We are an organisation made up from people who come together to meet their housing needs under co-operative principles.

What is a Housing Co-op

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
Fully Mutual

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

Ownership Co-operatives

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.

Management Co-operatives
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.


1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership

Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control

Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co- operative; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co- operative;and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence

Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co- operative autonomy.

5th Principle: Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members,elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6th Principle: Co-operation Among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co- operative movement by working together through local, national,regional, and international structures.

7th Principle: Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs and wishes, co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.