Co-operative housing is the smallest sector in the New South Wales social housing system. There are 35 housing co-operatives (‘co-ops’), with a total of just over 360 dwellings, mostly in Sydney. Each co-op is operated by its members, the tenants who live in its properties. These properties are owned by Common Equity NSW, a registered community housing provider and resource body for housing co-ops, which headleases properties to the co-op.
To apply for co-op housing, contact Common Equity and ask to be placed on its referral register. When a co-op has a vacancy, it will contact eligible persons on the register and invite them to a selection interview.
Co-ops have different eligibility criteria to other social housing providers. Their income criteria allow for a mix of households on low and moderate incomes, but many of them target eligibility to particular groups (for example, single parents, or older persons from particular ethnic groups).
Alternatively, you and others can try to form a housing co-op of your own. It is a lengthy process, and you have to be committed to it.
For more information about co-operative housing, contact Common Equity NSW.