We are affordable because, like all co-operatives, we are a non-profit organization. We can't be bought or sold for profit. We have a limited amount of subsidy available each month to provide members in need of assistance. This is potentially available to all members, reflecting changing economic fortunes over time.
Unlike a rental situation, co-operative housing charges (rent) rise only with increases in operating costs. As an active, contributing member, you also enjoy security of tenure. Joint ownership eliminates the insecurity of the rental market by putting control of your housing into your own hands instead of some faceless out-of-town company or bank.
There are many ways a member can contribute to the ongoing life of the community. One is by serving on our committees, such as Landscape, Finance, Maintenance, Member Education, Member Selection, Newsletter, Social, Marketing, the Youth Committee or the Board. This opens up tremendous opportunities to improve existing skills and build new ones.
It also provides you with the rare opportunity of contributing to an entire community and having a sense of ownership in its quality of life. Responsibilities taken on in committee work are included by members on their resumes as important volunteering experience. Individual members can also serve as resource persons for a given committee.
All members also contribute to such events as the Spring and Fall Workdays. Under the direction of the Landscape Committee, we work to improve the five acres of our pesticide-free landscape. Our Landscape Committee has undertaken several long-range projects to naturalize our environment. We are in the early stages of converting the land in front of our entrance into a prairie garden.
We also have community garden plots at both ends of the co-op offering interested members the chance to grow their own food. The Gardening sub-committee organizes the distribution of plots in the Spring. We also gather at, on average, four annual General Meetings to discuss and vote on issues of community interest. The remaining specialized tasks, such as the administration of the business of the co-op and special maintenance and renovations, are carried out by our two staff persons, our co-ordinator and handyperson.