What Is Co-operative Housing?

• Co-ops are owned by their members

• Co-ops are accountable to their members

• Co-ops are connected to their community

Being a co-op member means having control over your housing. It also means you have a responsibility to make sure that your co-op is a well-managed and pleasant place to live. If you join a co-op, you will be expected to do the following:

  • Buy shares in the co-op

  • Pay a monthly housing charge

  • Follow the co-op's rules and policies

  • Attend members’ meetings

  • Participate in governing and maintaining the co-op by joining a committee or the board

  • Be a good neighbour!

Before you apply to become a member, you need to ask yourself if you will have the time and energy to participate in your co-op. The following guidelines are part of the co-operative principles which all co-operatives put into practice:

  • open membership

  • democratic member control

  • economic participation

  • independence

  • co-operative education

  • co-operation with other co-operatives

  • community

What is subsidy?

Most non-profit housing co-ops currently offer subsidy to some of their housing units. The housing charge for these units is adjusted to the income of the household. If a household qualifies for a subsidy, their housing charge is usually set at roughly 30% of the household’s income. Not all co-ops have subsidy available, and subsidy is not a certainty going forward.

If you require a subsidized housing unit, click here to learn more about subsidized units in Victoria through BC Housing – BC Housing handles subsidized housing applications from a number of different sources, including CRD Housing and some housing co-ops.

More information…

You can find more information on housing co-ops on the CHF BC (Co-op Housing Federation of British Columbia) website or the CHF Canada (Co-op Housing Federation of Canada) website.