1) Unlike rents, co-op housing charge rise only with increases in the operating costs and do not include any profits. Over time, co-op housing charges should be lower than rents for comparable rental housing.
2) Co-operative housing ensures an equal voice among residents in the decisions affecting their housing. There is no landlord.
3) Co-operative provides a unique opportunity for people to build a community and to share and assist each other in ways beyond their housing needs.
4) Democratic control guarantees that money budgeted for maintenance is spent on maintenance, and not skimmed off for extra profit while the property deteriorates
Co-op housing includes single family housing, duplexes, townhouses, mobile homes, and apartments. Families, couples and singles from all backgrounds, age groups and cultures live in housing co-ops. The thing they have in common is that they have discovered an alternative to renting that is more affordable than private ownership.
In Northern Alberta, the Resource Group is Communitas Inc., and the local Federation is the Northern Alberta Co-operative Housing Association. The Co-operative Housing Foundation of Canada is the national organization.
As owners, there is community pride which results in a responsible attitude toward maintenance of both home and grounds;
You can make any improvements you wish to your home within the limitations set out by the co-operative. These limitations are decided democratically by the members;
You have the opportunity to set up other services such as daycare, food stores, and recreational facilities;
In the initial years, your housing charges may be equivalent to market rents for similar units, however future housing charges are based upon the co-op’s actual costs and will only increase when actual costs go up.
As long as members fulfill their obligations to the co-operative, they can feel secure that they will not have to move unless by choice. No landlord can come along and give you notice to leave.