Cooperative Housing Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Cooperative Housing, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Cooperative Housing?

It refers to an arrangement between a group or organisation whose memebers own a housing estate along with its common area and which some or all members can utilise including residing at that estate.Similarly all the residents have right to vote as if they are owners of the place.

History and Meaning of Cooperative Housing

Cooperative housing, also known as co-housing, is a type of residential community where members own and manage the property collectively. This system dates back to the mid-1800s when the first cooperative housing project was established in Rochdale, England. The goal was to provide affordable housing to textile workers who could not afford private homes. Today, cooperative housing is a popular choice for people who want to create a sense of community and share expenses.

In this system, residents are both tenants and owners. They have the right to participate in the decision-making process and vote on property matters. They also share in the maintenance and management of common areas such as gardens, laundry rooms, and recreational facilities. Financing for cooperative housing projects is often provided by government agencies or member contributions.

Examples of Cooperative Housing

  1. In New York City, the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative is a complex of several buildings in the Bronx that was built in 1927. It is one of the oldest and largest cooperative housing communities in the United States.
  2. The Wild Sage Cohousing Community in Boulder, Colorado allows members to own their own private homes while sharing common spaces and resources, like a community garden.
  3. The Ecovillage at Ithaca in upstate New York is a large and diverse cooperative community that incorporates principles of ecological sustainability and social justice into its operations.

Legal Terms Similar to Cooperative Housing

  1. Condominium: A type of ownership structure for multi-unit properties where residents own their individual units and share ownership of common areas.
  2. Homeowners Association (HOA): An organization that manages and enforces rules and regulations for a neighborhood, often including common areas and amenities.
  3. Tenant Association: An organization of tenants who share common concerns and work together to make decisions regarding their living environment.