What is a Co-op?

A housing Cooperative is a group of people who form a corporation to provide housing services for themselves.

Co-op living is unique to all other forms of housing because it represents a community living within a community.

Democratic management is the lifeblood of a healthy co-op and the people who live in the Coop, and who collectively own and operate the housing, are voting members. The members elect a board of directors from among themselves and authorize the board to conduct the day to day business of the Cooperative in a manner that satisfies all of the requirements of its Charter, Bylaws, Agreements, and Policies.

All members in a cooperative share in the advantages and responsibilities of co-op life, which makes it more than just a place to live.

There are many kinds of co-operatives: food co-ops, co-op daycares, credit unions, retail co-ops, worker co-ops and housing co-ops. Any group of people can form a co-operative. The members own the co-operative and the co-operative provides a service they need. Housing co-operatives provide housing.

As a co-op member, you have security of tenure. This means that you can live in your home for as long as you wish if you follow the rules of the co-op and pay your housing charge (rent). As a co-op member, you have a say in decisions that affect your home. You and your neighbours own your homes co-operatively. Members form a community that works together to manage the co-op. Co-op communities are made up of all kinds of people – people with different backgrounds and incomes and special needs. These diverse and vibrant communities are the unique strength of the co-op housing movement.

What are Members Rights

  • Members of a housing co-op have a right to:
  • Right #1

    Vote on the annual budget, which sets the monthly housing charges

  • Right #2

    Elect a board of directors made up of people who live in your co‑op

  • Right #3

    Run for the board of directors yourself

  • Right #4

    Receive audited financial statements that show how the co‑op spent your money

  • Right #5

    Pay only a limited portion of your income for your housing, if you meet eligibility rules

  • Right #6

    Live there for as long as you like, if you keep to the by-laws agreed on by the co‑op membership

Video Info

Co-op Structure

Co-operative-Housing-Structure425

Our Federation

CHFTlogo300

In 1974, a group of non-profit housing co-operatives set up a small organization to promote the development of new co-ops and to provide the education and assistance needed by the growing co-operative housing sector.

Today, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) is a member-supported organization representing more than 45,000 people living in more than 160 non-profit housing co-operatives located in Toronto and York Region.

Click here to learn more about CHFT.