Huntington Place Housing Co-op - Co-op of the Month, February

As part of our celebration of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) in 2012, CHF BC will highlight a Co-op of the Month as one way of showing how co-operative enterprises make a better world. Find out how your co-op can be the next co-op of the month.

Featured co-op of the Month for February 2012 – Huntington Place Housing Co-op

Huntington Place Housing Co-op in Fort St. John is a 76-unit townhouse-style housing co-op first occupied in 1981, just over 30 years old. The co-op still has some of its original members.  And despite a housing boom in the area, it is proud to remain an affordable option in a town where an average two-bedroom costs $1500-$1800 a month and three-bedroom homes go for $1800-$2400. Member turnover is caused mainly when people who can afford to buy a home in the community move out. 

Huntington Place members pose with prizes at the co-op’s annual meeting.

The co-op was built primarily for families, and single parents make up about 40% of the membership.

Cina Wales-Green is the co-op’s housing and maintenance co-ordinator. “We are a comfortable, safe community, with 80 children of all ages living in this co-operative.  There are very few complaints, which is amazing considering how many people live here.”

Wales-Green says that the co-op is one of the “co-op enterprises that build a better world” because it is safe and family friendly.  “It gives single parent families the option to live in a community environment where they do not have to worry about the safety of their children because other members of the community will watch out for them,” Wales-Green explains.  The co-op is active in caring about the environment and has set up a multipurpose recycling centre.  The co-op donates any refunds they get from recycling to the co-op’s children’s fund.  The co-op also promotes youth involvement. Some of the co-op’s directors are young adults and the co-op will sponsor a youth in the co-op to go to the YES leadership camp in the summer.

Huntington Place Housing Co-op’s recycling system.

Huntington Place uses the services of other co-ops like credit unions, gas co-ops, and gets member insurance and extended health for employees through The Co-operators.  Wales-Green notes that “we buy some of our supplies from local co-ops which we have here in the Peace region and we promote involvement in co-ops to our members because they get better rates.”  

The co-op plans to celebrate IYC 2012 with IYC banners on both ends of the co-op’s buildings that face the street.  They are also talking with the local bulk co-op and credit union to try to coordinate a joint celebration.  The co-op always holds an annual yard sale and this year they hope to expand it to include these other co-ops and maybe add a scavenger hunt. 

Huntington Place Housing Co-op in February.

Local media coverage:

Fort St. John's Energetic City on February 21, 2012.