Archive for May, 2007

Can a tiny, little grassroots initiative change the world? We think we can! The Seattle EcoUrban Village (SEV) formed in a moment of frustration (as do many great inventions). Constantly denied affordable housing rentals because of graduate student status, yet needing affordable housing because of the same, SEV looked around for a better way and found intentional community then cooperative home ownership.

We feel the cooperative housing model is the best opportunity for artists, students, single mothers, the working poor, and others to obtain affordable home ownership. Recently, in connecting with friends and consultants, we began to examine existing artist housing models (like ArtSpace) to inquire, is the renter-landlord model the best housing model for artists or is it contributing to neighborhood gentrification?

SEV also connected with Alec Hill of the Tree of Life Collective, a bioregional workers’ collective in Central Vermont dedicated to transforming human systems of food production, ecological sustainability, dissipating traditional economy, and making more time for celebrating life!

As our ad hoc consultant, Alec recently gifted SEV with these consideration: (more…)


Read Full Post »

The Tree of Life Collective (TLC) is a nonprofit workers collective of artists in Montpelier, VT that works to “create social change around the principles of bioregionalism, social ecology, and spiritual resonance with the Earth”. TLC is offering a opportunity to learn jewelry making techniques in titanium, a reactive metal that changes color when anodized. The intern will also have an opportunity to make a liveable income in a non-hierarchical environment and contribute to social projects. For more information, read the Tree of Life Artist Internship flyer then contact contact TLC.

Read Full Post »

The Dreamtime Festival is a collaborative festival in Paonia, Colorado that combines the educational aspects of a conference and tradeshow with the celebratory aspects of music, dance, theatre, film and and visual art. With live performances by world-class bands, workshops on themes of sustainability, personal development, individual and social responsibility, holistic healing and gift economy, participants in Dreamtime Festival “dream the future together, and create a magical and unforgettable experience that serves ourselves and the world.”

The festival runs July 19-22, 2007 and tickets can be purchased through the Dreamtime website. To learn more visit the Dreamthefuture tribe.

Read Full Post »

The cooperative is a resident-owned housing model that has been successful since the first housing cooperative in the late 1800s (NAHC, 2007). In a cooperative, residents own shares (their apartments) and a corporation (a nonprofit or for-profit organization formed by the resident-owners) owns the apartment building. Together the the resident-owners and corporation make operating decisions about their community.

Below is a quick comparison chart that compares cooperative ownership against renting, single family home ownership, and condo ownership

Types Cooperative Rental Single Family Condominium
Ownership The residents are shareholders in a corporation that owns the property. Owning a share entitles you to occupy a unit. Tenants own nothing. On expiration of lease, tenants may be forced to vacate. Owners acquire individual title to their dwellings and yard. Unit “airspace” owned by individual, plus an undivided share of common elements.
Monthly Cost Members pay the Co-op for their share of the actual operating cost, building mortgage, and real estate taxes, based on the non-profit operation of entire community. Tenants pay rent specified in lease. Owner must make his or her purchases of whatever is needed, often at higher retail costs. Owner makes mortgage and tax payments to lender. Same as cooperative, except mortgage payments and taxes are paid directly to the lender.
Move-in Cost New members buy their share in the cooperative and also pay the first monthly charge in advance. Usually one month’s rent is paid as a security deposit, plus the first month’s rent. Purchaser must buy the property, usually with a mortgage with a down payment of at least 5% and closing costs of 3% or more. Same as single family, plus first month’s condo fee and often a “contribution to capital” of 1-2 months’ fee.
Community Control Co-op resident members elect their board of directors, which decides all policy matters. The Board usually sets up several committees to help run the community. Renters usually have no voice at all in establishing and maintaining community standards. Individual owners have no jurisdiction over their neighbors. Condo owners, like cooperatives, elect a board of directors.
Community Service Co-ops provide a natural base for service and activity desired by its members. Provided at discretion of landlords. On your own. Condos similar to co-ops, unless limited by state law.
Federal Tax Benefits to Individuals Your share of mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible on personal income tax return. No benefit. Mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible on personal income tax return. Mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible on personal income tax return.

chart: NAHC


National Association of Housing Cooperatives, http://www.coophousing.org/about_nahc.shtml

Read Full Post »



Intentional Community (IC) is a way of sharing housing and resources with people who share similar values. The IC model presents a significant opportunity to reduce living costs and pollution intake and output. For these two reasons alone, IC should be one of the most attractive living models for communities of color, which generally experience poverty and environmental injustice in greater numbers than European-Americans (Heiman, 1996) .

But because of some of the preconceived ideas about IC, and because of the traditional values held by many people of color, many intentional communities have a difficult time attracting and retaining people of color.

This Ain’t Your Momma’s Hippie Commune

One of the commonly held preconceived notions about IC in traditional communities of color is that intentional community is just a dressed-up, 21st century concept for old-style, 1960s-era hippie communes where white folks with long-hair do recreational drugs and refuse to bathe. Because of the global dispersion of intentional communities, there are a wide range of communites reflecting a variety of living styles including IC communities with all the amenities of urban living such as high-speed internet, e-mail, public transportation, and cable television. (more…)

Read Full Post »


  • Connect with CL contacts from week 2
  • Write a new CL ad and post in a new category (categories previously used include Artists and Groups)
  • Join Flickr Groups
  • Post project description on Idealist.org
  • Find & join (free) local permaculture, sustainable living, intentional community groups
  • Post project description on Intentional Communities
  • Re-read Apex’s organizing history
  • V-market (through word-of-mouth) on WordPress, Blogger, Flickr, MySpace, etc. and find more viral marketing outlets


Read Full Post »

Once a week for the past two weeks SEV posted ads on Seattle Craig List to let people know about the project, and to either find likeminded people to get involved or to find an emerging community that SEV can merge with. Both weeks we got positive responses from people but on the first week the feedback seemed to indicate that people thought this project was already completed and all they need to do was move in.

The second week SEV clarified the ad to emphasize that SEV is a grassroots, emerging ecovillage. We got a promising result from another grassroots co-housing project, and SEV is in the process of communicating with them.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »