About Housing Cooperatives
Co-ops are communities in the truest sense of the word. While it’s common to hear people in other forms of housing say they don’t know or never speak to their neighbours, co-op members live and work together to create homes in active communities.
Benefits & Responsibilities of Housing Cooperatives
Members of a housing co-operative benefit most from their living situation if the co-op is financially sound, well maintained, and members participate. Since it is up to members to determine the co-op’s direction, together they control the manner and the extent to which they will benefit from it.
- Security of Tenure
Members are equal co-owners in the housing community as a whole. No landlord can come along and sell your home out from under you. As long as members fulfill their obligations, they can feel secure that they will not have to move.
- Right of Succession
Brooksford Place Housing Cooperative has Joint Membership. Joint Membership is where two members, in joint tenancy, share one membership, one vote, and whose interests in the jointly held shares pass to the surviving joint member upon the death or departure of the other member.
- Cost Control
Brooksford Place Housing Cooperative is non-profit housing. This means that monthly housing charges increase only as much as can be demonstrated necessary to meet increased annual operating costs and projected future costs.
- Control of Surroundings
Through the democratic system, members of a housing co-op determine the kind of environment in which they will live. They make collective decisions relating to their physical surroundings (playgrounds, landscaping, pets), and social and interpersonal behaviours.
- A Sense of Belonging
Co-ops provide a sense of belonging which does not exist in most urban settings. They provide an opportunity to be part of an international and local co-op community that works together toward shared understandings and common goals. Through working together, members get to know one another and become friends. When we feel we have support and are not alone, we are more resilient, often coping more effectively with the peaks and valleys of everyday life.
In order for members to realize these benefits, members must adhere to the Co-op’s Rules of Association, Occupancy Agreement, and Polices, assuming a number of responsibilities. Below are some examples:
- Pay monthly housing charges / fees on time without having to be reminded;
- Participate in co-op committees or the Board: at minimum, attend general meetings of the co-operative;
- Maintain unit in good condition: co-operate with annual inspections;
- Get along peaceably with your neighbours, and other members of the co-op;
- Pay your utility bills on time to avoid a lien being placed on the Co-op;
- Maintain current household content fire insurance: annually provide proof of that insurance to the Office;
- Act in a way that shows an understanding that diversity of opinion and backgrounds leads to better outcomes.
In summary, the rights and benefits of Co-op members are of a different nature, and considerably more extensive, than those of a tenant in a private rental situation. However, that same extensiveness applies to the responsibilities of Co-op members. As co-owners, the member’s role must be more active than that of a renter.