Group-equity housing cooperatives across the US and Canada have been working together to build solidarity, create financial support networks, and provide alternative housing solutions for most of the past century. Throughout the years, housing co-ops of this model -- where all property equity stays in the co-op to support long-term community sustainability -- have proven their ability to respond to economic crises. Although the current housing crisis and the compounded effects of COVID-19 offer a new set of challenges, group-equity housing co-ops have risen to meet that set of challenges through several direct responses.
The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) is the bi-national federation that links group-equity housing co-ops across the US and Canada. As the entity that both links these co-ops and provides direct support through property leasing, development support, education, and crisis response, NASCO has witnessed the unique way that group-equity co-ops have held to their values of mutual aid and solidarity throughout the pandemic.
NASCO surveyed its network of co-ops in March 2020 and again in July 2021. The most recent survey gathered 31 responses from housing co-ops across the US and Canada, ranging from 3 members to 1,100 members.
Today co-ops around the world celebrate International #Coopsday. This year’s theme is #RebuildBetterTogether and is a welcome invitation to celebrate how our co-ops are meeting the pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering a people-centered recovery.
Last week at our Staff & Member Leadership Convening, NASCO co-op leaders shared some of the radical tools and tactics that they’re using to support their members:
We are searching for a creative co-oper to design the artwork for NASCO Institute this fall!
The theme for NASCO Institute this year is Mutual Aid, and the artist will be asked to create artwork that reflects the theme. Many co-op organizations and co-op members, acting under shared cooperative principles and utilizing the skill sets they’ve developed through cooperative work, have taken on mutual aid initiatives to support co-op members and the communities they are embedded within during this past year.
The chosen artist's work will be featured on our website, posters, stickers, and other promotional materials. The artists will be provided a $300 stipend and will be expected to work through concepts and designs with the NASCO team and deliver on a specific timeline.
How to Apply
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Your relationship to NASCO and/or the cooperative movement
- Info about yourself
- Examples of your previous work (links to your portfolio, website, etc.)
The deadline to apply is June 30, 2021.
Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the NASCO Board of Directors and the NASCO Properties Board of Directors. NASCO's dedicated Directors help us remain responsive to the needs of the co-op movement as we continue to provide resources, direct assistance, and connection to the North American cooperative sector. Pictured from left to right, top to bottom:
Emily's experience with the cooperative movement began when she moved into Toad Lane house of the MSU Student Housing Cooperative in East Lansing, Michigan in December of 2017. Since August 2018, she has called Vesta haus home. Emily joined the co-op as a student, and graduated from Michigan State University in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in English. In her time as a member-owner of the SHC, she has served in several capacities, including house membership officer, house education officer, officer laborer, and currently the Vice President of Education and concurrently the Executive Vice President of the co-op. She loves reading and writing and spending time with her housemates. Emily looks forward to her service on the NASCO Board of Directors and is eager to see what’s to come!
May 25, 2021 marks one year since George Floyd's murder. Over the last year, NASCO housing co-ops have stood firmly in solidarity with local and global movements for racial justice, economic transformation, and community care. Some co-ops have participated in direct action to end the pattern of unjust, abusive, and racist policing, some have contributed to mutual aid work to support their Black members and community members, and some have prioritized building safer spaces within their own homes by identifying and developing alternatives to calling police and by prioritizing anti-racist culture.
Alongside local efforts, NASCO has identified ways in which our work with housing cooperatives now and in the future can have an impact, including:
Summer internship opening for someone passionate about intentional communities and savvy with social media!
Advance a career in communications work, while supporting the Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC) through this special opportunity. The Social Media Intern will work closely with our Social Media Manager to support the ongoing management of our social media channels, including: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The position involves sourcing content from intentional communities, the media, and partner organizations.
Learn more and apply at https://www.ic.org/social-media-intern/
NASCO has compiled a Membership Profile report based on two member surveys conducted in 2020: 1) COVID-19 Economic Impacts Survey in March 2020, 2) NASCO Annual Member Survey conducted in the fall.The report offers an overview of NASCO Active Member Co-ops, member demographics, initial COVID-19 economic impacts, and anti-oppression work. Read the full report.