In 1995, many could see that Boulder housing prices were rising and the community was changing. To create spaces that would protect the spark of what makes Boulder special, the director of the University of Colorado Environmental Center, Will Toor, tasked the then Co-op Coordinator Lincoln Miller with a mission to, “Create co-ops on campus and create co-ops off campus”. In order to create co-ops off campus, Will and Lincoln created a non-profit called the Boulder Housing Coalition (BHC).
After some years of campaigning, CU students voted to fund on-campus cooperative housing. However, this initiative was later blocked. Focus turned to bringing this economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable model of living to the greater Boulder community.
In 2002, BHC it’s first house, Masala. This new house showed the power of living in community. As people came and went, they gained new skills, improved their interpersonal communication, and developed lifelong friendships. In 2004, BHC expanded access to cooperative living by creating Chrysalis Cooperative.
It took a decade to add our third house, Ostara, to the community due to Boulder’s occupancy limiting laws. We believed the affordability, sustainability, and community benefits of cooperative housing were (and are) too great to allow these fear-based regulations to persist as they had. Along with community partners, we advocated for and succeeded in bringing about Boulder’s 2017 Cooperative Housing Ordinance.
Since then, we’ve added Mango Manor to our family of cooperatives and are excited to continue growing the movement.