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What is Cooperative Housing?


A cooperative is managed and operated on a democratic basis. Each shareholder is allowed one vote for the election of the cooperative's Board of Directors. The Board of Directors controls and directs the operations of the cooperative.

REALIFE Cooperative of Rochester employs Paramark Corp. to provide accounting and business management services. Their professionalism is valued as our members make decisions that maintain strong fiscal and community health. On site, we have one full-time Resident Services Director, one maintenance person and one housekeeper.

Volunteers within the cooperative also add to the efficiency of our operation. As a resident/member, you are encouraged to join one or more committees based on your interests and to actively participate in the management at REALIFE Cooperative with your neighbors: Finance, administration, property and activities.

In a senior housing cooperative, committees exist for various reasons. Here are three:

  1. Assist management by studying options on a given topic and providing information and recommendations to the Board.

  2. Assist management by making decisions based on policy.

  3. Collaborate with neighbors to organize special events.


A Realife Cooperative member purchases a share in the Cooperative Corporation.  There are 87 shares available, one share per unit.  Monthly carrying charges are based on costs required to operate the cooperative and provide basic service to its members.  The share prices and monthly carrying charges vary according to choice of unit.




The monthly charges cover a member's proportionate cost of:

  • Principal, Interest  and the Mortgage Insurance Premium, based on a fixed-rate, insured mortgage (interest is tax deductible)

  • Real Estate Taxes (tax deductible)

  • General Operating and Replacement Reserve Funds

  • Fire and Extended Coverage Insurance, to include liability insurance on the common areas.

  • Water/sewer, common area electricity, heat, air conditioning, expanded basic cable and Wi-Fi, trash collection and recycling, snow removal, lawn maintenance and common area housekeeping.

  • Professional management and administration, legal, auditing and ongoing marketing.

  • Repairs, maintenance and replacement of project property, to include appliances and mechanical/electrical system in common area and dwelling units. 

  • Basic service package (security, resident services programs, and laundry facilities).

  • Members pay directly only for the cost of telephone, dwelling unit electricity, personal property insurance and heated underground parking.

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