Providing affordable community living that fosters human connection, social justice, and sustainability.
Sharing skills, resources, time, growth, and governance.
Sharing resources to reduce energy and waste.
Committed to diversity, inclusivity, safe spaces, and trainings.
Low rent, buying in bulk, and communally taking care of our home.
Meet the Cooperatives
2127 16th St. Boulder, CO
744 Marine St. Boulder, CO
Ostara: 5 (Now & August)
Chrysalis: 1 (August)
Mango Manor: 2 (August)
Masala: 1 (August)
Applications are open for all houses for August 1st 2023.
Mango Manor Cooperative
4662 Ingram ct. Boulder, co
2550 9th St. Boulder, co
We are 501(c)3 community housing developer dedicated to creating affordable, sustainable, community-enhancing, cooperative housing for the people of Boulder county.
As the maintenance coordinator for Masala and the Boulder Housing Coalition, I was able to learn and practice my skills in carpentry, green building, and energy efficiency research and consulting. This experience gave me the platform from which I started two businesses in energy efficiency & green building as well as becoming a co-founder of the Boulder Green Building Guild… My second business, Snugg Home, builds web based software solutions for municipalities and utilities across the country to manage their home energy retrofit programs.
Masala allowed me to be rooted in Boulder in a way that is not normally possible for someone who cannot afford a house. It gave me a way to really be a citizen of Boulder and not just someone passing through a generic rental property. Perhaps the most valuable thing about Masala is the sense of connection and investment in the larger community, ranging from our friendship with the elderly lady next door to the neighborhood farm we helped create. I imagine how much the city would be enriched if it had more places like Masala.
The Boulder Housing Coalition provides a valuable community enhancing affordable housing alternative to Boulder County, that’s why the County Commissioners have chosen to support the development of their third cooperative with a $40,000 grant.
I love living in a house where everyone contributes their talents, energy, and support — many hands make light and lighthearted work! Long and short-term visions come together, through collaboration, frustration, challenges, and love. It is a beautiful struggle. If my co-op were gone, my life would be less rich, more lonely and self-indulgent, less meaningful and less about giving. If Chrysalis were not in Boulder, our neighbors would not see that sharing our strengths and vulnerabilities with others can be more fulfilling than relying solely on oneself.
The co-op system in Boulder is truly an asset to the residents it serves, as well as the greater Boulder community. It has enabled me to live near my work at Boulder Community Hospital and have access to many local resources in an area where I could not afford to own a home. BHC has provided me with the opportunity to engage in projects such as Flatirons Neighborhood Farm, which build community within our larger neighborhood. It is evident that cooperative housing in Boulder is cultivating strong leaders, community activists and critical-thinkers. Co-op residents are experienced communicators, problem-solvers and peace-makers. I can envision the positive, lasting results of creating more opportunities for affordable, cooperative housing in Boulder.
As a member of Chrysalis housing cooperative from 2004 to 2007, I learned the value of sharing my life with a diverse group of people and I became a vibrant part of my local community… Now I conduct social science research at Yale University with a team of four sociologists. The four of us are writing a book on contemporary race relations in the United States. Every day while writing the book, I use the skills that I learned at Chrysalis to create and maintain a wonderful and productive research team
People from the Masala Co-op knocked on my door and asked if I’d be interested in forming a non-profit Neighborhood Supported Agriculture farm … together we formed Flatirons Neighborhood Farm (FNF)… the skill set that the folks from Masala Co-op and the Boulder Housing Coalition brought were the mortar and bricks that put this organization together … by far the greatest benefit that the farm has had is the creation of a community in our neighborhood.
Although a lot of people are skeptical about consensus, I’ve seen it work very well in our housing communities. It teaches good communication, honest evaluation of individual actions, respect, and empathy… it also leaves room for leadership on particular projects or on specific emotional or moral issues. Consensus trains members to participate productively in a governing body. In short, we learn to be good democratic citizens.
For more than 25 years now, the Boulder Housing Coalition has been working to address two of the biggest challenges facing our local community: a lack of affordable housing and a need to dramatically reduce our environmental impact. Through its growing network of cooperative houses, the BHC is not only enabling residents to shrink their collective footprint and providing a home for hundreds who otherwise wouldn’t be able to live here, it is also helping to build a more interconnected, resilient, and vibrant Boulder. Most places don’t have anything like the BHC, so we are lucky to have it. I honestly can’t think of another organization whose efforts are more deserving of our enthusiastic support.
I lived in a BHC co-op for four years. Living there enabled me to live in a beautiful section of Boulder while making little money working at a grocery store. In living there I found a community of creatives and activists. I formed bonds and people supported me as well as my art. When the pandemic first hit I was also immensely grateful to have the cooperative network to lean back on. The cooperative living experience for me was a powerful one that helped me hone interpersonal communication skills, taught me how to season cast iron and so much more. I was able to live more gently, bike to work and around town and come home to people who I never would have otherwise gotten to know.
I moved to Ostara in August of 2019 with my then boyfriend, now husband. I was starting my doctoral program at CU Boulder. We both helped cook and clean. My husband still uses tricks learned in the Ostara kitchen like using a spoon to remove the outside layer of ginger! I also helped facilitate a craftivism night regularly. I contributed to several roles in the house including organizing potential resident dinners and votes. It all helped me feel like a contributing member of the house. The free table there was also the best. Once I got an 8 person tent for free! We were able to cultivate a community immediately upon moving to Colorado from New York. We appreciated our year there in helping us get acclimated to Boulder living.
Co-op living gave me an opportunity at life that is unique almost anywhere else in the world. Between the social resources, the camaraderie, and benefits like the food system and the fact that I get all of this at a lower, affordable rate - its invaluable. It gives me somewhere to stay where I can actually save money, somewhere stable that I can make a life out of. It's something that has provided a great deal for me and I'm really grateful for it.
I began graduate school at Naropa knowing practically no one in Boulder. My first month and a half in town were pretty lonely, but that changed completely when I moved into Ostara. Living in a co-op provided me with community that would have been much harder, if not impossible, to build otherwise. My housemates supported me when I was recovering from surgery, engaged in political action together, and helped me remember that there was more to life than grad school. While living at Ostara, I earned a Master's degree in mental health counseling, but I believe I learned at least as much about relationships, communication, and conflict resolution from living in a co-op as I did from my studies. This was especially true because of the BHC's mission to provide low-income housing in an increasingly expensive city, which meant I lived with people from a broader range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds than was typical for Boulder. Making decisions by consensus with a diverse group of people particularly encouraged me—and my housemates—to deepen our listening skills, move beyond black and white thinking, and engage in creative problem-solving. Cooperative living has been an invaluable part of my preparation to contribute to a diverse world, and to my belief that alternatives to exploitative systems are possible. In fact, it became such a deep part of how I want the world to work that I have started a new housing co-op and a worker co-op with my partner of five years—whom I met, unsurprisingly, through co-ops!
I have been a neighbor of Ostara Coop since it was built. It just feels so good that there is a place full of friendly, interesting people nearby. The outdoor benches and garden make a good place of for a chat. It feels good to pass by and know that BHC is doing its job to keep Boulder diverse, to support lower income people, that here are people caring for people. Ostara is a vital piece of this excellent neighborhood!
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