Education
training &
information

Co-operation
among
co-operatives

Concern
for
community

What is a housing co-operative?

What is a housing co-operative?
A housing co-operative is a not-for profit organisation owned and run by its members. Housing cooperatives are about self-help, democracy, social responsibility and caring for one another. These values are as relevant today as they ever were.
A housing co-operative is formed when people join with each other on a democratic basis to own or control the housing in which they live. Housing co-operative members understand and are committed to the International Principals of Co-operation.
As a democratically controlled organisation, its members voluntarily unite to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations. Housing cooperatives are based on the values of self help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. The cooperative principles assist housing cooperative members put these values into practice.
Housing co-operatives have a long history around the world and is part of a broader movement which encourages self help, mutual support and education of members and the community. The housing co-operatives sector in WA is part of that broader movement.
As a provider of housing, the Western Australian housing co-operative sector is a small player that seeks to expand the opportunities for people to enjoy the benefits of being a member of a housing co-operative.
Co-operatives provide more than just a roof over peoples' heads. The following quote sums up some of the benefits of housing co-operatives:
"When dwellers control the major decisions and are free to make their own contribution to the design, construction or management of their housing, both the process and the environment produced stimulate individual and social well being.   When people have neither control over, nor responsibility for key decisions in the housing process, on the other hand, dwelling environments may instead become a barrier to personal fulfilment and a burden on the economy."
(from 'Freedom to Build' by John F.C. Turner 1972)