Affordable Housing That Blends Rental and Home Ownership

A housing cooperative is a unique, affordable housing model that blends rental and home ownership. Residents do not own the units they occupy. Instead, they own shares in the organization that owns and operates the housing community and lease their residence. This model offers individuals and families with low-incomes access to housing with a greater degree of flexibility and control in their living situation.

Residents take an active role in defining and managing the cooperative including caring for their individual unit and common areas, setting up social activities, handling finances, landscaping and more. A board of directors, elected by the members, usually makes management decisions.

There are several different kinds of housing cooperatives, each with different regulations regarding how members restrict, value and sell shares. Some cooperatives incorporate services and features designed for older adults.

Admittance to housing cooperatives and selling units follow strict guidelines devised by the board of directors. This process ensures new members pledge to follow the cooperative’s rules. Sellers must first obtain approval from the board of directors.

Learn more: Visit the National Association of Housing Cooperatives website for more information.

Eligibility Criteria

Cooperatives establish tenant selection plans that establish criteria for who can purchase shares.

Services and Fees

Cooperative members purchase shares and then pay a monthly fee that includes maintenance, insurance, taxes and mortgage of the cooperative.

There are no services offered as part of the housing cooperative. Residents may use community-based support services to live independently, but they are responsible for acquiring them.

Financial Options for Age-Restricted Communities

A resource for rental housing.

Private Pay
Private pay refers to using personal funds to cover all or a portion of an expense. There are different ways to acquire private pay resources.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
This federally-funded rent subsidy program assists very low-income families, older adults and people with disabilities afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Housing choice vouchers are administered by local housing authorities.

Find in Your Area

Visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development website to find a housing cooperative in your area.