Q. Co-op vs. Home Ownership?

A.  Unlike private ownership, members do not need to assume individual responsibility for getting a mortgage.

The co-operative obtains the mortgage financing necessary to develop the housing project. Each month, the member makes a monthly housing charge payment which covers the household’s portion of the mortgage payment,taxes, insurance, and maintenance and administration costs. Since the members are co-owners, the monthly housing charges are set to cover the co-op’s actual costs. There are no hidden costs or profits included in the housing charge.

The basic structure of a co-operative provides the members with additional benefits not offered in other forms of multiple ownership (i.e. condominiums). Each co- operative member has only one vote. This provision ensures that the co-operative is a democratic organization, and cannot be controlled by a small number of shareholders who have a majority of shares in the corporation. In addition, only residents can become members and maintain their membership in the co-operative, thereby protecting the members against absentee ownership.

It is the co-operative who selects the new members of the co-operative; the members decide to whom the shares of a departing member will be sold. This enables the members of the co-operative to determine who will be part of their community.