What Happened to Co-op Housing?

Recently I attended a meeting where the public was asked what the urbanization part of the central corridor should look like. I also attended a town hall put on by KWCF on how we can promote arts and culture in KW. A good movement forward is that the old LCBO building on Erb St. Waterloo is being renovated to provide music and arts studio space.

However, I wonder how we will have cheap places for artists to live in a downtown area like Queen St in Toronto if prices are going up for properties along the central corridor. Also are we going to only have high-priced condos? Successful cities have a variety of housing stock for all income levels. Right now it looks like only the homeless and the well off are being thought of. We have time to change this.

This led me to wonder what happened to the co-op housing that was so popular in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Coop housing is resident owned.  The residents of a housing co-op are members of the co-op corporation which owns the whole property.  The co-op provides a unit (townhouse or apartment) to the member household.   The co-op is non-profit, therefore members do not purchase or own the individual units in which they live.  All members have an equal say in how their co-op is run – “one member, one vote”.

Some examples of  co-ops are Needlewood Glen on Erb St., Beavercreek Co-op in Lakeshore and Brighton Yards in Uptown Waterloo.

I asked my question on twitter and here are some replies (also in regard to the central corridor question):

We need to also protect what we have already created. It may not be spectacular, but once it’s gone we can never rebuild it. @NealMoogkSoulis

Need to open up the zoning so there’s incentive to build all kinds of urban stuff, not just pricey condos.  Also need to eliminate current disincentives for building rentals.@psystenance

 Last co-op was Beechwood in 94. Next yr Harris govt elected. And new program rules make it difficult for co-ops to build. @Keith_Moyer

My thoughts, combining the two meetings, is that it would be great to see a residential/studio artists’ co-op near the corridor.


One response to “What Happened to Co-op Housing?

  1. Co-op housing needs to be better understood. The so-called good, the bad, and the uguly should all be investigated that relate to stakeholders.

    Co-operation can lead to success through sharing Free knowledge, learning and then understanding! Co-op Housing Information Exchange:

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