A housing cooperative (co-op) is a corporate entity that gives its shareholders many of the advantages of homeownership. The corporation owns the physical real estate, and the individual shareholder possesses a proprietary lease which includes the right to occupy a designated unit within the co-op.
In addition to the right of occupancy, shareholders set the policies of the co-op and control its business. The shareholders accomplish their control of the co-op by electing a Board of Directors from the general membership to represent their interests. The Board of Directors is responsible for the co-op’s business decisions. They oversee and are responsible for the operational and financial well-being of the co-op.
The specific purchase price for each individual unit is based upon the number of shares assigned to that unit. The purchase price provides capital for the co-op. Annually, every unit accrues additional value which is added to the shareholder's equity in the unit. The price of each unit is dependent upon square footage, but is generally around $10,000, about half of which is the cost of shares.
A limited number of units are also offered for rent at market rates.