Colonial Square Cooperative is a housing cooperative located in southeast Ann Arbor. Many years ago, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) participated in a program to develop affordable housing around the country. This program created numerous housing cooperatives (also referred to as co-op's) around the county, including Colonial Square Cooperative and several others in the City of Ann Arbor.

In a cooperative you are not a renter, nor do you hold a deed to your home as you do in home ownership. Rather, you own a share in the non-profit corporation. By purchasing a share, you become a member which entitles you to an occupancy agreement giving you exclusive rights to occupy a dwelling within the cooperative.

Housing Cooperatives are NOT condominiums, though in reality listings, they are frequently listed as a condo. If you see a home listed for sale in Colonial Square, it most likely refers to the community as a condo community. But this is not technically correct and becomes confusing to people who do not understand how cooperative housing works.

Colonial Square is a market rate co-op. This means a current member may sell their share to another person who is eligible for membership at whatever price the market will bear. Colonial Square used to be a limited equity co-op, and the majority of the co-ops that were developed under HUD in Ann Arbor still are limited equity co-op's. Limited equity means the member is restricted to the sales price for their membership per their HUD agreement. Generally, the amount is fairly low, which makes the co-op very appealing due to its affordability. However, limited equity co-ops generally also have income restrictions on who can become a member and long waiting lists are common. Colonial Square has no waiting list, as members looking to sell their share sell through the open market, generally through a realtor.

A monthly payment, called an Occupancy Charge is paid to the co-op each month. Many people associate this charge with the Homeowners Association fees that people are more commonly familiar. However, Occupancy Charges are very different from an Association fee. In Colonial Square, your monthly fee pays your City of Ann Arbor Property taxes, water, sewer, many internal and external maintenance costs (though not all) and other expenses associated with running the co-op.

Colonial Square is no longer under HUD requirements. This means there are no income restrictions, as there used to be. If you can qualify for a share loan to finance the purchase of your home in Colonial Square, you most likely qualify to be a member. Though it is recommended that you apply for membership first.

If you need to finance the purchase of your home, you generally cannot get a traditional mortgage. You have to get a share loan, which is very similar to a mortgage. You are able to deduct the interest of your share loan on your taxes, as well as a share of any interest on a blanket mortgage that may be on the property as a whole. Currently, there is no blanket mortgage on the property and no plans of acquiring one.

Colonial Square has a volunteer Board of Directors of five people, elected by the membership. The staff includes a full time in-house Managing Agent, several office staff, maintenance workers and grounds people.

Colonial Square Cooperative is a very diverse housing community. It's a wonderful community for all stages of life. From starter homes to retirement homes, it's a wonder place to live. One of the best run cooperative's in the country. Many members and residents living here have lived here for decades, and there are still a handful of "original" members living here as well. There are also several generations of families living in Colonial Square.

There are many open common areas for children to play and several playgrounds spread around the 40 acres of property that Colonial Square occupies.

Children living in Colonial Square attend Ann Arbor Public Schools. Their assigned schools would be:

Mitchell Elementary

Scarlett Middle School

Huron High School

For more information about Colonial Square Cooperative please visit:

http://www.colonialsquarecoop.com/

Contact Information:

Office: 3012 Williamsburg Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Phone: 734-971-5710

e-mail:colsq3012@gmail.com