From the outside, a housing co-op looks like any other townhouse development or apartment building. But, a housing co-op is different - here's how:


Owned By Members


The residents of a housing co-op are members of the co-op corparation which owns the whole property. The co-op provides an apartment unit to the member household. A household can consist of one or more adults - with or without children. Members do not own the individual units in which they live.


Managed By Members


All members have an equal say in how their co-op is run - "one member, one vote". Members come together at meetings to approve the annual budget, approve the co-op's by-laws and policies, and to elect a board of directors. A director is a resident member of the co-op. Other members work on committees or they perform various tasks to help with the work involved in running the co-op. A co-op also employs staff in the co-op's office that looks after the co-op's day-to-day buisness.


Involvement By Members


The key difference between co-ops and other kinds of non-profit housing is that co-op members are actively involved in running their housing community. Each member must volunteer time to serve on the Board or on a committee, or volunteer for some other co-op task. Members do not need special skills to get involved. They learn from one another as well as in special training sessions. Members get to know each other through their working together in the co-op. This involvement creates a sense of community and provides a safe place for children and adults.

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