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:
- Ontario-Wide Listing
- Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
- Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph
- Ottawa and surrounding areas
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.