Due to select similarities, the chart below is a simplified display comparing the housing cooperative and condominium.  While both are considered common interest communities, the internal structures are completely separate.

 Cooperatives  Condominiums
Ownership Members own shares of the corporation that owns the building. The larger the living unit, the more shares owned.  Shareholders sign a Proprietary Lease which outlines the rights and responsibilities of ownership and occupancy. Shares are readily saleable. Just like buying any other property on an individual plot of land. The buyer receives a deed that enables the option to sell or outright sublet the unit.
 Cost  Lower. Typically less expensive per square foot. The cooperative pays the real estate taxes, mortgage on the building, salaries, maintenance and utilities. Cost is passed on to shareholders through the monthly maintenance fee based on shares held.  Higher. HOA charge for condo is similar to a maintenance charge for co-op in that it includes salaries and maintenance; however, real estate taxes are assessed and billed on individual units. In most cases, utilities are paid by owner directly.
 Qualifying An application and interview is common. Applicants are subject to income, credit and background checks and the application is processed and approved by a committee. Mortgage financing available. Property must be bought and paid in full to the seller. Many financing options are common, depending on qualifying factors such as income, credit, etc.
 Structure Board of Directors. An elected group of leaders democratically runs the property and typically sets up committees to get everyone involved. Home Owners Association. A board of volunteers decides most actions to the building. Usually, most condo owners aren’t kept very informed and a consensus can be difficult to come by.
 Taxes Lower. Appears on tax roll as a single piece of property. Taxes are paid by corporation and passed on to shareholders, based on shares held, through the monthly maintenance fee. Real estate taxes are deductible. Higher. Every time a unit is resold, it is appraised and the higher sales price recorded individually, thus creating higher assessed values and higher property taxes. Real estate taxes are deductible.
 Downfall A Limited number of banks currently lend on shares. More Expensive. Overall, condo is more expensive per square foot. All maintenance and upkeep inside of the unit is the owner’s responsibility.
 Benefit Stronger sense of community. Everyone in the cooperative has an equal voice. Maintenance staff handles, without charge, all heating, cooling and most plumbing that might arise. Simple form of ownership, easy to transfer/sell.

Cooperative Housing – more details