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Fax: 505.881.0831
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Echo Ridge Homes
4315 San Pedro DR NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

What is a Co-op?

What is a Housing Co-op?

In most housing co-ops, each shareholder member owns a share in a corporation that owns or controls the building(s) and/or property in which they live. Each member is entitled to occupy a specific unit and has a vote in the corporation. Every month, the members pay an amount that covers their proportionate share of the expense of operating the entire co-op. These monthly payments typically include the building mortgage, property taxes, management, maintenance, insurance, utilities, and contributions to reserve funds.

Some co-ops in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. date back to the 1920s. Today there are nearly 1.2 million families living in co-ops in major metropolitan areas from San Francisco to Boston and from Miami to Minneapolis.

Co-operative Principals

These principles are shared by all housing co-ops:

Democratic Control

  • In housing co-ops, residents control their environment and govern themselves through a democratically elected board of directors.

Open Membership

  • Because of their belief that all people are equal, co-ops have open membership without discrimination.

Not/for Profit Operation

  • The co-operative objective is to provide suitable housing for as reasonable cost as possible. In co-ops, people are the concern. Co-ops exist to benefit their member owners, not investors.


Education, Training, and Information

Successful co-operative housing communities keep their members informed and encourage member participation in co-operative activities and programs. They provide staff or volunteers to help members, employees, and the general public learn about their principles, problems, and goals. This includes informing their members about the co-operative community’s policies and services—and about the regional, national, and international groups to which the co-op belongs. It also involves providing consumer education and information.

Co-operation Among Co-ops

Co-operative associations of all kinds are strengthened by sharing experience and by their mutual support of each other.

In co-operative housing communities, these principles tend to promote a balance of individual family privacy while enriching neighborhood relationships in a way seldom found in single/family home ownership communities and rental housing. The more wholesome neighborhood environment of co-operative communities often attracts second/and third/generation residents.

People with varying needs and desires have found many ways to apply co-operative concepts in meeting their housing needs. There are co-ops for senior citizens, college students, public housing tenants, and upper- and lower-income families.

Housing co-ops today come in any number of physical forms: single family homes, duplexes, townhouses, garden apartments, mid- and high-rise apartments, and manufactured home parks.

Basic co-operative principles can be applied to almost any situation in which people join together to provide housing and neighborhood communities for themselves. The keystone is democratic control by the members to achieve commonly held objectives.