What is a housing cooperative?
A Housing cooperative is a group of people working together, sharing a common goal, have similar expectations and will pool their limited resources to improve the condition of their housing. This can be done by;
It is a legal entity and it should not be confused with a SACCO or building society. Housing cooperative is a democratic organization, owned and controlled by its members. Every member is free to participate and own a share of the cooperative. It is normally a non- profit with its income coming from its members’ contribution, rentals from members occupying cooperative owned housing. Any surplus created is meant for operational expenses or requirements, maintenance, reserve funds for replacement of assets. It is, however, quite possible for housing cooperatives to own other revenue generating assets that can produce surplus income which can then contribute to offsetting the cost of housing. For poor marginalized communities in particular, a housing cooperative takes on a broader dimension beyond housing to what is termed as the Social Production of Housing (SPH) This involves people coming together relying on each other to create solutions, to design, plan, mobilize resources, maintain spaces, partnering to provide labour, time, expertise, materials and money for housing development.
Who may join a housing cooperative
A housing cooperative does not discriminate against ethnic origin, gender, sex, age, marital status, political affinity, disability, record of offenses or any other reason which is a violation of fundamental human rights.
How many members form a cooperative
A minimum of thirty (30) members. However, there is no limit on the maximum number. It is mportant that the numbers are manageable.
Why join housing cooperatives?