In North America, residents usually own their own cohousing units. (In
Europe, the first cohousing communities were all resident owned and
gradually rental cohousing projects were built.) Ownership type is usually
fee simple strata title. This is the same as any standard town house or
condominium unit. This type of ownership is preferred because the
individual families own their own units plus a share of the common grounds
and facilities. Banks also like it as it makes mortgages straight forward.

A smaller number of cohousing communities such as Winslow near Seattle
have an equity co-operative ownership structure. In this set-up, the
co-operative owns the entire project and individual families own shares in
the co-operative equal to the value of their unit. When a resident sells,
they are selling shares in a real estate co-op, not title for an actual
suite. Although this is a less common ownership structure, it is becoming
increasingly common. One of the possibilities of this ownership type is
that people with more funds make it easier for people with less resources
to buy a unit as the mortgage is taken out on the whole project. The
provincial government is encouraging this type of ownership as method
of creating some affordable housing.