What is a Co-op?


Co-operatives (or "co-ops") are legally incorporated organizations owned by their members who use their services or purchase their products. Co-ops can provide virtually any product or service, and can be either non-profit or for-profit enterprises. The co-operative sector keeps dollars circulating within the local economy, provides secure employment and is a means to revitalize and sustain healthy communities.

As its name implies, a co-operative is people coming together to meet a common need. Possessing a high degree of collective entrepreneurship, the co-operative business enterprise  model is inherently ethical in its treatment of its members, employees, suppliers and the environment. Co-ops serve a range of sectors, including housing, food, worker, agriculture, service, financial, youth, aboriginal and community. There are 1,300 independent and autonomous co-operatives in Ontario, with 1,900 locations in 400 communities.


Co-ops as Businesses

A co-op is a business that is democratically controlled by its members, who own it and benefit economically from its services.

In housing co-ops, the benefit is quality housing at the best possible price for the members. Co-ops meet member's social and cultural needs as well.

Co-ops are different from businesses that exist just to make money for their owners or managers. Co-op are first and foremost about people and they are founded on a unique set of principles.

Co-operative Beginnings

Early co-ops were created as a way to protect working people who were forced to buy from or trade with powerful business interests on terms that were very unfair.  As people began to look for better ways to meet their needs and overcome an unjust system they found the solution was to join forces, buy things together and meet each other's needs mutually and co-operatively.

Co-operative Principles

The co-operative principles are based on values of honesty, openness, fairness, respect and democratic control.  While co-ops provide economic benefits, their ultimate purpose is to meet the needs of people in an ethical, socially responsible way.

What is a Co-op?

Our History

Saorsie Co-operative Homes was founded in 1987 under the Federal Co-operative Housing Program. It is an HSA Co-op. 

Our Philosophy

Saorsie is a non profit housing co-operative in Brantford, Ontario. Our goal is to create and maintain a diversified, affordable community for our members and their families to live.

© 2018 Saorsie Co-operative Homes Inc.