Social Housing

Housing Co-Operatives

What is it?

Rental Housing Co-operatives is the term used to describe a type of social housing that places responsibility on tenants to manage their own property with support from professional staff.

Rental housing cooperatives promote choice and participation of tenants in the management of property. This can mean different things depending on the cooperative. For example, tenants can have a say in the maintenance and renovations of property.

Who can apply?

Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident

The same asset limitations that apply to DHHS Office of Housing, also apply to housing co-operatives.

How do I apply?

Each housing cooperative is different and have their own application form. You can find a list of all the housing co-operatives in Victoria by visiting the Community Housing Federation of Victoria website.

Once you put in an application, the applicant will be put on a waiting list. They tenancies are long-term so it can take a while to become available.

Check for up to date application and referral processes.


  • Rent is subsidized, making it more affordable usually.
  • It is long-term housing
  • Tenants are given an opportunity to have a say in some of the aspects of management of their units as a group. For example, they may have an opportunity to give feedback in certain aspects of the renovation.
  • ‘Home’ and ‘Community’ is emphasized and there is an encouragement of tenants to participate in being part of a community.


  • Waiting times are very long, and some housing co-operatives have closed their waiting lists as a result.
  • Every co-operative has a different application form so applying may be time-consuming process.
  • The emphasis on creating a community with neighbours may not appeal to everyone as everyone has a different concept of community.