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Brooks Co-op has no specific philosophy, but we like some of what others have said about co-op housing. The COUCH Mission Statement says this about co-ops:

COUCH is formed for the purposes of:

  • Educating the community about the benefits of living in cooperative housing arrangements and about Practical and theoretical aspects of cooperation;
  • Encouraging the development of cooperatives whose members are a community that shares the tasks of daily living, rather than merely being economic participants;
  • Management of low-cost, not-for-profit cooperative housing by and for member/owners;
  • Assisting community members in developing new cooperative housing arrangements;
  • Providing training and other assistance to new or troubled cooperatives;
  • Participating in and linking local co-ops to the global cooperative movement;
  • Promoting member ownership and control of housing resources.

What does that mean day to day? Edit

In order for a cooperative to function, all members must be fully involved in the life of the co-op. With the goals of living in a cooperative manner, house members should contribute to a positive living environment for all members. Each house member should expect to complete approximately five (5) hours of housework per week: three hours for cooking and cleaning, one hour for a chore, and one hour every two weeks for the house meeting. See House Chores section for more detailed information.

The Qumbya Co-op (Chicago, IL) says the following in their member handbook (somewhat abridged and modified):

What is co-operative living? The simplest answer is that it is people living together in a self-governing group so that everyone benefits from the group's success. This house is your house, and you contribute directly to its well-being, and thus to your own. Co-operation is not about restricting your individual freedom and self-expression. Instead, it gives you a direct relationship with your environment, and creates a meaningful context in which you can act. Feeling happy and want to share it? Bake cookies. Or repaint a bathroom. Or build a table.
A certain amount of conflict is natural. Capitalism obscures conflict by dealing with everything on a financial level -- everything has a price, and if you break the rules you pay a fine. We prefer to talk about our problems, and resolve them to benefit everyone. This means you have to be willing to listen, and accept that different people may have different ideas about how the common rooms should look, or what's an appropriate thing to cook.