In Norway both development and management of housing is done privately; there is a strong cooperative housing movement. The Norwegian Federation of Cooperative Housing and Building Associations (NBBL) was started in 1946 and in 1995 has 106 member groups and 609,190 members situated in 235 municipalities. The cooperative building and housing associations manage 233,938 homes distributed in 3,824 cooperative housing societies, i.e. 14 percent of the homes in Norway. The percentage of cooperative housing in towns is much higher with, for example, two-thirds of all the homes in Oslo. The cooperative housing societies are owned by the residents. Cooperatives are independent legal units managed by a board chosen among and by the shareholders (residents) at an annual general meeting. The cooperative building and housing associations are business administrators for the cooperative housing societies and contribute to a professional management of the housing areas. NBBL is part of the international cooperative movement in the Nordic Cooperatives Association (NBO) and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
In 1998, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) announced that they would work together on cooperative housing in the following areas: (1) information exchange; (2)Training and capacity building within the cooperative housing sector to increase knowledge generation and synergy; (3) applied research and development of new approaches where cooperatives can more effectively contribute to housing and social services development; (4) evaluation and monitoring of the status of contributions of the cooperative sector to housing and social services development; (4) organization of thematic workshops at the national, regional and global levels to address specific issues and focus within the above cited areas; (5) identification, documentation and dissemination of successful experiences and lessons learnt in relevant fields. A joint action-oriented research project will be initiated to evaluate the current status of the contribution of housing cooperatives in housing and social services development and to seek ways for the improvement of these roles.