What is a housing cooperative?
A housing cooperative is an organisation made up from people who come together to meet their housing need under cooperative principles. Housing co-operatives provide a way for people to share in the ownership of property and live in it at affordable rent levels; as opposed to rent levels designed to generate profit for an individual or company. They are an alternative to home ownership in the traditional sense or renting in the private sector.
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Co-operatives are based on the values of responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
Different Types of Housing Co-ops
Imani housing co-op Ltd. is a fully mutual housing co-operative. Most housing co-operatives are fully mutual, where only tenants or prospective tenants may be members, and only members may hold a tenancy. Fully mutual means that decisions made relating to the operation and management of the housing co-operative, are made by the people who are affected by them. There are approximately 230 fully mutual housing co-operatives in the UK today.
Non-mutual housing co-operatives allow people who are not members to have tenancies
Just like many housing cooperatives aim to own their own housing. is a ownership co-operative whose housing has been purchased through the combination of support from government grants and mortgage finance. This has enable’s tenants to have rents well below market rents in the private sector.
Short life Co-operatives
Short life co-operatives occupy housing that is in a poor state of repair or due to be demolished. The nature of tenure is short-often as little as 6 months, hence the name. As a consequence, members pay very low rents.
Some co-operatives manage housing for private landlords, agencies and or Housing Associations. This is often a way for co-operatives to establish a trading record and reserves before applying for a mortgage. As the co-operative takes on the responsibility for the maintenance of the housing, the owner of the property receives less than they normally would. This saving is passed to the members.
Imani housing co-operative has experienced the operational elements of all the forms of housing co-operatives at different stages of its development.
Tenant Management Co-operatives
Tenant management co-operatives (TMC’s) are organisations established to take over the management of existing housing stock e.g. a block of flats or an estate. They are organised on a co-operative basis, whereby the tenants elect the Board of Management. Recent developments have opened the door to stock transfers from Local Authority ownership to TMC’s.
The Co-operative Principle
(…as defined by resolution of the Centennial Congress of the International Co-operative Alliance on 23 September 1995)
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-ops put their values into practice.