What is a housing co-op?

Housing co-ops are democratic communities where there’s no landlord. Every resident is a member of the co-op and gets a say in how it's run.

What types of co-ops are there?

Co-ops are often more affordable than renting from privately owned housing. There are two types of pricing options in co-ops:

  • Market units are supposed to cost about the same as any other apartment, but are usually slightly cheaper.

  • Subsidized units cost only a portion of the market price, but usually have long waiting-lists.

Co-ops vary in size. They may be rows of townhouses, or high-rise apartment buildings with hundreds of units.

If you’re looking for stable housing and a voice in your community, consider living in a co-op!

What are the benefits of living in a co-op?

  • No landlords. Co-ops are run by its residents, or members. Members get a vote, elect a Board of Directors, approve the annual budget and set policy. Members, not landlords, decide how to manage the co-op.

  • No excessive rent increases. Co-ops are usually non-profit organizations. When members review the finances, they only increase rent when it’s necessary to cover the cost of running the co-op, not to make a profit.

  • Security and stability. You can live in a co-op for as long as you want, as long as you pay the rent (housing charge) on time and follow the rules (bylaws).

  • A strong and vibrant community. People who live in co-ops come from all walks of life. They have varied incomes and diverse backgrounds. They often live in the co-op for a long time and build deep roots in the community. Everyone works together to keep the co-op an affordable, safe and comfortable place to live.  

How do I apply to a housing co-op?

Most co-ops are open to anyone who wants to join. To find a co-op, check these websites to find one in your area:

Some specialty co-ops exist only for groups like women, students, seniors, artists, etc.

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. Be prepared to be put on a waiting list!