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Benefits of Living in a Housing Cooperative Versus Renting or Owning

Advocates of cooperative housing consistently point out the advantages of co-op membership over renting or owning a single-family residence, and for good reason.

happy family in housing cooperative

Housing cooperatives, like Ash Street, are an excellent investment for the future without taking on a hefty mortgage. Co-ops allow members the freedom to make minor, aesthetic improvements to their unit without having to worry about the high costs of major repairs such as electrical, HVAC, and structural, which are handled by the co-op.

In contrast to renting, housing cooperatives also offer stable monthly fees that don't tend to fluctuate with the regional cost of living like rental prices do. This can lead to increased savings, more money for personal investments, and stable living expenses.

When you're ready to make a commitment, consider a housing cooperative membership at Ash Street Cooperatives instead of renting or taking on a mortgage.

This article aims to describe the three main reasons why:

1. Investing in your future.

2. Freedom to make changes.

3. Consistently low monthly fees.

For more details and to discuss availability, contact us.


Joining a housing co-op is a great strategy for investing in your long-term future. The cost of purchasing a membership (which means getting a home to live in) is much less than buying a single-family house.

After you have paid the full amount for your unit, it is all yours without any extra "mortgages" or "costs" aside from the low monthly fees and the minor expenses of keeping the interior of your house in good condition (e.g. painting when necessary, replacing air filters, etc.).

Once you decide to put your unit on the market, all the revenue you receive from that sale is yours to keep. You can spend it on a single-family home, stock market investments, tuition costs, or whatever else you'd like. The principle is that by paying for your unit up front, you are investing in your financial stability in the long run.

In contrast, renting does not provide any long-term financial stability. Every month's payment only adds to the landlord's wealth and helps secure their future; not yours! In addition, while rent prices continue to rise across the nation, housing cooperative fees remain consistently low, offering co-op members the ability to save more and spend less!


paint swatches

Often, when people lease a space, many landlords don't give them the option to make any kind of enhancements or renovations. Even small changes, such as applying a new coat of paint or putting up a curtain rod, are frequently seen as unacceptable and could lead to deductions from the lessee's security deposit at the end of their lease.

However, at Ash Street Housing Cooperative, while there might be some restrictions (for instance, changing structural elements is not allowed), members have the freedom to make minor changes according to their liking.

If you're feeling the need for a refresh, you're able to paint the walls any color you wish without prior approval or the worry of being charged for it when you move out. If you'd rather have carpet instead of your existing hardwood floors, that's totally doable too! After completing a simple "Improvement Proposal Form" and receiving approval from management, you can hire a licensed professional to carry out the work exactly as you envision--a privilege not afforded in traditional rental housing.


In most states, landlords of rental properties have the freedom to determine the rent amount. When your lease ends, the landlord can raise your rent significantly with just one month's notice. This can be devastating for tenants who have fixed income or limited options.

In contrast, Ash Street Housing Cooperative maintains low and consistent monthly fees. These fees cover the cooperative's operating costs, your unit’s property taxes as well as capital improvements and grounds upkeep (all things homeowners would be paying for out-of-pocket).

These fees are determined by the co-op members who have been elected as Board Members, through a voting process. This democratic system ensures that everyone has a say in how the cooperative is managed and maintained.

Choosing to live in the Housing Cooperative is a much better alternative!


Ash Street Cooperative front porch

Clearly, becoming a member at a housing cooperative is an excellent choice for long-term gains, the freedom to make your home your home, and financial stability.

Consider becoming a part of a housing cooperative! Reach out to Ash Street Cooperative in Park Forest - the most welcoming cooperative out there! They can tell you all about the application process, and what you need to do to stop renting and start enjoying the benefits of housing cooperative living!

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