CO-OPS AND CO-OP HISTORY
"More than Just a Place to Live"
Housing Co-operatives have been around for a long time in Canada.
The first permanent student co-op was established at the University
of Toronto in 1934.
The first non-student co-op, Willow Park, was established in Winnipeg
On September 23, 1995, the International
Co-operative Alliance adopted new Co-operative Principles for
Housing Co-ops which are summarized below:
Co-ops are open without exception to anyone who needs their services
and who freely accepts the obligations of membership.
Co-ops are controlled by their members, who together set policy,
make decisions and elect leaders who report to them. In primary
co-ops each member has one vote.
All members contribute fairly to their co-ops, which they own in
common. Co-ops pay a limited return (if any) on money people have
to invest to become members. Surpluses are held for the future and
used to improve the Co-op's services.
All agreements co-ops sign with outside organizations or governments
should leave the members in control of the co-op.
Co-ops offer training to their members, directors and staff. Co-ops
tell the public what they are and what they do.
Co-ops work together through local, national and international structures
to serve their members.
Co-ops meet members' needs in ways that build lasting communities
inside and outside each co-op.
One of the central principles
of housing co-ops is to provide affordable housing, in a member
focused, democratically run community. Co-ops do not have landlords,
and rely on the co-operative effort of the members to keep housing
and other costs down. Some interesting links to Housing Co-operatives
in Eastern Ontario can be found by clicking on www.chaseo.org,
The Co-operative Housing Federation
of Canada (www.chfc.ca) is the national website for member
housing co-ops in Canada.
Co-ops are a great place to live!