This Saturday! Assembly and Show at Whirlybird Co-op

Join us this Saturday at Whirlybird Co-op for:
Boston Coop Assembly Meeting 3-5pm
followed by Potluck and Social 5-7pm
followed by Basement Music Show 7-11pm

Band Lineup:

The Symbolics
(face melting folk blues)
(acoustic americana street rock)
Tommy Ghost
Wishbone Zoe
(junkyard polkafolk)
Evan Greer
(queer riotfolk-mama)
Show is all ages with $3-5 suggested donation

August Collective House Assembly: New location!

Time: Saturday, August 11th, from noon to 2pm
Place: Beacon Hill Friends House, 6 Chestnut St, Boston, 02108 (*new location!)*)
Who: Send a rep from your co-op house!  Everyone interested in Boston’s co-op movement is welcome.

Theme: Membership Process – Recruitment, Accountability, and Diversity. 

Come out next weekend to the August Collective House Assembly to troubleshoot your recruitment woes, share insights into building cultures of responsibility and accountability in your homes, and engage membership questions including diversity, accessibility, privilege, and oppression in the cooperative movement and our individual collectives.

New Location!
This month, we will be meeting at the Beacon Hill Friends House, a cooperative in downtown Boston, just blocks away from the State House and the Commons.  We will revisit possible locations at this meetings, while we wait to hear from Encuentro 5 about the details of their transition.

Beacon Hill Friends House
6 Chestnut Street
Boston, MA 02108

July Assembly Notes

The notes from last week’s Collective House Assembly on Household Management are up!

July 14th: Share your house management tips with other co-opers

Hi co-opers,

Come out to the July Collective House Assembly!

Time: Saturday, July 14th, from noon to 2pm
Place: Encuentro 5, 5th Floor, 33 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02111
Who: Send a rep from your co-op house!  Everyone interested in Boston’s co-op movement is welcome.

Theme: Household Management
Come to the table with examples of how your collective house manages chores, upkeep, and accountability.  If you have written house policies, please bring a copy to share.  Got horror stories or problems you want to workshop solutions with the experiences of other co-opers?  Bring those, too, and your openness to help out each other.  Our goal is to begin to fill in the Co-op Resource Wiki’s management page.

We’ll also be talking about action steps for the Co-op Start-up Fund, and proposing a plan for future meeting space.  Send a representative from your house and be part of the action!

RSVP on Facebook or MeetUp.

A Guide to Our Projects & Campaigns

The Boston Collective House Assembly is a network created to allow Boston’s many housing co-ops to organize together.  We have open, monthly meetings where representatives from Boston’s co-op houses and anyone else interested gather to has out ideas and work on projects to cupport collective living and housing justice in the Boston area.

What on earth have we been doing at those monthly Collective House Assembly meetings you may have heard of all year long?  I want to share a summary of the projects and campaigns we have been working on.
Most importantly, I want to invite you to participate!  Come join us on the 2nd Saturday of the month– that’s June 9th– at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, from noon to 2pm.  For co-opers and those sympathetic and interested in furthering cooperatives, regardless of whether or not you live in a collective house.

Our projects and campaigns:

Find or Form a Housing Co-op
A simple guide for people who want to live in or form a new collective house in the Boston area: Find a Housing Co-op
Or check out our directory of Boston’s co-op houses:

Support & Resources for Your Co-op House
A guide to organizations that support co-ops, anti-oppression policies, tips for managing your household & finances, and of course, a huge section on house food systems:

More than Housing: Boston’s Cooperative Economy
A guide to the growing localized, comprehensive, and regenerative cooperative economy in the Boston-area, New England, and the world: Boston’s Co-op Economy

The Co-op Start-up Fund
We are in the third stage of drafting our proposal to create a fund to support longterm collective living and housing justice in the Boston area.  Read about our process and progress (and how to contribute your ideas!): The Co-op Financing Project
Read the draft proposal: Proposal – Alpha

The Co-op Calendar
From highly successful mixers for folks looking to join or form co-ops to potlucks, workshops, and skillshares, to the upcoming Community Meals Calendar, we have been using this calendar to host, share, and find co-op events and other co-opers around Boston:

Operation Cooperation – Co-op Outreach & Solidarity
We are a part of a Massachusetts statewide effort to increase cooperation: Operation Cooperation
Want to support Worker Co-ops?  Consider hosting, volunteering with, or attending the upcoming National Workers Cooperative Conference

House Representation
Our proposal to all cooperative and collective house in the Boston-area:  Send a representative to our monthly meetings!  Make participation in the Collective House Assembly a house ‘job’ – give someone chore hours for representing and reporting back to your house each month.
Find our notes and other info at our website:
We’re also on Facebook
And you can participate in our Assembly listserve plan monthly Assemblies, work on website updates, and generally take care of business. Take a look at the discussion online or subscribe to the mailing list here.

All this stuff is getting bigger, better, and more refined as we grow and learn.  We’d love your input.  Come to an Assembly meeting!

Coop Financing Project: The Co-op Start-up Fund

To create a fund to support cooperative living in the Boston area

Your feedback is needed!

This proposal is in its development stage. Right now, we need input, ideas, critiques, and questions from as many stakeholders as we can reach.

We invite co-opers, co-operative organizations, housing rights activists, students, and other interested people to read through our proposal and give us both specific and general comments.

Read the proposal and submit comments at the Co-op Resources Wiki!

Yardsharing website launched!

Want to garden but don’t have space?
Got a yard but no time to do anything with it? lets you make requests, offer land, and find local listings through a neighborhood map.

Announcing the launch of My City Gardens, a local Boston-area yardsharing website that links landholders with little time or interest in working their outdoor spaces with neighbors who want to roll up their sleeves and start planting.

How it works:
We connect people based on proximity (via email exchange), then leave it up to you – as the gardener or the landholder – to decide if the match is right and arrange the details, such as days and times the gardener can access the space, what will be planted, how the crop will be shared, etc.

The vision:
Instead of urban and suburban areas being a sea of buildings connected by streams of concrete and monoculture lawns, imagine the places where you live and work surrounded by lush strips of tasty vegetables and beautiful flowers. Instead of running out of your apartment to buy salad that was grown in another state or continent, you could be running around the block to pick your own.

For those of you in co-ops, read why the Collective House Assembly supports yardsharing!

March Assembly Notes are Posted!

Happy 6th month anniversary, Collective House Assembly!!

This month we talked about what we’ve done and where we’re going. Some highlights include:

  • Sparkling new websites— check out the Co-op Resources Wiki (!!!!) and the updated BostonCoops.Org, with a database of local collective houses!
  • Ongoing skillshares, a popular success!
  • Connecting co-op food systems with an eye towards regional food sovereignty.
  • Financials: a co-op house accounting group
  • Fun festivals including our inaugural bash, a harvest season potluck, and co-op games!
  • Beginning the legwork for solid solidarity activism for housing justice, including going to meetings & volunteering with City Life/Vida Urbana as well as organizing a Co-op Start-up Fund

Plus discussing process, Operation Cooperation, forming new co-ops, and more.  Thanks to Charlie for the wonderful notes!

Next Assembly : 14 April
14 Apr, noon-2pm, at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison St.
Theme: TBA

February Assembly Notes are up!

This month we discussed partnerships with worker co-ops and housing justice organizers and continued to develop our idea for a Co-op Startup Fund. We also began compiling links and info for the Co-op Resources Wiki (ok, it’s still a static page for now, but the wiki is on the way!). Thanks to Oren for these great notes!

Next Assembly : 10 March
12 Feb, noon-2pm, at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison St.
Theme: Reaching Out, Reporting Back
It’s the Boston Collective House Assembly’s 6 month anniversary! We’re going to take this meeting to catch up on all the projects we’ve been working on, reportback on what’s been done, reflect on how we’ve been effective and what’s lacking, and make plans to better engage our neighborhoods and multiple communities in these co-op living adventures.

Yardsharing for Collective Gardens

At our last Collective House Assembly, folks wondered how we could cooperatively share yards big enough to cultivate with all the landless co-opers who would like to garden and eat homegrown produce. In an effort not to reinvent the wheel, two Collective House Assembly members met up this week with the founders of My City Gardens, a Boston-area yardsharing website that is about to launch this spring. We were really impressed!

The goals of My City Gardens are simple: match prospective gardeners with landholders in their neighborhoods. To do this, they’ll be launching an interactive map of yard space and gardener profiles in the next few weeks, allowing prospective yardsharers to talk it out and match themselves up (don’t worry– they won’t release any addresses publicly). In the meantime, they’ve already begun connecting folks who sign up on their website with gardens or gardeners in their area.

This project elegantly fills a need co-opers have already expressed at our Assembly meetings, and does so without limiting the benefits of cooperatively sharing garden space to those who already cooperatively share living space. Co-op houses that welcome a new gardener or two onto their land can act as ambassadors to their other collective projects and better integrate their co-op into their neighborhood. Meanwhile, big collective houses full of hungry housemates can work as gardener teams on large gardening projects, helping to maintain the momentum that has a tendency to dwindle as dog days and busy summer nights set in.

So co-ops, we encourage you to check out the site and consider signing up!

Looking for space to grow a garden?
Have extra space in your backyard?

My City Gardens is a free Boston-based yard sharing service launching in 2012. Visit our site:
• Sign up for updates
• Check out listings in your neighborhood
• Prepare for next spring! Post your available space or your gardening space needs.

Questions? Suggestions?
Interested in volunteer opportunities?

ps don’t forget!
Next Assembly : 11 February
11 Feb, noon-2pm, at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison St.
Theme: Housing Justice with CityLife
Come meet with representatives from CityLife and the Cooperative Fund of New England to deepen our discussion of practical ways co-op houses can support housing justice in Boston. Bring your own projects and ideas!