The Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF) is a federation of non-profit housing co-operatives in the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph incorporated in 1992 under the Co-operative Corporations Act (Ontario). COCHF was founded by housing co-operatives in the area to provide services to housing co-ops, to represent housing co-ops to the public and to governments, and provide a means for co-ops to network with each other. COCHF member organizations include: housing co-ops, student housing co-ops, co-op staff associations, and resource groups (co-op housing developers).
The federation currently has 38 member organizations that represent over 2,900 units of member controlled co-operative housing in the five cities in Central Ontario. COCHF is a co-operative organization governed by a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors. Seven directors are elected by member housing co-ops, one director is elected by co-op staff groups, and one director is elected by member resource groups. COCHF employs staff to administer its services from its office in downtown Kitchener. Services provided by the federation are developed to serve the needs of its membership. The federation is financed primarily by member dues and use of services. The federation receives no government funding.
The Co-op Sector
COCHF is one of the 12 regional associations of housing co-ops in English Canada which include nine regional federations and three regional offices of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada). CHF Canada is the national association of housing co-ops representing co-ops from coast to coast. The regional and national associations share a common purpose which is to promote the long-term well being of non-profit housing co-ops in Canada and the development of more non-profit co-operative housing. The regional and national federations work together to co-ordinate their services and activities. CHF Canada provides services to co-ops all across Canada, however direct services to most co-ops are delivered through their regional federation or regional office. COCHF and CHF Canada have a Sector Membership agreement in place where housing co-ops that are members of COCHF or CHF Canada will also be members of the other organization.
COCHF also participates in activities with other co-operative organizations. These include the Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) and the Guelph Co-op Council. These are member organizations of co-operative enterprises including: insurance, dairy and food, transportation, daycare, and worker co-ops; and credit unions.