What is a housing co-op?

A housing co-operative is an organisation of individuals and families who join together to manage their own housing. Many co-operatives own their own properties; others, like ABC, manage properties owned by a housing association or local council, on either a permanent or a short-life basis. The co-op acts as landlord, renting residential properties to members. Everyone who has a tenancy is a member of the co-op, with an equal share in making decisions about how we run our housing.

In permanent housing members in good standing can live there for as long as they like, and have certain rights to pass on their tenancy.

In short-life housing the properties are leased to the co-op for a limited period, and we have to hand them back to the landlord at the end of that period. Every effort is made to re-house members living in short-life housing when their properties are handed back (provided the members are in good standing with the co-op and have no rent arrears), but unfortunately we cannot guarantee re-housing.

What does being a member involve?

As members, we all have an equal say in how we run our housing. This means that we have a bit more freedom than council or housing association tenants in being able to make decisions about, for example, how we organise maintenance, or how our housing co-op should develop in the future. It also means that we all have a responsibility to participate in making decisions and helping to manage our housing


In addition to the usual tenant's responsibilities (to pay rent on time, to keep properties in good order, not to harass neighbours), members' responsibilities include:


In addition to the usual benefits of social housing (affordable rent, security of tenancy in permanent housing), benefits of being in the co-op include: