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.