HOW DO CO-OPS WORK?
A co-op’s primary purpose is to meet the needs of its members, unlike most other businesses that exist solely to maximize profit.
The co-operative enterprise model can be applied to any kind of business or need.
Co-ops are often initiated by a group of people who share a common need such as a local grocery store. In 1844, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society was founded by 28 men who wanted to improve their working & living conditions. They opened a store to sell honest food at honest prices – today it is known as the beginning of the modern co-operative movement.
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AN AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE
Housing co-operatives have both market units and subsidized units. Housing co-ops call units “market units” if the member is paying the full market price. “Subsidized units” are units where the member is paying only a portion of the full market price. The balance of the housing charge is paid by the subsidy program that the co-op works with.
Co-ops can provide affordable housing for people with moderate incomes. They open their market unit waiting lists on a regular basis. There are co-ops with open waiting lists in every area of Central Ontario. Each housing co-operative fills their vacancies independently, and the members democratically control the buildings in which they live. There are more than 580 housing co-ops in Ontario.