What is Co-op Housing?

Cooperative Housing

A housing cooperative is created when people join together to democratically own or control their housing and communal facilities.

Living in Cooperative Housing

In cooperatives, residents share the kitchen, bath, laundry, and common-area facilities of one large house. Shared responsibilities include meal preparation, household cleaning, minor maintenance, and grocery shopping. Weekly house meetings, house rules, bylaws and consensus decision-making process are common fixtures of cooperative housing. Co-ops are more affordable because residents can divide the costs associated with food buying, daycare, utilities, on-going maintenance, and monthly mortgage payments.

Benefits of Living in Cooperative Housing

  • Affordability
  • Built-in community
    • Social and emotional support
  • Skill building (cooking, gardening, communication, maintenance, recruitment, and more)
  • Make your own decisions about your housing, instead of a landlord, through consensus decision making
  • Living with people with different backgrounds

Responsibility of Living in a Cooperative House

  • Attending house meetings
  • Participating in the chore system
  • Taking on stewardships (such as maintenance, accounting, membership, mediation)
  • Making payments on time

Types of Cooperative Housing

Equity Cooperatives – Members buy and sell their share of the cooperative at market rate. 

Limited Equity Cooperatives – Members buy and sell their share of the cooperative at restricted amounts in order to maintain the cooperative’s affordability.

Rental Cooperatives – Members participate in the cooperative’s management but do not own shares of the cooperative.

Boulder Housing Coalition (BHC) currently owns and runs four rental cooperatives. As it grows community housing in Boulder, BHC hopes to create various forms of cooperative and community housing.