Co-operative housing providers…

  • Are affordable housing providers
  • Provide decent homes for key workers and first time buyers
  • Is a model of housing that pools people’s resources and builds strong communities
  • Puts 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.

Is 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 assist with confidence building that often leads to employment and a more varied income stream.

Puts 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.


The BCCM is the Australian representative to Cooperative Housing International.

Co-op housing in the news

At a time when affordable and accessible housing is out of the reach of many people and families, housing co-operatives are helping first-home buyers and key workers to access viable housing options. Housing co-ops also build strong communities around common goals and empower tenants to have a sense of ownership over their dwellings.

More co-op housing news

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.
30 June 2023

Call for more co-operative housing to help solve rental crisis

The co-operative housing sector has called for the Federal Government’s proposed $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to include a greater role for co-ops in helping to solve the rental supply...
23 May 2023

ACHA endorses 10-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan development

The Australian Cooperative Housing Alliance (ACHA) fully endorses the Housing Australia Future Fund and the Federal Government’s 10-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan development.
10 May 2023

Federal Budget 2023-24: BCCM summary and overview

In handing down his second budget last night, the Treasurer’s “Commonwealth of common purpose”, strikes a chord with our business models.
26 October 2022

Co-ops and Mutuals welcome Budget measures to tackle housing supply and affordability; build economic resilience

The peak body for Australia’s $34.4 billion co-operative and mutual sector has welcomed measures in the Federal Budget aimed at building a more resilient and inclusive economy.
20 May 2022

Depleted workforce and housing impact to remain severe challenges, BCCM tells 2022 NSW Floods Inquiry

The BCCM and the Northern Rivers Co-operatives Alliance today issued a joint call for workforce renewal and housing needs to be prioritised in flood-ravaged areas of the North Coast.
Australian suburban street ariel shot Tom Rumble on Unsplash
3 May 2022

Australia needs a third pillar in housing

Australia has a housing affordability crisis that has only been further exposed in the challenges of the last few years. Read the BCCM's Housing Blueprint.
CEHL project Gipps St Exterior
3 November 2021

BCCM at the Inquiry into Housing Affordability and Supply in Australia

Opening Statement from the BCCM to a public hearing of the Inquiry into Housing Affordability and Supply in Australia, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue.
11 March 2021

Co-operative Housing: Innovative housing solution opens in Sydney’s Inner West

 Common Equity NSW has announced the opening of its latest Co-operative Housing development by Minister Gareth Ward, MP.
6 July 2018

International review: Fixing the housing crisis with co-operative housing

New international review shows what Australia can learn from the rest of the world about fixing the housing crisis with co-operative housing.
27 October 2015

Experts meet ACT government to discuss disability housing options

Last week, the BCCM joined with affordable housing experts to discuss ways to provide housing for people with disability in Canberra. Minister for Disability Joy Burch and Minister for Housing.
24 July 2015

Berlin’s co-operative solution to housing affordability

Like many Australian cities, Berlin residents are facing high property prices and constantly rising rents in the search for a home in the German capital. However, it is turning to.
15 July 2015

Co-operatives can be a part of Australia’s housing solution

A succession of Australian governments, indifferent of their politics, have struggled to respond to the challenges of escalating home purchase prices, private rental costs and people’s housing...
8 May 2015

Government grant for housing co-operative in Sydney

The NSW Minster for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard, has announced a $4 million grant to support the relocation of tenants and the preservation of a housing co-operative, The Compound. Funding will...

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

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

Response to the Tasmanian Housing Strategy Exposure Draft

The BCCM would like to engage with the Tasmanian Government to explore how co-operatives can help provide more secure, affordable housing in Tasmania.
Jurisdiction: Tasmania
Committee: Homes Tasmania
Submission Date: 27 Jun 2023

Inquiry into South Australian housing availability

Housing co-operatives are an innovative model of tenure that can bring housing security and agency to more South Australians.
Jurisdiction: South Australia
Committee: Submission to the Economic and Finance Committee
Submission Date: 19 May 2023

Housing resources

Research and Reports icon overlayed on top of a close up of an open printed report, with hand holding it open.

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...
Research and Reports icon overlayed on top of a close up of an open printed report, with hand holding it open.

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.
Globe and arrow icon overlayed over image of open laptop with hands typing

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).