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We build strong communities together by offering quality services and education guided by the International Co-operative Principles to our member housing co-ops, in partnership with other supporting organizations.


We currently have 41 member organizations that represent over 2,900 units of member controlled co-operative housing located in Brantford, Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo.

Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF) was incorporated in 1992 under the Co-operative Corporations Act.  Our member organizations include: housing co-operatives, student housing co-operatives, co-op staff association(s), and resource groups (co-op housing developers/managers).

Like a housing co-op, the federation has a volunteer board elected by the membership which looks after governance of the federation. COCHF employees one staffperson to provide day-to-day management.

Operations of the federation are funded mainly from dues paid by members and fees charged for some services.  Income is also generated from member use of the Co-op Cost Cutters and CHIP programs.


COCHF was founded by housing co-operatives in its region to provide services to housing co-ops, to represent housing co-ops to the public and to governments, and provide a means for co-ops to network with each other.

In the beginning, the federation’s primary service was its education program.  Over the years, the federation has developed additional services to support good governance & sound management.  Services are generally provided only for COCHF members – most of which are financed from member dues.  Fees-for-services include portable workshop training, education conferences, consulting assistance, and chairing services.  These services are also available at non-member fee rates.  The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada services for housing co-operatives can be found on the CHF Canada website.

May 11, 1992

COCHF is incorporated. Mark Paul is hired as the federation’s first staffperson

1992: Launch of Education & Training Services

1993: Service Launch including Meeting Chairing, Consulting, Central Exchange Newsletter, Government Liaison, CHIP Banking Program and Unit Vacancy Reports

1998: Launch of Co-op Cost Cutters Group Buying Program

1999: Launch of COCHF’s 1st  Website

2000: Launch of Co-op Young Leaders Sponsorship

2006: Launch of Co-op Service Awards

2007: Launch of online Co-op Locator

2008: Launch of online Contractor’s Listing

2010: The Federation creates a second staff position

2012: Revamp of COCHF website & online Co-op Locator

2013: Launch of Diversity Scholarship in COCHF area

Feb 2015: COCHF Managing Director, Mark Paul retires after 23 years of service

Feb 2015 – Mar 2017:  Sabine Behnk is hired to assist with navigating COCHF’s transition period.

Apr 2017: The federation removes the member services co-ordinator position, and returns to one staff position



Robert Marshall President

Cambridge New Hope, Cambridge


Trevor Black Vice-President

Brighton Yards Co-op, Waterloo


Lisa Maracle Treasurer

Westglen Co-op, Brantford


Lana Wong Corporate Secretary

WCRI, Waterloo


Natasha Verway Director

Homestarts Inc.


Melody Alderwick Director

Bread & Roses Co-op, Kitchener


Carine Nind Director



Adam Malloy Director

Beaver Creek Co-op, Waterloo


- Christine McLauchlin Director

Willowside Co-op, Kitchener

Timeline of COCHF Logo



September 2017: New Logo