What is a Housing Cooperative?

Housing Cooperatives are a distinctive form of home ownership that has many characteristics that make it superior to other residential arrangements such as single family ownership, condominiums and renting. A primary advantage of the housing cooperative is the pooling of the members’ resources so that their buying power is leveraged, thus lowering the cost per member in all the services and products associated with home ownership. Another key element is that the members, through their elected representatives who serve on the board of directors, screen and select who may live in the cooperative, unlike any other form of home ownership.
A History of Housing Cooperatives
Cooperatives have long been recognized as a means of providing affordable housing. Since they are owned by their residents, cooperatives offer continuing economic incentives and social opportunities for residents who are interested in controlling their social environment and improving the quality of their lives.
While the history of housing cooperatives dates back to the beginning of time, the greatest legal and organizational progress has been made in the last two centuries. Records of shared-ownership housing have been recorded throughout history since the days of Babylon, where documents describe two owners sharing separate floors of a house; to ancient Rome where the Digest of Justinian refers to separate ownership of a house but shared ownership of a common roof. Compare that to today’s high-end luxury cooperatives, and one can see how far the development of housing cooperatives has come.
Comparison of Housing Cooperatives to Condominiums

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