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was provided by Co-operators
Housing co-ops are in every neighbourhood in the
city. A co-op can be a medium size apartment building or townhouses.
People who live in co-ops come from every walk of life. They are
people with different backgrounds, varied incomes and sometimes
they are people with special needs. These diverse and vibrant communities
are the unique strength of housing co-ops.
There are 17,000 co-op units in the City of Toronto
and York Region. Co-ops have both market units and subsidized units.
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.
At the present time, subsidized units are very
hard to come by because waiting lists are very long.
An Affordable Alternative
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 Toronto and York Region. Market rents in housing co-ops
are often lower than the regular rental market.
What is Co-op Housing?
Co-op housing is member controlled housing. The
members who live in a co-op are the ones responsible for running
the co-op. Each member has a vote and every year members elect a
Board of Directors from the membership.
What is the difference between co-op housing
and regular rental housing?
- people who live in a co-op are
members of the co-op, not tenants.
Together, they are responsible for the co-op. Each member has
one vote and every year a Board of Directors is elected from the
- there is no landlord.
Members make the big decisions about how the buildings will be
maintained and how the business of the co-op will be managed.
- members run the co-op
Members elect a board of directors to manage the business of the
co-op. Most co-ops hire staff to do the day-to-day work. Members
work together to keep their housing well-managed and affordable.
- you don't have to worry about
excessive rent increases
Landlord raise rents to maximize their profits. Co-ops are non-profit
organizations. This doesn't mean that rents (housing charges)
won't go up. Housing charges increase regularly as operating costs
increase. The difference is that co-op members review the finances
of the co-op and budget recommendations of the Board of Directors.
At an annual general meeting the members vote on the budget. If
there are housing charge increases, they reflect true costs, not
- co-op housing is secure
Co-op members are asked to leave only if they break the co-op's
by-laws. Co-ops provide secure and stable housing. You and your
family can live in the Co-op for a long time and build roots in
- co-op members form deep roots
in the community.
The co-op will never be sold or flipped for profit so members
can choose to remain in the co-op for a long time. This encourages
involvement and commitment to the community and allows members
to feel secure in their co-op and their neighbourhood. It is easier
for people to become involved in their community if they know
they will be a part of it for a long time.
- co-op members are a part of
a larger community of co-ops
In the Greater Toronto Area there are over 165 co-ops that are
joined together in a federation where co-ops can turn for support,
information and advice.
How do I apply for co-op housing?
The co-op housing application process
1.) Each co-op is an independent corporation so
each co-op’s application process may differ a little.
Most co-ops will ask you to come to an information
meeting either before or after you fill in an application. Sometimes
co-ops have an application fee.
2.) If you need a subsidy, you should also apply to the Housing
Connections waiting list. Municipally administered co-op subsidies
must be offered to the first person on the municipal list. Federally
administered co-op subsidies can be offered from the individual
co-op's waiting list. However, Co-op subsidies are very limited.
3.) The co-op will do a landlord check on your
completed application form. When a unit becomes available or if
the co-op’s waiting list needs more applicants, all of the
adults on the application will be asked to come for an interview
before being approved for membership.
If you are interested in living in a market priced
co-op unit click here
to go to a list of co-ops looking for applications.