Realizing the Cooperative Advantage at the Atkinson Housing Co-operative: The Role of Community Development to Improve Public Housing

Issues: Volume 4, Issue 1
Authors: Jorge Sousa

The cooperative model has become a reliable option to correct or soften the alienating features and dominance of private and public orientations to individual and social development. Proponents advocate that greater cooperation can build stronger communities that foster social cohesion and inclusion. On April 1st, 2003 the Alexandra Park Housing Project became Canada’s first public housing project to convert into a housing cooperative, now known as the Atkinson Housing Cooperative. The conversion means that the residents will not only have the opportunity to develop policies that directly affect their lives but they will also be able to decide how to implement such policies reflecting a community development focus of solidarity and agency. The purpose of this paper is to describe the central role that community development had on the outcome of converting public housing to cooperative housing. In this paper I explore community development activities that transfer the principles and values of cooperation into organizational and community settings as the primary means to discover the “cooperative advantage”.

Keywords: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT; PUBLIC HOUSING; NON-MARKET HOUSING; COOPERATIVE HOUSING; SOCIAL EXCLUSION; SOLIDARITY; AGENCY
JEL classification: H53; H82; I38; R31; Z13
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5947/jeod.2015.004
About authors: Jorge Sousa    Download .PDF