It is you – the resident that decides and determines how your cooperative is run. When you live in a cooperative you will be expected to get up close and personal with the other residents in your cooperative. There will be a sense of sharing, a feeling of family and a lifestyle where you will always feel as though you are part of a team. Often small communities of cooperative residents will sit down together and join in on a meal or a bite to eat with a buffet or nibbles. In the summer the cooperative members may get together on a communal patio and enjoy a barbecue together, chat and maybe talk about some of the issues of their cooperative that are causing concern or need addressing.
But it’s not all essential that you absolutely have to join in on everything. Some residents like their own space every now and again and it is up to them as to how much they wish to engage in the level of activity that takes place within the cooperative. Some prefer to be active and vocal members, others may want to just join in quietly on the odd meal or barbecue with other cooperative members. No one will force you to participate more, or less than the level that you have to decide to engage with.
In Denmark there are close to a quarter of a million privately-owned homes or apartments that form part of a cooperative. It is not clear as to how many cooperative associations exist in Denmark, because not all of them actually affiliate with the ABF. Currently there are almost 100,000 homes and apartments that are affiliated under the wing of the ABF, which represents just under half but the number is growing year on year.
Most member cooperatives can be found in and around the capital Copenhagen, where you will find a wide variety of ages and lifestyles within the given communities. Some cooperation associations are located in the town, others way out in the countryside.
It was throughout the 1970s when living in cooperative housing in Denmark really took off, and it was in Copenhagen where apartment blocks began the trend by turning into cooperative communities. It became possible in Danish law from 1976 for tenants to buy their apartments in Copenhagen and when this spread to the rest of the country over the next few decades, it became an extremely popular method of living in Denmark.