Housing cooperatives: an answer to Australia’s housing shortage?

Cooperatives have long provided a popular, affordable option for housing in Nordic countries, including Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
by Alexia Adhikari

Housing cooperatives run on a non-profit, collective ownership model in which the costs of buying or building a dwelling are shared, and decisions about how it is run are made based on a ‘one member, one vote’ system. This means that tenants who buy into a cooperative get the right to have a say in the housing they pay for.

There are two main ways of participating in cooperative housing: as an owner-occupier (which includes selling rights) or as a ‘non-equity’ renter. In Sweden, owner-occupiers have unlimited occupancy rights (so long as members fulfil their obligations) while renters get more secure tenancy than they would have in the private market.

Although subject to market prices, cooperative dwellings in Sweden, Norway and Denmark are some of the most cost-efficient, good quality, well-maintained and secure forms of housing.

Factsheet: Housing Cooperatives