The past year was a very exciting one for co-op development. There is currently a lot of interest in creating new cooperatives, and we’re happy that we have been able to increase our capacity to provide advice and support to more of these groups. During the 2014-15 year, NASCO provided free technical assistance to over 30 groups and has worked with four groups to coordinate purchases. Over half of the groups we worked with were startup groups.
The Genesee Valley Cooperative in Geneseo, NY was one startup group that we first met in the spring of 2013, when their members still lived in campus housing and “The Co-op” felt like a distant dream. They started renting their first property in the fall of 2014. We worked with GVC throughout the year to create member labor systems, bylaws, and plan for the future. In the fall of 2015, GVC was able to expand to renting a second building.
After 25 years of successful operation, the members of the Student Cooperative Organization were ready to expand beyond The Vine, their eight bedroom housing cooperative in Athens, OH. The SCO worked closely with NASCO to plan the timeline, set target rents, and find the right property. After several months of searching and several dead ends, their new property was found. This expansion doubled the size of the SCO, and gives the members a larger presence in Athens, with more stability to build on for the next expansion.
To learn more about the work that we’ve done to support co-op development in the past year, download the latest NASCO Development Services Annual Report.