The Co-operative Housing Model

Around the world, co-ops are a big deal. Well established, highly effective and successful. In some parts of the globe Co-operative Housing is as much as 40% of the total housing in a city.

In Australia, people are embracing co-ops. With over 8,000 people living in housing co-operatives across the country - and that is on the rise!

There’s so much to like about co-operative housing. Residents love it, frequently rating it better than any other form of housing.

It’s a model that empowers, generating significant social, financial, health and wellbeing benefits. It’s inclusive for all ages and demographics. And offers the benefits of safety and security with the joy of being part of a vibrant, local community.

Co-operative Housing is as varied as the people who live in it.

Units. Free standing houses. Villages. Owners. Part-owners. Renters. Shared spaces. Rooftop Gardens. Innovative designs.

Australia’s housing market no longer meets the needs for so many. People on low incomes, people with good incomes, retirees, older Australians, vulnerable groups, people with a disability or those just wanting to be a part of a stronger community.

We need a better way.

The solution is Co-operative Housing.

Housing Co-Operatives are intentional and vibrant communities. Like-minded people actively working together, selecting new members making local decisions, maintaining properties, learning new skills and contributing to their community. All members actively contribute and benefit through security of tenure, reduced costs, local decision making and control and self-management of their cooperative.

All properties in the NSW Co-operative portfolio are either leased to or owned by Common Equity and the overall responsibility for the housing properties is a shared arrangement between Common Equity and the Co-operatives.

They are legal entities that operate to protect the rights and interests of all members. They run according to 7 Principles;

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education, training and information
  • Co-operation among Co-operatives
  • Concern for the community

Common Equity is the peak body for Co-operative Housing in NSW. We support existing housing co-ops and help develop new ones. We innovate. We demonstrate how to reduce the cost of housing and support services. We build communities. We build resilience. We create new ways to access affordable housing.

Choice. Control. Co-operation.

Together, let’s explore the opportunities.