Cooperative Housing

Cooperative housing is a form of real estate ownership in which the residents of the property (typically a condominium) are shareholders in the cooperative company which owns the property.

In this arrangement, residents do not own the real estate themselves. The title deeds are held by the cooperative. However, shareholders are entitled to use the property for as long as they hold shares.

The housing cooperative known as a Wohnbaugenossenschaft in German and as a Coopérative d’habitation in French  is common in Switzerland. Cooperative housing is among the most affordable housing in the country. The reason for this is that housing cooperatives are non-profit organizations and the rent which members pay is effectively a contribution which covers the actual costs.

Swiss law defines clear legal requirements which cooperative housing schemes and holders of cooperative housing shares must abide by.

Pillar 2 and pillar 3a retirement assets can be withdrawn ahead of retirement for the purchase of shares in housing cooperatives.

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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at
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