Student housing cooperative
A student housing cooperative, also known as co-operative housing, is a housing cooperative for student members. Members live in alternative cooperative housing that they personally own and maintain. These houses are specifically designed to lower housing costs while providing an educational and community environment for students to live and grow in. They are, in general, nonprofit, communal, and self-governing, with students pooling their monetary and personal resources to create a community style home. Many student housing cooperatives share operation and governing of the house. As with most cooperatives, student housing coops follow the Rochdale Principles and promote collaboration and community work done by the members for mutual benefit.
Most student housing coops in Canada and the United States are members of North American Students of Cooperation.
Several of the earliest US student cooperatives (e.g. at Northwestern University and Wellesley College) had begun by at least 1915, for the purpose of housing female students. Most student housing cooperatives are formed to provide an alternative dorm for students who are unable to afford college due to housing costs. For example, the Harriet E. Richards House at Boston University (1928) was established to provide a cheap alternative to dorm life for women scholars. The Berkeley Student Cooperative, amongst others, started during the Great Depression to help provide affordable food and housing for Berkeley students. Other early examples that started in the Depression years: the Cooperative Living Organization at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida founded in 1931 and the Michigan Socialist House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan founded in 1932.
Others were formed to provide a more inclusive and supportive environment for students. Many student housing cooperatives are focused around socialist principles or political activism (Michigan Socialist House), veganism or vegetarianism, racial or ethnic identity (Biko), or environmental concerns.
Throughout the twentieth century, student housing cooperatives expanded, but some floundered. Many formed coalitions in the face of rising debt or bankruptcy. The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) was formed in 1968 as a way to link existing cooperatives together while educating and improving cooperatives across North America. Today, NASCO primarily serves as an association that promotes development and communication amongst coops and promotes communal living.
Management of Student Housing Cooperatives
There is not a standard way of running a housing cooperative. Most student housing cooperative members have full voting privileges on issues such as rent, future members, and community activity and then maintain an elected board of committee members who oversee the running of the cooperative. Many student housing cooperatives require work shifts that help lower the overall cost of living. These may include chores or cooking. Some coops award points to the type of chore and members are required to complete a certain number of points a week. All cooperatives expect members to contribute assistance throughout the year to keep the cooperative running smoothly and efficiently. It is up to the individual coops as to whether the members elect a board or committee to oversee the entire cooperative.
Partial List of Student Housing Cooperatives
Student co-operatives are situated in close proximity to colleges and universities. The second biggest student co-operative is Waterloo Co‑operative Residence Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario with 800 resident members.
The East Coast is represented by:
Central Canada is represented by:
- Educational Community Living Environment (ECOLE) in Montreal, Quebec
- Coopérative d'habitation étudiant Triangle Rose in Montreal, Quebec
- Campus Co‑operative Residence Inc in Toronto, Ontario
- Guelph Campus Co‑operative in Guelph, Ontario
- Waterloo Co‑operative Residence Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario
- Science ’44 in Kingston, Ontario
The West Coast is represented by:
- College Housing Co‑operative Limited in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Common Ground Co‑operative in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Assiniboia Community Housing Co‑operative in Edmonton, Alberta.
- Campus Residence Co‑operative Association in New Westminster, British Columbia
The Student Co-operative Dwellings was set up to stimulate greater opportunities for students to live in co-operatives.
There are three operational student housing co-operatives in the UK:
- Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative
- Birmingham Student Housing Co-operative
- Sheffield Student Housing Co-operative
All operating coops and initiatives are members of Students for Cooperation, a UK wide federation of student co-operatives which includes a number of other groups across the UK working to establish student housing co-operatives. Students for Cooperation have conducted a primary report and are seeking to establish a National Body of Student Housing Cooperatives (NBSHC) to help support and grow the UK student housing cooperative movement.
An unsuccessful plan to launch a student housing co-operative took place in 2004, when MMUnion partnered with the National Union of Students and Confederation of Co-operative Housing to offer cheaper cooperatively owned alternatives to city housing for Manchester MetrConfederation of Co-operative Housingopolitan University students. The NUS plan unfortunately fell through as NUS management changed.
Artist, student and community co-operatives are common in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of these housing co-operatives are members of organizations such as NASCO.
Currently, the biggest student co-op is the Berkeley Student Cooperative, formerly known as the University Students Cooperative Association, in Berkeley, CA with 1300 students living in 17 houses and 3 apartment complexes. Other large-scale co-op systems include MSU Student Housing Cooperative of Michigan State University, the Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan, and UCLA University Cooperative Housing Association with 400+ students.
Other examples of such cooperatives include:
- Berkeley Student Cooperative in Berkeley, California
- Bloomington Cooperative Living in Bloomington, Indiana
- Brown Association for Cooperative Housing in Providence, Rhode Island
- College Houses (e.g. 21st Street Co-op) and the Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Texas at Austin
- Dudley Co-op at Harvard University
- Genesee Valley Cooperative in Geneseo, New York
- Harriet E. Richards House at Boston University, in Boston, Massachussetts.
- Kalamazoo Collective Housing in Kalamazoo, Michigan
- the University of Kansas Student Housing Association in Lawrence, Kansas
- Cooperative Housing at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland
- Student Housing Cooperative at Michigan State University
- University of Minnesota Students Co-op and Riverton Community Housing in Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Minnesota Students' Cooperative in Saint Paul, MN
- Students' Co-Op at the University of Minnesota
- The Oberlin Student Cooperative Association at Oberlin College
- Penn Haven Housing Cooperative at University of Pennsylvania
- Cooperative Housing at Purdue at Purdue University
- Qumbya in Chicago, Illinois
- Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative in Santa Barbara, California
- Santa Cruz Student Housing Co-ops in Santa Cruz, California
- Cooperative Houses at Stanford University
- Stewart Little (cooperative housing) in Ithaca, NY
- The Tri Co-ops and Baggin's End/Domes in Davis, California
- Two Dickinson Street Co-op in Princeton, New Jersey.
- University Cooperative Housing Association at UCLA
- Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan
- Community of Urbana Champaign Cooperative Housing in Urbana, Illinois
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- "Workshift". Berkeley Student Cooperative.
- Campus Co‑operative Residence Inc.
- Guelph Campus Co‑operative
- Science ’44
- Assiniboia Community Housing Co‑operative
- Birmingham Student Housing Co-operative
- "Home". SEASALT Housing Co-operative. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
- Exeposé: Could new “co-op” solve Exeter’s student housing troubles?
- Co-operatives UK Directory: Leeds Student Housing Cooperative
- Co-operatives UK Directory: Norwich Student Housing Cooperative
- Impact Nottingham: Housing Co-operative Referendum? Why You Should Vote Yes.
- "Housing Co-op List". Students for Cooperation. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- Creating a National Body of Student Housing Co-operatives
- Feasibility Study for a National Body of Student Housing Co-ops
- Confederation of Co-operative Housing
- Housing co-op plans for students
- Bloomington Cooperative Living
- College Houses
- Dudley Coop
- Kalamazoo Collective Housing
- UKSHA (the University of Kansas Student Housing Association)
- Cooperative Housing at the University of Maryland
- University of Minnesota Students Co-op
- Riverton Community Housing
- Minnesota Students' Cooperative
- Students' Co-Op
- Penn Haven Housing Cooperative
- Cooperative Housing at Purdue
- Santa Cruz Student Housing Co-ops
- Cooperative Houses
- Tri Co-ops
- STUCCO Cooperative Ltd
- Canberra Student Housing Co-op
- Bareport Housing Co-operative Archived 2014-09-04 at the Wayback Machine