Ash Street Housing Cooperative
For many, the search for a truly satisfying home leads directly to those charming townhouses in the garden-like setting of Park Forest, Illinois. Here, you can enjoy privacy, convenience and a sense of community all from an ideal, central location in the Chicago South Suburbs. Park Forest's Ash Street Cooperative, in particular, offers budget-friendly, self-contained, individual homes that are well-maintained and beautiful!
Never heard of a Cooperative? Let's explore...
Ash Street Cooperative is an Illinois not-for profit business and must be operated accordingly. Your Membership Certificate represents one share of stock in the Corporation and is bought and sold like other stock with one difference, the sale takes place between the outgoing Member and the incoming Member. The Certificate of Stock (Membership Certificate) entitles you as the member to live within a specific unit. The Membership Certificate transfers to the incoming member upon the sale of the membership and approval of the incoming Member by the Corporation.
The cooperative holds title to the property and is responsible for the mortgage for which you pay a proportionate share. You as a Member own one share in Ash Street Cooperative and this entitles the Member to one vote at the Annual Membership Meeting where a Board of Directors is elected. The board sets policy, establishes rules and determines how to maintain the cooperative. You can live here and attend as well as participate in monthly board meetings held on the fourth Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held at the conference room at 139 Ash Street (the office).
The price paid to purchase a membership is negotiated between the seller (outgoing Member) and the buyer (incoming Member) and is based on any improvements such as; appliances, carpeting, etc., contained therein. The monthly carrying charges are similar to Home Owner Association (HOA) fees. These fees are based on the total expense of the Corporation and each Member pays their proportionate share. Ash Street's carrying charges are typically more affordable than rent or HOA fees in conventional communities.
As a Member, you are entitled to a proportionate share of real estate taxes and interest on the mortgage payment, which is deductible on your income taxes each year. This is a great benefit not afforded to you in conventional apartments.
Maintenance of the buildings' exteriors, heat, and air-conditioning systems, hot water heaters, plumbing, and wiring are the Cooperative's responsibility to maintain and is done so during normal office hours. Members are free to individually decorate their homes to compliment their personal styles. Before any alterations can be made to your home, you must submit an "Improvement Form" and obtain board approval to insure all improvements meet the Village of Park Forest Construction Code.
The Co-op maintains the lawns and trees to free you from the responsibility of yard work, but each member is encouraged to landscape and plant flowers to personalize the exterior of their home.
Ash Street Cooperative (Co-op) is a self-governing body. Ash Street is governed by a set of Bylaws and the House & Grounds Rules. The Rules and Regulations are set by the board that is elected by you, the Member. Members are expected to read and follow the governing documents of the Cooperative. Members are also encouraged to serve one of many committees as Ash Street Cooperative thrives on the talents and ideas of our members.
If you feel that cooperative housing fits your needs, please fill out the application for membership and submit it to the office.
Advantages of Co-op Living Over Home-Owning
The Cooperative, not the member, is responsible for the mortgage. You have no more personal liability for the mortgage than if you leased a house or apartment, yet you reap the tax benefits of home ownership. After you pay the initial cost of the Membership (home), the only overhead you have is the low monthly carrying charge. No 30-year mortgages over here!
Very Low Maintenance
Maintenance service is provided to members during normal office hours. Things like A/C, plumbing and electrical are all covered by your monthly carrying charges. If your water heart goes out at noon, all you have to do is call the office and maintenance will come fix it! Ash Street Co-op also offers 24/7 emergency maintenance to help with major problems that can arise after hours. Conventional homeowners are expected to pay for all repairs themselves and must arrange for those repairs...what a headache!
You Have A Vote!
Each member of Ash Street Cooperative owns one share and has a vote in the Corporation. Every year you have the right to vote on the Board of Directors who will determine policy changes, establish rules and delegate how money is spent. You can even become a Board Member yourself! Owning a conventional home does not afford you these same opportunities.