How to Get Involved in Your Co-op.

Many who were able to buy in Brooklyn opted for the more affordable option, the co-op. Sharing the common expenses, such as building maintenance, property taxes and occasionally utilities, keeps the monthly costs of owning much lower than other alternatives. Living in a co-op can also be a lovely communal experience and, if you are the type that likes living in a community, getting involved and helping out, then here are some ideas for how to do that in your co-op.

Join the board! Now this can definitely be time consuming but, if you have that time and are willing to take on extra responsibility, it’s a great opportunity to get things done! You make the calls (along with a number of other members) on building rules, repairs and upgrades. You’ll want to attend meetings and become familiar with how things work before running. Study, ask questions and when you are comfortable with the amount you know about your building then put your name on the ballot!

Many, though, still want to be involved within their co-op but find the thought of being a member daunting and stressful. You may still be able to help out! Talk to your board members about how to do this. Sometimes boards have sub committees who lead tasks like gardening, cleaning common areas and other special indoor or outdoor projects. One co-op resident we spoke with managed to head up several special projects within his co-op just by bringing up his ideas during meetings. He bought tree guards for all the trees in the front of the building through donations from other co-op residents in the building and a led a few different gardening projects.

So if you look around at your space and think “this bike room is cluttered and crowded” or “I wish we had a community garden in that empty space behind our building” then why not try to do-it-yourself!


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