Listening Tree has decided to form as a cooperative because we resonate with the cooperative principles and see coops as the proven alternative to extractive economic structures. We will never need to “grow or die,” and our decisions will be made democratically, by consensus. We will be co-creating the restorative economy within the extractive one.
We’re finding a lot of people don’t really know what a housing coop is. It’s like a condo, only you don’t own the space of a separate home or unit. You are granted instead the right to use your private space (bedroom or office) and own the property in common.
We’ve also chosen this structure because we deeply believe in the cooperative principles, which you can find outlined here, especially “concern for community: while focusing on their needs, cooperatives work for sustainable development of their communities…”
Limited equity coops are also a proven way to keep housing affordable. Here’s an example in New York. Burlington, Vermont also has had great success with them. That is the model we are leaning towards.
Sharing a kitchen and bathrooms–in contrast to the cohousing where everyone has their own house and the common house–means it will be affordable to buy a share in the coop now, too. It will also use less resources, and turn us towards each other as we share meals daily.