The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for Washington Co-op Housing Association. If you have a question about co-op housing that isn’t answered in this list, please send your question to
What is co-op housing?

Non-profit housing co-ops are a form of shared ownership which provides homes to its members who purchase a share and pay a monthly housing charge. The co-operative is established under the Co-op Act. Find out more about life in a housing co-op.

How long will I have to wait to get into a co-op?
After applying, it takes three months to three years to get into most co-ops. Some co-ops are not accepting applications.
Who lives in co-ops?
Non-profit housing co-ops are mixed communities. Members of housing co-ops come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of incomes.
What is a share purchase?
A share purchase is the share you buy to become a member of a co-op. Usually, one member per unit in a co-op buys a share in the co-op as they are accepted for membership. Each share gives a member a vote in general meetings. Shares range from $1,000 to $7,000 (a typical share purchase is around $2,000).

A share is a little bit like a damage deposit in that you get the money back when you leave the co-op (unless the unit has been damaged in which case the share is used to cover repair costs). However, co-ops do not return share purchases with interest.

Please note that in most co-ops, two months’ notice is required prior to moving out. Shares also stand as the co-op’s working capital.

What is a monthly housing charge?
A monthly housing charge is like rent. It’s what the members pay each month to live in the co-op.
How do I apply to live in a housing co-op?

Each housing co-op handles membership applications in their own way. To apply for membership to our housing co-op, click here.

Does CHF BC accept or screen applicants for housing co-ops?
No. Admission to a housing co-op is determined by each co-op. CHF BC does not play a role in the membership process of co-ops. CHF BC provides a directory of co-ops as a public information service.
Does CHF BC provide emergency housing?
No. CHF BC’s mandate is to provide services to its member co-ops.

People looking for emergency housing can contact the following organizations:

BC Housing 604-433-2218 or 1-800-257-7756

Affordable Housing

Does CHF BC give out a complete list of BC co-ops or co-op phone numbers?

CHF BC is a membership organization and acts on its members’ decisions. We provide only the address and sometimes the phone number of member co-ops listed in our co-op directory.