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#HumansOfCoopHousing: Jelena and her family love helping out

Published March 04, 2020

Jelena Holland

Jelena Holland and her two kids have lived at Ottawa’s Sandy Hill Co-op since 2010, and being active in their community is a big part of their lives. Here’s what Jelena has to say about co-op life:

“I’ve served five years on the board of directors, including three as president, and have helped out on the committees for membership and governance, and a negotiations committee that is working on a new co-op housing project.

My kids also enjoy helping out: my daughter babysits younger children, and my son shovels snow for neighbours. They especially enjoy the spring and fall cleanups, since they get to help out, play with other kids, and enjoy a potluck meal afterwards.

Jelena and her kids

My favourite things about living in a housing co-op are the diversity of people and interactions, feeling safe and connected to our community, the valuable exercise in direct democracy on a human scale, and being able to find company for an impromptu activity like a movie, ski outing, hike or just coffee and a chat.

In my humble opinion, co-ops are the most viable and sustainable housing model around for many reasons: environment, mental health and well-being, affordability, democratic decision-making, and more.”


Throughout 2020, our Humans of Co-op Housing series will feature individuals who are making their co-ops a better place or speaking up for the importance of co-op housing. Let us know at info@chfcanada.coop who you’d like to see featured.

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