5 advantages of co-op living

5 advantages of co-op living

What is a housing co-operative?

A housing co-op is a bit like a business that owns a building or building complex.

In addition to paying their rent, tenants purchase a share to become a co-op member. This share is generally returned to them if they move out of the co-operative.

Members also contribute to building management by serving on the board of administration or various committees.

To significantly reduce maintenance costs, tenants get their hands dirty and participate in planned co-op chores.

Why live in a co-op?

The price is right

Built on the philosophy that there is strength in numbers, co-operatives aim to offer members below-market rents determined by their members during a general assembly.

Proof positive: co-op rents are between 75% to 95% of the median rent in Quebec.

Fulfilling neighbourhood life

Co-op members often feel they live in a neighbourhood where everywhere knows each other.

A strong sense of belonging develops in such a tightly knit community as everyone actively participates in co-operative management and upkeep. Mutual aid and respect are the hallmarks of these neighbourly relationships.

Easy access to ownership

With rents going through the roof, especially in metropolitan areas, it is becoming increasingly harder to find housing that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

This reality gave rise to co-operatives in the 1960s. Their objective was to provide affordable housing for the most disadvantaged.

Indeed, co-operatives that reserve some of their units for low-income households receive subsidies as a source of funding. These families may not have the means to settle in similar housing in the open market.

Putting down roots for the long haul

Living in a co-op ensures housing stability. You are not at the mercy of a landlord who could force you from your home at any given moment.

You decide when you leave the co-op. Giving a few months’ notice is generally sufficient.

You therefore never have to worry about housing speculation.

Long live democracy!

Each co-op member has the right to attend general assemblies to decide co-op policies:

  • RentsBudget
  • Internal bylaws
  • Next repairs to undertake
  • Etc.

This democratic exercise allows tenants to take full control of their living environment, and not a landlord or property management company. Their decisions are guided by their own values and priorities.