What does it mean to live in a Housing Co-op?
(Adapted from article by OVO Housing Co-op)
Co-operative housing is very similar to home ownership without the personal expenses. Co-op housing provides its members with many benefits that are not usually available in rental housing.
Having a say in the management of the co-op,
Living in good quality housing that is well-cared for,
Being able to improve your unit so that it "feels like home,"
Housing charges (rent) that are controlled through cost-effectiveness,
The security of long-term residency, and
Belonging to a caring community.
Co-op housing, however, is not (miraculous). It does not cure your financial problems, although it may help. It does not relieve you of individual responsibility — getting some of the benefits of a homeowner means that you will have to work like a homeowner to keep those benefits….
Co-op living means a balanced relationship between the rights and benefits that you gain as a member and the responsibilities that you must exercise to maintain your membership. If you do not act responsibly and perform your share of the workload then you lose your rights as a member. In fact you could lose your membership and be forced to vacate the co-op. On the other hand, housing co-ops usually find creative methods of taking care of business while having a good time doing it. They work hard and have fun; the result is that everyone does their share, the co-op is run well, and the community is a happy place to live.