The Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation
What is a housing co-op and is it for you?
Housing Co-ops have long been a favourite housing alternative for older Canadians. It offers social connection, security, interdependence and mutual support. Many are age-friendly; the management is often led by seniors.
Anyone can apply to live in a housing co-op. People of all backgrounds and cultures help to maintain the diversity often found in co-ops. Most co-ops have no maximum or minimum income levels to qualify. Co-ops can usually accommodate people with physical disabilities and special needs.
From the outside, a housing co-op looks like any other apartment building or townhouse development. However, a housing co-op is different.
Most co-ops have a waiting list of people who would like to move into the co-op. These lists are usually divided into two categories; people who can pay the full or “market” rent, and people who will need a subsidy.
Subsidy (or rent supplement) is money that the government pays to help lower the rents for people with low incomes. Each co-op has an agreement with the government that outlines the amount of money available and who can qualify.
Co-ops are controlled by their residents, who are members with a voice and a vote in decisions about their housing. There is no outside landlord. Co-op housing offers a home, not an investment. In a typical Canadian co-op, from one-quarter to three-quarters of households pay a reduced monthly charge, based on their income. The others pay the full monthly charge set when the members approve the co-op’s yearly operating budget. Housing co-ops operate as close to cost as possible. The full monthly housing charge rises only as the co-op’s costs increase.
The residents of a housing co-op are members of the co-operative corporation which owns the whole co-op. The co-op leases each unit to a member household. Members do not own their units.
To view a list of Housing Cooperatives in the Hamilton area, addresses and contact info, please click here.