Urban housing cooperatives: experiments in participation
Chekki, Dan A.
The problem of housing in urban industrial societies has become a matter of great concern for planners and urban dwellers. The land values, cost of construction, mortgage rates, home ownership and rental costs have been, in recent years, skyrocketing - making it extremely difficult for low and middle income families to own or rent a decent dwelling. The dreams of buying a house are being shattered by the recent housing crisis. One of the attractive alternatives to home ownership is that of housing cooperatives. Cooperative housing, or "the third sector," an innovation in housing based on the Scandinavian model seems to have gained some momentum in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Is the housing cooperative a viable alternative or a solution to the current problem of housing in urban industrial societies? Has it been successful as an economic venture? What are the intended and unintended consequences of housing coops? What is the extent of member participation in decision-making? What is their role in community development? Can they be instruments of community change?