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Getting Your Bearings

The Cooperative Association Act (and its Regulation) is the legislation that provides the legal foundation for housing co-ops in BC.

Applications to incorporate a co-op are made through BC Registries, and the documents you submit at this stage determine whether the co-op will be an equity housing co-op or a purely non-profit housing co-op. If you incorporate as a non-profit co-op, the co-op will always remain a non-profit. The law forbids non-profit housing co-ops from redistributing their assets to individual members. Apart from the share purchase price, what members contribute financially to a non-profit housing co-op cannot be returned.

This page outlines the key issues and highlights challenges moving from idea to actual housing. It’s not an easy path, which is why the community housing sector has worked so hard to establish a Community Land Trust. The path is not strictly linear either, so you’ll probably be working on a few items simultaneously.

Photo credit: “Which direction?” by Andrew Malone used by CC BY 2.0. Original image was cropped and toned with text added.