What is a Co-op?

A “co-op” is a type of housing community. Co-op is short for housing co-operative. If you live there, you are an active member of the community. Co-ops are also affordable places to live.

Co-ops come in different forms, from high-rise apartment buildings to rows of townhouses. Unlike rental homes, all co-op residents share the responsibilities, control, and ownership of their housing community. If you are looking for stable housing and a voice in your community, consider living in a co-op!

Co-ops are affordable. There are two types of pricings for co-op units:

  • “Market-units” are priced a little below how much the house/apartment would sell for if it was not part of a co-op.
  • “Subsidized units” are priced even less. They usually have long waiting-lists.

How is a co-op different from other types of affordable housing?

  • No landlords. If you live in a co-op, you are not a tenant who is paying rent to a landlord. You are a member of a housing community. Members own and run their co-op. Each member gets one vote, and elects a board of directors to manage the co-op. Members work together to make sure their housing stays well-maintained and affordable.
  • Co-ops are non-profit organizations. Your rent pays for the co-op's operating costs to manage the co-op. Rent will only increase if operating costs increase. Co-ops cannot be bought and sold for profit.

How do I apply to a housing co-op?

Most co-ops are open to anyone who wants to join. Some specialty co-ops exist only for groups like women, students, the elderly, etc. A few of these co-ops include:

To find a co-op, check these websites to find one in your area:

If you want to apply to a co-op, contact the co-op directly. Ask them about openings, prices, and the application process. Each co-op has its own application process. Don’t be surprised if they tell you that they will put you on a waiting list.

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<p>A “co-op” is a type of housing community. <strong>C</strong><strong>o-op</strong> is short for <strong>housing co-operative</strong>. If you live there, you are an active member of the community. Co-ops are also affordable places to live.</p>