Apply to live at Chrysalis (income cap: $41,280)
Apply to live at Masala (income cap: $54,489)
Apply to live at Ostara (income cap: $34,400)
Are you interested in living in an autonomous, community-oriented setting? Does co-housing seem out of reach financially? Then consider applying to live at one of the Boulder Housing Coalition’s co-ops! We’ve got four to choose from, each with its own (ever evolving) character.
The BHC was founded in 1999 with Masala, located between University Hill and Downtown. Then in 2004 we acquired a building right in the heart of Boulder that already housed a vibrant cooperative community called Chrysalis. Masala and Chrysalis each have about a dozen members. Just after the floods of 2013, we opened our third house, Ostara, at the corner of 9th and North St. Ostara is dedicated to providing family-oriented cooperative housing, and has 26 members, including (as of January, 2015) 4 single parents with six children, ranging in age from three to thirteen. The new South Boulder house is a brand new 12 person co-op, opening in the late fall of 2017.
Because living in a co-op is a little more intimate than your average apartment or even shared house rental situation, there’s more process involved in moving in than you might be accustomed to. This helps the current members get to know potential housemates and also gives you the opportunity to really understand what they’re signing up for. Here’s what the process looks like:
- Fill out the online application (see below). This will involve giving us permission to perform a background check, credit check, and to contact former landlords and/or housemates.
- Contact the membership coordinator to schedule a visit or three. Usually this includes sharing a meal with the house — and maybe even helping to cook it! You’ll be given a tour and a chance to meet the current members, and have the opportunity ask any questions you might have about the living situation, logistics, and current culture of the co-op.
- You may then be invited back to the house for an interview during one of the weekly house meetings. Interviews take approximately an hour. The exact timing will depend on current or anticipated vacancies. Different houses have different policies regarding remote (e.g. Skype) interviews — the house’s membership coordinator will be able to fill you in on the details.
- The house will use a consensus process to decide whether they’d like to invite you to live with them, while abiding by all applicable fair-housing rules. If they approve you, congratulations! But the process isn’t quite over yet.
- Because the BHC has received support from the City of Boulder’s Division of Housing to create permanently affordable rental housing, you’ll need to income qualify before you can sign a lease, put down your deposit, and move in. In order to income qualify, you’ll need to demonstrate that you make less than the income cap associated with the house you’re applying to, and that you earn more than enough to pay your rent, utility, and food shares. You will also need to provide verification that your liquid assets (savings, checking, but not necessarily retirement funds) are below $55,000. See the income qualification page for all the gory details.
Because Boulder is a college town and classes start in August, our leases (as well as those of many other properties) turn over on August 1st. However, there are sometimes openings at other times during the year. The individual house pages and membership coordinators will indicate when the next openings are expected. All leases are for a full year (August 1st through July 31st) unless you move in in the middle a lease cycle (i.e. not on August 1st). In that case your lease will start at your move in date and end on the following July 31st.