Co-operative housing providers…

  • Are affordable housing providers
  • Provide decent homes for key workers and first time buyers
  • Provide a model of housing that pools people’s resources and builds strong communities
  • Put tenants in control of their homes

Are affordable housing providers

In Australia and overseas, housing co-operatives have been effective financial managers of housing for decades because tenants have a sense of ownership and control in their management.

Provide decent homes for key workers and first-time buyers

Develop affordable housing to deliver new dwellings for key workers and other moderate income earners.

Provide a model of housing that pools people’s resources and builds strong communities

The long-term involvement of tenants with their homes and their community is beneficial to people providing a sense of place and commitment. In addition, the skills developed in operating their own enterprise assists with confidence building that often leads to employment and a more varied income stream.

Put tenants in control of their homes 

In addition to social benefits, housing co-operatives can deliver services effectively and efficiently while increasing consumer choice and control.

The co-operative housing model is highly diverse, but is first and foremost an ownership structure which can complement varying degrees of resident self-management, co-housing, co-design etc.

For further information about housing co-operatives, please contact Linda Seaborn.


cooperative housing international logo

The BCCM is the Australian representative to Cooperative Housing International.



Many housing co-operatives in Australia are represented by the Australian Co-operative Housing Alliance, which is affiliated with the BCCM.

Co-op housing news

3 Lasa Street - buildings
18 April 2024

Tackling the affordable housing crisis: New co-operative housing complex opens in Cabramatta

Common Equity NSW (CENSW) has opened its latest co-operative housing development at 3 Lasa St, Cabramatta.
4 April 2024

Podcast: Benefits of Housing Co-ops with Linda Seaborn

Sage Godrei engages in a compelling conversation with Linda Seaborn, Senior Policy Advisor at the BCCM, shedding light on the advantages of the housing co-op model.
27 March 2024

The benefits and challenges of co-operative housing

Researchers found that some co-operative housing tenants enjoyed benefits beyond affordable accommodation, including increased social connections and the acquisition of new skills.
19 March 2024

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals: The role and contribution of housing co-operatives in NSW

A recent NSW Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals meeting focused on the role and contribution of housing co-operatives in NSW.
15 March 2024

‘I’m home’: how co-operative housing could take pressure off Australia’s housing crisis

At a time when everything from abolishing negative gearing to capping rents are being suggested as ways to reduce Australia’s housing crisis, little attention has been given to housing...
15 March 2024

First national study reveals housing co-operatives could be part of the solution to Australia’s rental crisis

New research by Western Sydney University has revealed that housing co-operatives may form part of Australia’s answer to affordable and stable housing choices amidst a growing housing and rental...
Liz Thomas, ACHA Chair and CEO, Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL) at the 2023 Housing Roundtable
28 February 2024

Co-operative approaches to tackling housing affordability in Australia

In late 2023, the BCCM and the Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals held an Affordable Housing Policy Roundtable and Luncheon in Canberra.
18 February 2024

Co-op housing sector can play greater role to ease crisis

The $12.4 million Lakewood redevelopment serves as an example of the potential for co-ops to play a greater role in the Housing Australia Fund.
16 February 2024

Lakewood re-opening showcases role for co-ops in affordable housing crisis

The $12.4 million refurbishment of Lakewood Housing Co-operative in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs is being hailed as a potential blueprint for the development of similar sites to help ease...
Exterior of housing at South Hobart Co-housing Co-operative project - photo by Hugh Johnson
8 January 2024

The missing middle that could help fix the housing crisis 

Co-operative housing is the missing middle in Australia’s property landscape, and those who work in the emerging local industry argue it should be harnessed by state and federal governments to help...
Port Willunga, South Australia
1 December 2023

Are co-ops the answer to Australian housing crisis?

Housing affordability in Australia has been a hot topic for some time, recently flaring up due to massive rent and housing price increases post-COVID-19 lockdowns.
Melina Morrison, CEO of BCCM, Liz Thomas, Managing Director of CEHL, Dr Sidsel Grimstad, Senior Lecturer at Griffith University and Nick Sabel, CEO of Common Equity NSW, attended a co-operative housing roundtable held today at Parliament House.
29 November 2023

Co-operative Housing is the ‘missing middle’ in Australia’s affordability crisis

ACHA and the BCCM have launched policies and a new website aimed at increasing awareness of non-market housing models to help combat the affordability crisis.
Melina Morrison on ABC Radio National
29 November 2023

Push to consider co-operative housing to ease crisis

Melina Morrison spoke with Patricia Karvelas on RN Breakfast about today's co-operative housing roundtable at Parliament House.
29 August 2023

The future of housing in Australia

The BCCM's co-operative development fund, Bunya Fund, has backed a financial feasibility study on how the co-operative business model can be used in Australia to establish cohousing.
Australian suburbia, Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash
3 July 2023

Calls rise for expansion of co-operative housing in Australia

Melina Morrison on Sky News discussing calls for Australia to expand co-operative housing to help solve the nation’s rental crisis.

Housing examples

Co-operation Housing

Co-operation Housing

Umbrella organisation for housing co-operatives in WA, representing, supporting, advocating for and growing the WA co-op housing sector.
Established Year: 2010
Industry: Housing

Cohousing Australia

Advocates for and supports the creation and delivery of cohousing, particularly in Australian sub/urban area.
Established Year: 2006
Type: Industry peak
Industry: Housing
Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL) logo

Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL)

CEHL is Victoria's largest Housing Association and is both a provider and developer of affordable housing. CEHL empowers people with co-operative housing models to build strong communities.
Established Year: 1985
Industry: Housing
Common Equity Housing SA

Common Equity Housing SA

Provides support services to housing co-ops run by members, resulting in strong communities, social networks and better outcomes for members.
Established Year: 2012
Industry: Housing
Common Equity NSW Logo

Common Equity NSW

Common Equity provides overall asset management of properties for housing co-operatives. It also provides training and resourcing for the co-operatives, negotiating and servicing of borrowings for growth, and is responsible for overall program administration and monitoring.
Established Year: 1985
Industry: Housing
HOPE Housing Fund Management Ltd

HOPE Housing Fund Management

Not-for-profit fund manager on a mission to support essential workers purchase homes closer to their work.
Established Year: 2022
Supporting Independent Living Co-operative Logo

Supporting Independent Living Co-operative

Assists families to connect and create sustainable homes and life experiences for their family member living with disability.
Established Year: 2016
United Housing Co-operative

United Housing Co-operative

Not-for-profit community housing provider, operating in the inner-western suburbs of Melbourne
Established Year: 1985
Industry: Housing

Housing submissions

Response to the Housing Australia Investment Mandate Amendments

The BCCM calls for a sympathetic policy environment that recognises the unique requirement for tenant-member contribution in housing co-operatives and the value and benefits created from this.
Jurisdiction: Australian Government
Committee: Treasury
Submission Date: 08 Nov 2023

Creating a National Housing and Homelessness Plan

The BCCM led a collaborative submission by members, advocating for co-operative housing across the spectrum of affordable rental housing and affordable homeownership.
Jurisdiction: Australian Government
Committee: Department of Social Services
Submission Date: 20 Oct 2023

Rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria

The BCCM and ACHA recommend that 10 per cent of social housing in Victoria be co-operative housing and that rental housing co-operatives be a preferred model for investment in rental.
Jurisdiction: Victoria
Committee: Victorian Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee
Submission Date: 04 Jul 2023

Housing resources

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ACHA 2023-24 Strategic Plan

One-page 2023-24 Strategic Plan from the Australian Co-operative Housing Alliance (ACHA).
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Cohousing models to address affordable housing in Australia and Tasmania

Research paper on cohousing models to address affordable housing in Australia and Tasmania, by Monica Antel.
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Housing the 'missing middle'

Housing the ‘missing middle’ – Limited Equity Housing Co-operatives can deliver advantages over private rental for those who cannot afford home ownership.
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Housing Co-operatives in Australia

Overview of and discussion about housing co-operatives in Australia and the implications for the present debates about affordable housing in Australia.
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BCCM’s Housing Blueprint

The BCCM is calling on all political parties to work with the sector to develop equity and share equity models of co-operatives housing that can give more Australians access to secure and affordable...
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Co-operative housing a preferred option for low-income older Australians

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) explores housing preferences of older, low-income households and identifies optimal models to meet their needs.
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Housing Cooperatives and the Cooperative Identity

A housing cooperative is a legal association formed for the purpose of providing housing to its members on a continuing basis.

The Nordic Edge: What Australia Can Learn from Nordic Countries

For many years, it has been said that the Nordic Countries have pioneered public policy and initiatives that have made them equal, happier, wealthier and more environmentally responsible. In Australia, the public discourse on work/life balance, climate change, mining taxes, independent and humanitarian foreign policy, prison reform, gender equality, retraining for workforce participation and media diversity have been highly partisan and often rancorous – resulting in the phenomenon of the “culture wars’’. Yet in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland this policy shift has been far more consensual across their political spectrum. Nordic countries have taken a “ja, we can’’ approach to these and other issues. Their experience shows that progress in these areas is not only possible, but that it can be achieved while increasing prosperity and community wellbeing. Watch this webinar from the Australian Institute of International Affairs (Queensland branch).