Shamrock Co-operative Homes Inc.

A Unique Community

You see things and you say why? But I dream things that never were: And I say why not? (Shaw)

Accessible, Integrated Housing in Waterloo

A Unique Way To Live

Shamrock Co-operative Homes Inc. is a 90 unit apartment and townhouse complex which integrates persons with disabilities and able bodied people in a member run, non profit co-operative community setting

Opened in August 1990, Shamrock meets the need for affordable well maintained units in the Waterloo Region, with security of tenure, self management, education and a wholesome sense of community

Barrier Free Design

Shamrock is architecturally barrier free. All the units, at a minimum have a wheelchair accessible front door. This feature allows a person in wheelchair to visit their neighbour without barriers. Twenty of the co-op's 90 units are totally wheelchair accessible, allowing a person with a disability the chance to live independently.

Other features include an accessible playground and community centre, flower boxes that are wheelchair accessible and sidewalks with curbs cut throughout the co-op.

In 1992, Shamrock won the CMHC Housing Award for concept and design, and also the Jim McDonald Award for social change by making 19 of its units and the apartment ground floor totally wheelchair accessible, as well as providing 24 hour attendant care support services.

The Neighbourhood you've been looking for

Shamrock Co-op has:

44 one and two bedroom apartments and 46 three and four bedroom townhouses (includes wheelchair accessible units. Community Centre, member and guest parking, sports pad, children's playground, common laundry room, laundry hookups in townhouse units, and refrigerator and stove in all units. (Some townhouse units have central air) 24 hour attendant care support and services for physically disabled members, available through the Independent living centre (ILC) office. Close to Highways 86 and 401, Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier Universities, Public and Separate Schools, the Conestoga Shopping Mall, parks, banking institutions and other neighbourhood services.

Many Firsts

Shamrock is a community with many firsts, such as our attendant care project which is the first of its kind in a co-op setting in Canada. Shamrock provides 24 hour attendant care to twelve (12) members with disabilities.

Another first is our unique arrangement with the Red Cross Homemakers who are responsible for homemaking tasks.

Beginning in 1999, Shamrock introduced the Greenback Incentive Program. This program has two purposes. The first is to track the actual participation of members in the running of the co-op, and the second is to provide incentives to reward and recognize members for their participation.

How We Work

Shamrock Co-op is based on the principle of participatory democracy, and it is operated by the members. This means there is no landlord. The co-op is administered by a Board of Directors who are elected by the membership to oversee the functioning of the co-op. Each member, through their ongoing participation on a committee or by carrying out assigned tasks, assists in the day to day functioning of the co-op. This type of involvement helps to keep housing charges as affordable as possible, and also assists members in learning new skills. General Member's meetings are held at least twice per year, and all members are required to attend. Many issues are decided at these meetings, and everyone has a voice in decision making at the co-op.