Building a Co-operative Community in Public Housing: The Case of the Atkinson Housing Co-operative

Building a Co-operative Community in Public Housing: The Case of the Atkinson Housing Co-operative

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Jorge Sousa
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
272 Pages 4 Images
ISBN 9780802038036
Published Jul 2013
Online discount: 15%
 $28.95    $24.61
ISBN 9780802038623
Published Jul 2013
Online discount: 25%
 $67.00    $50.25
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442666382
Published Dec 2013
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $28.95

Public housing projects were the original form of government supported housing for low-income residents. Over the last fifty years many projects have struggled with high crime rates and numerous social problems. One solution proposed to address these ongoing issues is granting residents decision-making power within their community by converting into a co-operative. Building a Co-operative Community in Public Housing follows the journey of a Toronto public housing complex as it was converted into a resident-operated co-operative, a first in Canada.

Jorge Sousa traces the story of Alexandra Park, which became the Atkinson Housing Co-operative in 2003 after a ten-year conversion process. Sousa, who himself was raised in the community, provides an empirical account of the contributing factors that influenced its decision to pursue community-based control, as well as the experiences of both residents and government officials engaged in this process. Finally, Building a Co-operative Community in Public Housing offers a framework for other communities facing similar circumstances who want to learn how to go about undertaking this process.

All royalties from this book will be contributed to the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto Charitable Fund.

Jorge Sousa is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta.


Chapter Overview

Chapter 1 Canadian Public Housing Policy and Programs

Chapter 2 Constructing a Theoretical Lens to Understand the Conversion Experiment

Chapter 3 Exploring the Reasons for Transforming the Alexandra Park Housing Project

Chapter 5 Theoretical Analysis of the Atkinson Conversion Process

Chapter 6 Extending the Conversion Experiment Beyond the Atkinson Housing Co-operative



Updated Status of the Atkinson Housing Co-operative

Community Identity

Leadership and Participation

Barriers to Building Capacity and Enhancing Community Development

Future Prospects


Appendix A

Images of the Community

Appendix B

Methodology and Research Design

Research Process

Building a Co-operative Community in Public Housing conveys experiences that should be of interest to a wide readership of activists, policy workers, and scholars.  Jorge Sousa has accepted a major challenge in reporting in detail on a complex and extended process, and his study is clearly driven by his commitment and depth of knowledge. His book’s concern with strategies for improving the conditions of people living in public housing, as well as its focus on community development, will attract readers from Europe, North America, Australasia, and beyond.”

Ian Skelton, Department of City Planning, University of Manitoba