We collectively purchasE & managE commercial & residential buildings for long-term local benefit

People in small rural towns and big urban centres have begun to work together to buy, upgrade, and manage buildings with the goal of increasing the economic, social, and environmental health of the places they call home. The concept is remarkably simple: pool dollars together, purchase and fix up a property, rent it out with stable long-term rents, and democratically make decisions for community benefit. 

Waterloo Region is experiencing an exciting period of growth and change. To ensure that this development helps everyone, we need new approaches that removes land from the competitive pressures of the market.

How it works

Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative democratizes city-building by empowering its members to collectively buy, upgrade, and manage commercial and residential property, while improving the economic, social, and environmental health of Waterloo Region. 

Through Union, residents can:

  1. Join: Every Member gets one equal vote and can run for the Board of Directors. The co-operative governance structure allows the organization to incorporate diverse skills and perspectives.

  2. Invest: The board and members of Union will select a commercial or residential property to purchase. Members will finance the purchase with investments of up to $10,000, and then receive dividends as declared by the board.

  3. Impact: Properties purchased by Union are intended to be held long-term to retain commercial and residential affordability in the Region. Commercial tenants will be encouraged to adopt better business practices through progressive leases that increase minimum performance requirements over time. Commercial tenants benefit from access to Union’s engaged membership, and Union’s membership benefits from a successful tenant.

Union incorporated in 2018 and is working towards the purchase of its first property.