A housing co-op is one of several types of co-operatives. We are part of a larger community and worldwide movement.
We are guided by international co-operative principles, adapted for housing co-ops:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Membership in a housing co-op is open to all who can use the co-op’s services and accept the responsibilities of being a member, without discrimination.
2. Democratic Control
Housing co-ops are controlled by their members. Each member has one vote. Housing co-ops give members the information they need to make good decisions, and take part in the life of the co-op.
3. Member Economic Participation
Members contribute financially to the co-op and share in the benefits of membership. The co-op does not pay a return on the members’ shares or deposits. Instead it sets aside reserves for the future and charges the members only what it needs to operate soundly.
4. Autonomy and Independence
Housing co-ops are independent associations. They follow the laws that apply to them and their agreements with governments or other organizations. But the members control the co-op.
5. Education, Training, and Information
Housing co-ops offer education and training to the members, directors and staff so that everyone can play a full role in the life of the co-op. Housing co-ops find ways to tell the public what they are and what they do.
6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
By organizing together in federations, housing co-ops grow stronger and help to build a healthy co-op movement. Where they can, housing co-ops use the services of co-op businesses to meet their needs.
7. Concern for Community
Housing co-ops work to build strong communities inside and outside the co-op. They help to improve the quality of life for others and they take care to protect the environment.