The St. Paul-based Senior Cooperative Foundation recently announced plans to develop senior-owned cooperatives in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Foundation president Terry McKinley stated, "Cooperatives have become the option of choice for active older adults in the Upper Midwest - especially Minnesota and Iowa - with over 90 built in the last several years. Given the demographics and values of seniors there, the Fargo area is the next best place to expand that network."
McKinley explained that cooperatives include apartment living with full kitchens, community spaces, underground parking, gardens and many other amenities. The building and grounds are owned by the residents, who elect a board of directors to govern the business and oversee the operations and maintenance of the cooperative. Residents enjoy the same tax benefits as single-family ownership, and expenses are reduced through reduced utilities and sharing of maintenance costs. In addition, McKinley stated, "Cooperatives offer aging members the opportunity to remain in control of their surroundings, where most other options are controlled by an outside owner. Costs are also lower because the co-op board develops its own budget, and no operating profits are paid to an outside owner."
In describing why co-ops have become so popular, McKinley stated, "People usually move in to reduce costs and responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of their homes. However, they ultimately say the biggest thing they like is the community and new friendships that develop as they together govern their cooperative. They often tell us they found new energy and health in their cooperative."
The foundation is planning two free informational meetings on August 20 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at Ramada Plaza & Suites, 1635 42nd St. S.W., in Fargo. Reservations are encouraged but not required by phoning, tollfree, 877-220-6227, or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org. The foundation's Web site also provides information at http://www.seniorcoops.org.