103 Housing co-ops 4,291 People housed 2,101 Homes

The CEHL Housing Program is an alternative to private rental and home-ownership. It provides long-term tenancies along with co-operative management of housing.

People in the CEHL Housing Program enjoy:

  • Secure long-term housing
  • Affordable rent
  • Contributing to decisions that shape the Program and their housing
  • Building supportive communities

CEHL works in partnership with member co-operatives to deliver an effective, sustainable housing program that empowers people and builds strong communities.

Co-op-led Program

Each co-op is an independent organisation that meets the needs of its own community within the framework of the CEHL Housing Program.

Co-ops are run by members, for members, they:

  • manage governance and planning for their co-op
  • have a say in the decisions that affect their housing
  • elect co-op member representative to the CEHL Board
  • input into policies and program matters

Member co-ops may also act as landlord, managing tenancies, finances and maintenance ( in Community Managed Co-operatives these functions are managed by CEHL)

Honour Board

Since 2008 co-op members who have made an outstanding contribution to the CEHL Housing Program and demonstrated commitment to the co-operative principles are recognised for their achievements on the Honour Board.

Program History

The CEHL Housing Program grew from a grassroots rental housing co-operative movement, in a time of declining housing affordability and growing social dislocation in the 1980s.

The aim was to create a rental housing model in the social housing system which enabled co-op housing members to be directly involved in the management of their housing. The co-ops managed their housing and member tenancies while CEHL would provide co-ops with technical expertise, program management, asset portfolio management and resourcing. The Program evolved to provide housing co-operative models at a larger scale and in apartment buildings.

In celebration of CEHL Co-operative Housing Program 30 year anniversary in 2016, we made a film capturing the history of the program told by founding members and employees.

Compliance and Regulation

As a registered Housing Association, the CEHL Housing Program complies with the Victorian Housing Registrar's Performance Standards and legislative requirements set out in the Housing Act 1983 (The Act) and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Policy governing the CEHL Co-operative Housing Program reflects the heavily subsidised history and subsequent regulatory environment within which the Program operates, and, together with the Program Principles provides the framework for decision-making.  

Read the Program Fact Sheets at the bottom of this page for more details about the

  • role and responsibilities of CEHL and co-ops
  • the governance structure
  • how the Program is managed
  • and how co-ops and program participants can influence Program decisions


Submit feedback