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Washington D.C.’s Cooperative Housing

Cooperative housing is a popular housing ownership model in New York City, and apparently Washington D.C. residents are increasingly favoring cooperative housing, too.

Cooperative housing is different from straight ownership in that residents actually purchase shares in a corporation that’s provides members with a place to live. That corporation owns the building, land and all the property, but the residents own the corporation.

Washington D.C.’s cooperative housing includes at least about 120 co-ops that, in this city, are a source of affordable housing. In New York City, many cooperatives are for luxury living and cater to the city’s more elite residents.

Among the earliest examples of cooperative housing in Washington D.C. is the Watergate East, which was built in the 1960s along Connecticut Avenue. Today, cooperative housing can be found in every ward in the District, from the Brightwood Gardens in Ward 7 to an eight-story co-op in Logan Circle.

Unlike condominium projects, cooperatives can select new members with the ability to interview potential owners. So, getting into a cooperative is about much more than qualifying for a mortgage. And ownership in a co-operative, unlike owing other real estate, is not public knowledge.

And in D.C., cooperative housing enjoys a much lower tax rate thanks to legislation proposed by the D.C. Cooperative Housing Coalition. Condo owners pay much more in taxes thanks to this law, based mainly on the fact that cooperatives in D.C. often provide housing opportunity to lower-income residents.

For More Information:

Rock Creek Realty:

Greater Greater Washington, “Cooperative Housing Thrives in D.C.”:

D.C. Cooperative Housing Coalition:


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