Housing cooperatives are organizations where residents own the building as a group and each owns a share of the property, rather than their unit. Residents form a shared corporation that handles the management of the building. Limited-equity cooperatives limit the sale and purchase price of the shares to retain affordability. Most limited-equity co-ops only open membership to low and moderate income residents.
The Tenant Right of Purchase Act (TOPA) is an important DC Law which allows tenants the opportunity to purchase their buildings when they go up on sale and has been the main method of creating co-ops. The Department of Housing and Community Development tenant purchase program supports tenants in the TOPA process, and has preserved over 1400 affordable homes since 2002.
What benefits do Co-ops give to District residents?
- Co-ops reduce displacement among low and moderate income residents by retaining affordability even in the midst of rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.
- Co-ops provide a unique opportunity for residents to take control of their living conditions and experience supportive first time home ownership.
- Co-ops preserve long term affordability, beyond the current residents. They provide affordable housing for future generations of DC residents.
How the District can Support Co-ops
- Increase funding for the HPTF (Housing Protection Trust Fund)
- Streamline approval process for First Right of Purchase
- Make the process for receiving initial funding faster and easier
- Develop support services for tenants not only during the purchase process, but also after the purchase, as the tenants begin to manage the building
Further Coop Resources
Coops in the News
Co-op Clinic 2017 was a success!
Saturday, September 30 from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm.