What is a Cooperative?
A housing cooperative (co-op) is a residential, non-profit, housing corporation jointly owned and operated by its members. Unlike condos (where residents own individual units) cooperative members own a share (a membership certificate) of the whole.
What is Hyde Park Cooperative?
Hyde Park Cooperative, a non-profit corporation, owns the total property, i.e. the land and structures. Each member "owner" is a shareholder in the corporation. As a Hyde Park co-op member, one is both a shared owner of the corporation and a resident in the unique community.
A co-op is a group of people working together in a joint economic activity that is owned and operated by its members for their mutual benefit. Joining the cooperative allows you to build limited equity, i.e. to establish some value in the property. You, as an individual, do not own the unit you are occupying: instead, you and the other members own the entire assets (property) of the cooperative. You share in owning your dwelling.
For income tax purposes, a co-op member is usually considered a homeowner and, as such, can deduct his or her share of the real estate taxes and mortgage interest paid by the cooperative.
Elimination of Outside Landlord
Co-ops offer control of one's living environment and security of tenure not available in rental housing.
As mutual owners, member residents participate at various levels in the decision-making process. This is not true of tenants who usually do not have the opportunity to exercise responsibility. As long as they meet their monthly obligations an abide by the co-op bylaws, rules, and regulations, members have the security of being able to remain in their homes for as long as they wish.
Many co-op members indicate that the possibility for interaction with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and income levels is a positive factor in their decision to become a member.
Co-ops are communities within larger communities. Members share common goals and a sense of identity and pride from working together. Many set up recreational, social, educational, and mutual help programs.
Each member has one vote in making decisions on important matters and in the election of a board of directors. The board of directors is charged with making decisions for the corporation.
Co-op members usually have limited direct maintenance responsibilities. The cooperative association is responsible for major repairs, insurance, replacement of worn-out equipment, and upkeep of common grounds and facilities.