Student Housing the Cooperative Way
Many students attending college away from home often
find it difficult to find affordable housing that is on or near
campus. The availability of housing, especially for incoming freshmen,
is often in short supply and sometimes not available at all. Overcrowding
in dormitories and other university housing facilities is quite
common. An alternative to conventional and university housing is
membership in a student co-op. The benefits of membership in a student
co-op are many and varied, but all are positive reasons to be considered
by anyone looking for on-campus housing.
Affordability is generally the number one factor
that most people consider when looking for a place to live. Co-ops
are much less expensive because the cost is divided by a large number
of people ranging from as little as twelve to as many as ninety
depending on the size of the co-op. Co-ops are generally large single
family homes that have been converted to accommodate more people.
Sometimes they are also converted apartment buildings or other facilities
that were built to house a large number of people. The amount of
space available is generally quite large in order to accommodate
everyone without feeling crowded. Co-ops have the same living spaces
that most houses and apartments have such as a living room, dining
room, kitchen, multiple bathrooms and other such common areas as
well as a study room, recreation room, and a laundry room. These
rooms include amenities such as a TV, VCR, pool table, ping-pong
table, computers, and a house telephone.
Expenses incurred by each house are shared by all
of the members of that house. Food, utilities, and maintenance are
the primary expenses that are incurred. Each house sets up a budget
allotting a set amount for each of these items and member's
monthly charges are based on an equal division of the overall budget.
Other expenses such as mortgage payments, home owners insurance,
property taxes and other overall expenses are shared by all members
of all of the co-ops which are joined together under the Inter-Cooperative
Council. The ICC is the governing entity of all of the co-ops in
Ann Arbor. The monthly cost of living in the co-ops ranges from
$362.00 to $520.00 based on which house you live in and whether
or not you have a single or double occupancy room.