On September the 27th of 2013 LOHA facilitated a visioning workshop for the Waterfront Consumers’ Co-op, an organization that provides affordable housing in a ‘communal living’ typology.
The Waterfront Consumer’s Cooperative (WCC) was founded in the early 70’s when a group of unrelated Vancouverites were disappointed at the housing options afforded by the high rents and even higher house prices in this city. They got together and purchased a house on Keefer Street, incorporating under the newly created Cooperative act, with the principle that each member of the coop would have an equal vote in all decisions. After 40 years, Waterfront Consumer’s Cooperative consists of 5 houses in Vancouver with approximately 24 members. Each house is composed of 4-8 members.
The original mission of this co-op was to offer an affordable alternative to either rental housing or home ownership in a city where both were expensive. Today Vancouver is even less affordable than when the coop first started. Housing prices are among the highest on the continent. Clearly the need today for affordable housing in Vancouver is greater than ever.
How can the coop use its resources/equity to expand and support the development of affordable housing in Vancouver?
This workshop allowed members to revisit the mission of the Co-op as well as to explore possibilities for growth and expansion. The workshop also helped to identify 2-3 concepts that will be later explored in terms of their financial feasibility.
This was a great experience for LOHA as it allowed us to gather people from diverse ages (80-25ish) in creating a cohesive action plan for the future. If you wish to host a similar workshop contact us at email@example.com