The Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations

The Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations

The Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations (EKYL) is an independent non-profit organization with more than 1400 members – co-operative housing associations/ apartment associations all over Estonia.

About 65% of Estonian population lives in apartment associations.

Apartment association is the most spread and generally recognized way of management of residential buildings and cooperation. Each co-operative housing association is self-financing not-for-profit organisation managing one multi-apartment building.

Time of foundation: 17 April 1996
Members: 1400 cooperative housing associations/ apartment associations all over Estonia
Offices: head office in Tallinn, offices also in Tartu, Pärnu, Türi and Kuressaare.
Structure: EKYL is governed by a Council elected regionally. The Council elects a management board of directors of three people to oversee the day to day management in accordance with the decisions of the members and the Council. EKYL employ 11 employees.

  • Membership of EKYL is voluntary, accounting for approximately 15% of the national co-operative housing stock.
  • EKYL represents Estonian co-operative housing associations on local, national and international level. The Union works in partnership with state institutions, municipalities, unElamu_esikas_4_2015iversities, think tanks, private companies and NGOs.
  • EKYL has own private school – Training Centre for Apartment Associations
  • EKYL has been a partner in more than 15 consortiums of international projects, including 3 IEE projects (RESHAPE, Power House Europe, Power House Nearly Zero Challenge!), INTERREG IIIB project (BEEN) and Eastern Partnership projects with Ukraine and Belarus.
  • EKYL is among the forerunners in the management of renovation programmes for housing in individual ownership and is providing its expertise to adapt solutions specifically in regions where housing has been largely privatised and have different legal frameworks. EKYL has organized public debates for politicians, promoted topics like energy efficiency and nearly–zero energy in Estonian media and brought the questions about the future targets of energy refurbishment and financial need of apartment associations to the discussions with the ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications – the ministry responsible for the implementation of the energy savings policy in Estonia.
  • EKYL have several successful experiences with campaigns for energy consumers in Estonia, teaching consumers to save energy and money, and use renewable energy for environment and climate protection.
  • EKYL is involved in the legislative field related to the housing association movement, where they observe and contribute to the development of legislative and other acts of law. For example, EKYL team of experts participated as consultants in the preparation of new Act of Apartment Associations (coming into force in 2018) and in preparation of the Estonian Development Plan for the Energy Sector 2030+, a strategic source document for developing the housing sector over the next years and the future of energy consumption of buildings.
  • EKYL has own magazine – ELAMU (Dwelling) – 4 issues per year in Estonian and Russian language


Our mission:

To support the development of cooperative housing associations in Estonia, through the implementation of knowledge-based activities as training, consulting, advisory services, research, national and international cooperation projects.

Our objectives:

  • to develop and advertise the housing association movement;
  • to influence and participate in legislation – observe and contribute to the development of legislative and other acts of law;
  • to provide help with the management and administration structures of Estonian housing associations;
  • to offer its members a universal, professional, high-quality service – legal services, representation in courts, bookkeeping-consultations and trainings in EKYL’s training centre;
  • to gather and forward the information to the members; to publish relevant leaflets and materials, including own magazine ELAMU;
  • to unite members in different activities, to promote the communication and exchange of experiences of Estonian housing associations;
  • to represent Estonian housing associations in international organizations.


HousingEuropeEKYL is a member of
the European Federation of Public, Cooperative & Social Housing – Housing Europe.