Housing Co-ops & Resident Owned Communities Overview

Housing co-ops and resident owned communities are unique applications of the cooperative business model. As an alternative to conventional rental apartments, mobile home parks, and condominiums, housing co-ops empower residents with ownership and responsibility. Each resident, or family, owns a share in the co-op, which owns the building or land, and has a say in decisions that affect the community, based on a one member, one vote principle.


Ownership is impactful when dealing with where you live. In a housing co-op, the residents collectively own the building or land in which they live, not the independent units. Instead of paying rent to a middleman, or having individual mortgages and condo fees, co-op monthly payments contribute to the collective property expenses. Co-ops operate on an at-cost basis, often making them more affordable and typically more financially stable.

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What Makes Housing Co-ops Unique

Housing co-ops and resident owned communities are people sharing control of the way they live. The housing cooperative business model is revolutionizing housing for seniors and aging adults, for students at college and university campuses, and for families across the United States. In each co-op, residents manage the co-op collectively and always seek to benefit the group.

“Co-ops operate on an at-cost basis, often making them more affordable and financially stable”

Did you know?

Across the United States, more than 1.5 million people live in cooperative housing.

23 colleges and universities have housing co-ops on or nearby campus saving students an average of 50% on room and board costs per year.

Helpful Links

National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC)

Resident Owned Communities, ROC USA®

National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA

International Co-operative Alliance

Co-operative Housing International