The Magic of CSI
Affordable Rental Communities for Seniors
People Working Together to Help Each Other
The United Nations declaring 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives gives us an opportunity to reflect on the great benefits that being part of a cooperative enterprise provides, and especially of being part of the CSI family of co-ops. CSI Support & Development is a not-for-profit real estate development and property management firm that has been providing affordable rental cooperative apartments for seniors in California, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan for over 45 years. CSI’s mission is to use our unique cooperative management system to provide superior, affordable senior housing communities. How does CSI provide superior and affordable housing to our resident members? The vast majority of CSI’s co-ops offer HUD subsidies to those who qualify. However, what makes CSI different from other HUD subsidized buildings is our management approach, which at the same time ensures superior housing communities: CSI promotes and upholds the fundamental cooperative principles. CSI embraces the diversity of our members and treats all members with respect. CSI encourages our members to recognize the value of their diverse communities. By being consistent in our standards, policies, and in the treatment of our members, CSI promotes fairness and equality. In CSI’s co-ops, resident members actively participate in the decision process of managing their co-op. From hiring vendors to choosing the color of the walls, they are the decision making body. In traditionally managed senior buildings residents only have two choices : take it or leave it! In CSI’s co-ops resident members volunteer to form committees and elect a council, also comprised of volunteer members, to oversee the day -to-day operation of their co-op. This leads to healthier, happier lifestyles as members stay active physically, mentally and socially. CSI’s resident members write the annual budget for their co-op. They don’t ever have to wonder where the money goes, they have access to all financial information. By principle, all of CSI’s co -ops are not for profit. At the end of the year any extra bucket of money left in the budget stays
with that co-op. It doesn’t go in the manager’s pocket as it would in traditionally managed buildings where the decisions are based 100% on cutting costs so a profit can be made. In CSI’s co-ops the resident members decide how to utilize their surplus cash for the betterment of their co-op. The goal of CSI is to give our members the best place to live with affordable rents. The Board of Directors of CSI Support & Development is comprised of 13 elected resident members from the CSI family of co-ops across the country and is the governing body of the entire organization. CSI truly is an organization directed by the members and for the members. CSI offers ample education programs where our members can learn new skills and expand their horizons. Members from CSI’s co-ops have a large variety of educational events to attend and be part of. Members from CSI’s sister co-ops have the opportunity to meet each other at these events and create new relationships and friendships. This provides a safe, healthy and stable environment for CSI members to encourage personal growth and self-sufficiency. It also creates a caring, nurturing culture where “people working together to help each other” becomes a way of life. And that’s the magic of CSI!
The Cooperative Principles Based on the larger cooperative principles employed by cooperatives worldwide, the following six principles guide the cooperative management system of CSI Support & Development. Democratic Control Members control their environment & govern themselves through democratically elected board of directors and building councils. Members enjoy the equal rights of voting - one member, one vote. Not-for-Profit Operation The cooperativeâ€™s objective is to provide suitable housing for the most reasonable cost possible. In coops, people are the concern. Co-ops exist to benefit their members, not investors. Continuing Education All co-ops emphasize continuing education, training, & the exchange of information. Cooperatives keep their members informed and encourage member participation in activities and programs. Political, Social, Racial & Religious Neutrality CSI Support & Development and its membership respect political, social, racial and religious differences. Cooperation Among Cooperatives Local, national, and international cooperative associations of all kinds are strengthened by sharing experience and by their mutual support of each other. Open, Voluntary Membership Because of the belief that all people are equal, co-ops have open membership without discrimination.