Housing Cooperatives & Land Partnerships


From Michelle Bowlen of Selkirk Law

Cohousing Communities

– Residents own their own homes (including the land) surrounding a community space with shared amenities
– Homeowners are able to build equity on their investment
– Homeowners can sell their land to whomever they want
– Legal structure: STRATA property

Co-Operative Housing

Equity Co-Op:

– Operated as non-profits
– Members own shares that represent the value of the property they will live in but do not hold title to the property
– Members usually manage the project themselves and share ownership in the project
– Can be hard to secure a mortgage
– Can be used for affordable housing

Traditional Housing Co-op:

– No equity gained but there is security of tenure
– Membership fee is similar to a security deposit and monthly rent is paid
– Democratically run by the members of the co-op

Community Land Trust (CLT)

– Non-profit created to hold land for the benefit of the community
– Purpose is to create a diverse portfolio of properties in order to secure affordable housing in perpetuity to the members of the community
– Structure allows for mixed use on the land: cohousing, co-ops, commercial, agricultural
– CLT is able to create partnerships with local governments and stakeholders to find creative ways to solve the needs of the community
– Eligible for government grants
– Generally run by an elected board with 1⁄3 representation from each: residence on CLT land, public interest, and general community members
– Creates Shared Equity homes with restrictions on resale