A collective model
A housing co-operative is a collective enterprise that provides housing for its members. These members jointly own the building or buildings of the co-operative they collectively manage. Each member is a tenant of his individual housing.
In Quebec, more than 50,000 people reside in close to 1,200 co-operatives. On FECHIMM’s territory, we estimate the number of co-operatives to be about 600. FECHIMM has more than 460 member co-operatives where nearly 12,000 households reside.
QUALITY HOUSING AT A LOW COST
Co-operatives stand out for their quality housing at below market average prices. Member participation in the management and maintenance of the buildings help reduce operating costs and therefore the rents.
A DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION
In a co-operative, all members are expected to participate in the decisions of the collective enterprise. Everyone can exercise their voting right at the General Assembly to be held at least once a year. The members at the general assembly elect their directors who will sit on the co-operative’s board of directors.
The board of directors, consisting of at least five members, has for mandate to ensure the smooth running of the co-operative. The selection of members and tenants is among their responsibilities. They may delegate this responsibility to a selection committee.
To ensure a proper distribution of tasks between the residents, co-operatives can also set up thematic committees on issues such as finance, maintenance and recreation. Members are invited to join one of the committees based on their interests and skills.
A SPECIFIC LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Like other co-operatives, housing co-operatives are governed in particular by the Co-operatives Act that determines, among other things, the legal rules governing the formation, the funding and the associative operation of the co-operatives.
For more information on the functioning of housing co-operatives
- CHF Canada - What is housing co-op?
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s “Guide to Co‑op Housing”
- Album souvenir de la FECHIMM: 30 ans de coopération et d'entraide (FR)
- Co-operative section of the website of the Ministère Économie Innovation et Exportations (FR).
- Les coopératives d'habitation au Québec : histoires et membres fondateurs (FR)