A Cooperative is a not-for-profit company formed by a group of people who work together to provide an affordable housing cooperative for its members. A cooperative is a business owned by the people who use it. If you belong to a credit union or mutual insurance company, you already participate in a suitable business.
Cooperatives provide the members with the best possible housing at the lowest cost. Cooperative members own a share in a corporation that owns and controls the building and property in which they live; each shareholder is entitled to occupy a specific unit and has a vote in the corporation.
Every month, shareholders pay an amount that covers their proportionate share of the expense of operating the entire cooperative, which typically includes underlying mortgage payments, property taxes, management, maintenance, insurance, utilities, and contributions to reserve funds. In the cooperative, occupancy charges equal the actual cost of owning and operating the property. As a non-Profit limited equity corporation, we cannot make a profit and only charge the price to take care of our bills.
Cooperative residents have an equal vote in the corporation that holds property title. As an owner, you have a voice in the election of the Board of Directors. The Board sets standards of excellence to ensure the community remains a pleasant place to live. Each dollar in your monthly payment provides adequate housing at the lowest possible cost – all on a non-profit basis. As a tenant-stockholder in the cooperative housing corporation, you can deduct your share of its payments for interest and real estate taxes … “
The unique thing about being a member of a housing cooperative such as Cumberland Green is that you are both resident and owner. Your cooperative takes care of your unit inside and out. It includes yard work, snow removal, trash collection, water bills, gas bills, or regular appliance maintenance and replacement.
Cumberland Green Cooperative ownership is considered personal property and not “real property,” i.e., you do not own real estate. You are not renting an apartment or townhouse; you have bought a share in the cooperative. Signing the Occupancy Agreement entitles you to occupy a unit. The Occupancy Agreement renews itself every three years. When a member is ready to move out, the member is responsible for the carrying charges until the new membership moves in.
Homeowners walk away with more money than paid when buying into this housing. The significant gain is in lower monthly charges; therefore, when we compare our monthly carrying charges yearly to rentals in the area. Cumberland Green is $500 to $1500 less than rentals in the area for the same size rentals. The yearly profit to the members ends up being approximately $6000 per year savings.