College Houses is a non-profit student housing cooperative owned and managed by its student residents.
The original College House was formed in 1964 as a student government project with help from a sustaining grant by the Hogg Foundation. The purpose was to create a housing facility for University students with many of the features of a residential college. College Houses was to have the convenience of a dormitory with a rich program of intellectual activities.
In many ways, the College House organization worked well for a number of years. College House was known as a place where discussions were held between students, faculty, and community people. We had a resident faculty professor and his family lived with us from the years 1964 to 1972. During the 60’s, we had a very diverse community and it became known as a gathering place for radicals even though we had people on both sides of the radical/conservative fence.
Until 1969, we continued the original system of having an outside business provide the housing and food services. Costs for housing and food were climbing and we needed a cheaper alternative. As we gradually increased our own work load to run the house, the academic orientation lost some of its focus. In 1973, with a HUD loan, we purchased our first two buildings and built the 21st St. facility. In 1983 we added the last two.
Since 1964, College Houses membership has grown tremendously. What began as an experiment for a small number of student scholars to interact with faculty and staff has evolved into a housing cooperative that seeks to provide a unique living experience for its 532 members at the most affordable price. We have survived the Austin real estate ups and downs and now have a strong cooperative community providing every necessity for the college student in an environment that the members control and enjoy.