Co‑ops are open without exception to anyone who needs their services and freely accepts the obligations of membership.
2. DEMOCRATIC CONTROL – Co‑ops are controlled by their members, who together set policy, make decisions and elect leaders who report to them. In primary co‑ops each member has one vote.
3. ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION – All members contribute fairly to their co‑ops, which they own in common. Co‑ops pay a limited return (if any) on money people have to invest to become members. Surpluses are held for the future and used to improve the co‑op’s services.
4. INDEPENDENCE – All agreements co‑ops sign with outside organizations or governments should leave the members in control of the co‑op.
5. CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION – Co‑ops offer training to their members, directors and staff. Co‑ops tell the public what they are and what they do.
6. CO-OPERATION AMONG CO-OPERATIVES – Co‑ops work together through local, national and international structures to serve their members.
7. COMMUNITY – Co‑ops meet members’ needs in ways that build lasting communities within and beyond each co‑op.