What exactly is a Co-Op ?
Housing cooperatives are established as not-for-profit corporations whose specific purpose is to provide housing for their members, who are stockholders in the Co-Op corporation. Buying shares entitles the purchaser to hold a proprietary lease, commonly known as the Occupancy Agreement. The Occupancy Agreement gives the purchaser the exclusive right to occupy a dwelling in the building and to participate as a member in the operation of the cooperative.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is elected by the shareholders to represent them in the operation of the cooperative. There are ten elected directors plus one ex-officio director. Directors are elected at the annual shareholders’ meeting. The Board of Directors meets on the third Tuesday of every month. Shareholder observers are welcome at the meetings, space permitting. Questions from the shareholder observers are taken at the end of the meeting, if time allows.
The Board’s responsibilities are defined by the corporation’s bylaws and include hiring a managing agent, establishing policy and house rules, investigating and deciding on major purchases/improvements, formulating annual budgets; and overseeing the negotiation of all financial matters. Through its standing committees, up-to-date information is maintained on all aspects of the operation of the Cooperative.
Committees of the Board of Directors
The standing committees of the Board of Directors are: Executive, Finance, Membership and Physical Plant. Ad-hoc committees are formed by the Board of Directors to address specific issues. Most committees meet monthly; special meetings are held as necessary. Shareholders are urged to serve on any standing committee. With the exception of the Membership and Executive committees, shareholder observers are welcome at all committee meetings.
The House Council is a shareholders’ organization serving as liaison between shareholders and the Board. Its chairperson, a voting ex-officio member of the Board, reports on matters reflecting shareholders’ interests. All shareholders are members of the House Council, but voting is limited to one vote per apartment. The House Council has its own officers, committee chairpersons, and floor representatives (elected each June).
House Council meets monthly.