Cohousing Classifieds

312 Housing Collective

312 Housing Collective

Multi-generational, Urban
Still in formation - no address yet
Chicago, 60647
  • Move in year :
  • 2024
  • Number of units :
  • 2-10
  • Land size:
  • <2 acres
  • Developed acreage :
  • N/A


We are a small group of people who are looking to start a new co-housing community in the Humboldt Park area in the city of Chicago, Illinois. We’d like to co-own a building with individual apartments for each household as well as a shared space / common area for all residents (owners). This will be a self-managed, not-for-profit group where any operating surplus will go back into enriching the commons.

Our goal for our community is to develop a vibrant culture where people can develop the thoughts and ideas they are passionate about and encourage each other to turn them into action. We’re interested in ongoing discussions and actions to improve our local community. Our main priority is creating a social atmosphere where we support each other as friends and share skills and activities.

We’d like to have a diverse group of people of different ages and backgrounds who join, though we should note that we have a focus on creating a warm and stable environment for our children as well as the adults. We’re hoping that we’ll find a few other families who would anchor this part of the community and bring their own children into the mix! We greatly welcome single folks as well, and families of all different types.

Some shared values & activities we think are key:
• Intellectual stimulation, conversation, and learning.
• Shared, democratic decision making and realistic and courteous conflict resolution.
• Regular group dinners.
• Inclusiveness and diversity.
• An orientation towards action or putting interests to work.
• Civic involvement: we want to volunteer in the city as well as bring people in from outside for activities e.g. talks, workshops, discussions.
• Clean, attractive, engaging, and beautiful spaces that are as environmentally friendly as possible (highly energy efficient, possibly with solar PV panels).
• Contributing to the commons (could include time, talents/creativity, or financial donations)
• Fun: themed parties, urban adventuring like kayaking the river, group art projects etc.

Some nuts-and-bolts details we think are essential:
• Democratic ownership and control. We want to own the property as a group and we want everyone to have an equal say in how it’s managed.
• We hope to buy the property as a group and have written out an organized process for transferring ownership and maintaining structure as individual members chose to join or leave.
• To encourage not-for-profit status, the resale value of shares in the property will be disconnected from the housing market. We want to ensure that this is not a speculative home-equity investment, but an investment in community. This structure is referred to as “limited equity” in the world of housing co-ops
• Financial solvency. Co-op members will need to be able to contribute enough to cover operating costs. Exact pricing structures will be planned out, but this is fundamental. We will also need some key people with some savings to help buy the property in the first place.
• Space for unplanned, spontaneous interaction to happen. We should choose to opt out of hanging out, not plan to opt in. We’re flexible about how this is realized; it could be a Chicago street-corner-classic building with storefront, a duplex-up attic that becomes a common room, or a coach house where we can gather. This helps encourage community rather than just cohousing.
• Sufficient space for residents and families to live comfortably. Our vision is for each household to have a separate unit with their own kitchen and bathroom(s) to avoid morning pileups and provide privacy. The shared common area may have an additional kitchen and bathroom but those will be separate from each household’s main living space.

Some things we’re not interested in:
• A chore regime. There will be some work, but we also could consider hiring people for needed cleaning or maintenance tasks
• Putting all our money in a pot. Historically, this has been a recipe for fracturing communities.
• Focusing exclusively on affordable housing. We expect that we’ll have rent + dues that might possibly beat the market but might not. Part of the idea of pooling our resources and effort is to have a nice environment, which might take some money.
• We have no problem with polyamory, but the group is not polyamorous itself.
• No hard drugs.
• High levels of friction. If you find yourself constantly in conflict, a different space may be more helpful.
• An exclusive political focus. Politics is necessary, but in the home, we believe the new society is best built by creating such an attractive community and culture that people naturally want to join.
• For-profit activity. We want to incentivize making our group awesome as a commons, not personal gain.

Our “stretch goals” if we’re successful in acquiring a shared space together:
• Creating a workshop space, preferably with a laser cutter and other fun fabrication tools.
• Growing a community garden and doing composting.
• Creating a lecture / discussion series that brings in outside speakers, e.g. from academia, on topics of group and public interest.
• Fireplaces!
• Play spaces for the children.
• Possibly a community-engaging social enterprise, like a hostel, B&B, how-to-start-a-co-op shop, or gallery. Not for profit, but to bring in outside energy and discussion.

Shared Property
  • Common House
  • N/A
Welcomes Visitors (fee may apply)
  • Common Meals
  • Guest Rooms
  • Scheduled Tours
  • Individual Tours
  • Meetings
  • Work Days
Decision Making
  • Modified Consensus
  • N/A
Meal Participation
  • N/A
  • Other
Contact Information
Last modified February 19, 2024


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