Our Mission

College Houses is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides over 500 beds of affordable student housing across five properties near UT Austin and Austin Community College. Our mission is to serve as a transformative environment that empowers students through democratic, cooperative living. We provide affordable housing to foster community, support education, and promote personal development and well-being.

We’re Cooperative

What if you and your housemates could work together to act as your own landlord? Using the cooperative model, that is exactly what our student members do!

Rather than being mere tenants, our members take on the benefits and the responsibilities of self-management. Each member contributes around 4 hours of work per week to do everything from maintenance to cooking shared meals. Our communities are self-governed, which means members elect officers and make decisions democratically at house meetings. Even our board of directors is composed primarily of student members.

The cooperative model provides excellent opportunities for members to learn new skills and to grow as people. Work contributed by members also lowers our costs, and those savings are passed back to members in the form of lower rents.

We’re Affordable

College Houses pools its resources and labor power to provide a student community that is affordable for all members. Unlike most student apartments which seek to maximize profit, College Houses is a nonprofit with the mission to provide quality housing and a great living experience at the most affordable price possible. By including bills, amenities, and (in most co-ops) a meal plan in the standard rent rate, we help to lower the total cost of education for students. By choosing co-ops, students can save thousands per semester.

Bar graph showing the amount you save with co-ops, accounting for rent, food, and utilities costs. The apartment column totals $1,419 per month, while the co-op column totals $917 per month.

Costs of living in an efficiency apartment in the Austin area totaled $1,419 per month in 2021. This accounts for rent, food costs, and utilities such as water, electricity, and internet. College Houses offers all that, plus a one-of-a-kind community starting at one of the most affordable rates in the city. See all current rates for more details.

We’re a Community

Co-ops are all about community. Our houses are a great place to meet people from all different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities. Members eat, work, study, and relax together, which leads to lasting friendships — and also the occasional disagreement. Thankfully, the co-op provides plenty of support to mediate conflicts and make sure the community stays a safe and healthy environment for everyone (trust us, it’s better than leaving passive-aggressive notes on the fridge).

If you’re a student looking for housing that comes with an amazing community, we welcome you to “find yourself in a co-op”! Learn more and apply for membership here.

Our Impact

Icon of a book representing our impact for higher education.

Education

We enable equitable access to higher education by lowering the housing and food costs associated with attending college.

Icon of two houses representing our impact for Austin student housing.

Housing

We provide over 500 affordable units to Austin students. By providing housing for students, we also relieve pressure on the wider housing market.

Icon of three abstract people representing our impact to empower students.

Empowerment

Living cooperatively is a unique experience that builds leadership, teamwork, life skills, and a value for democracy. Our members take these skills with them into their careers and other endeavors.

Interested in learning more about our impact in the Central Texas community? Please contact us!

Meet the Staff

In addition to the student leaders who run day-to-day operations, we have a full staff dedicated to improving our houses and making sure things go according to plan.

Daniel M., Executive Director

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Daniel joined College Houses as staff in 2024, and originally joined as a member in 1998. As Executive Director Daniel supports the co-op’s board in making their best decisions and coordinates the work of staff. Between living at College Houses and working with College Houses, Daniel worked in co-op development and co-op management for over 20 years.

Fun fact: Daniel wrote the recipe for Wheatsville Popcorn Tofu while working for the co-op as a cook.

Dan B., Facilities Director

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Dan has been involved with College Houses for over 15 years. He joined the staff as one of our Facilities & Operations Coordinators in 2022, and was promoted to Facilities Director in 2023. Prior to joining the staff, he was a resident at Taos and Pearl. As a member he served terms as Board Rep, Maintenance Coordinator, and MemCo. Dan oversees the maintenance and upkeep of our co-ops.

Fun Fact: Dan once helped build a canoe out of concrete, and then raced it in ASCE’s Concrete Canoe Competition. His team came in first.

Ryan C., Operations Director

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Ryan joined the College Houses staff in 2021. He oversees the kitchen operations at our houses, helps ensure the office is organized, and serves as a resource to members and prospective members. Ryan also worked on the Austin Cooperative Business Association’s housing committee, and is a proud founder and chair of the board at Austin Community Reinvestment Cooperative.

Ryan’s great-uncle Robert wrote the lyrics to “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts roasting…” etc.), and his great-grandfather won an Academy Award for helping to put sound in movies.

Terrie C., Accounting Director

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Terrie has been with College Houses since 2008. She handles all A/P, A/R, and Payroll transactions and assists members with billing and budget questions. She has a B.B.A. in Accounting from Southwest Texas State University and has been working in the accounting field since 2000.

Fun Fact: Terrie skated with the Texas Rollergirls from 2003-2013 and Team Free Radicals from 2014 to the present. She is also an announcer for the Texas Rollergirls.

Liz D., Interim Finance Director

Liz has served as College Houses’ Interim Finance Director since 2013. Liz ensures the overall financial health of the organization and provides reports to guide the members’ financial and budgeting decisions. She is a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and brings more than 30 years of financial and accounting experience to College Houses.

Fun Fact: Liz met Willie Nelson at his Pedernales ranch when he was filming a music video.

Ivory G., Facilities and Operations Coordinator

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Ivory has served as College Houses’ Facilities and Operations Coordinator since 2024. Ivory Assists Dan B. with providing excellent maintenance service with his deep and extensive experience.

Fun Fact: Ivory loves working on cars, anything mechanical that moves greatly interests Ivory.

Prathima R., Member Experience Coordinator

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Prathima joined College Houses as staff in 2024. She manages internal communication and incident reports with current members. She has an M.S.W. from Jane Addams College of Social Work and has been working in independent housing initiatives and youth social services in Chicago for 3 years.

Fun Fact: Prathima is passionate about art and painting. She decorates all her personal spaces with her own artwork and art projects.

Sophia F., Member Process Coordinator

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Sophia joined College Houses as staff in 2024. She oversees contract signing, occupancy management, and loan compliance with the city. She has a B.A. in International Relations form the University of Texas at Austin. As a member she served as Maintenance Coordinator, Director, and as a member of the Board of Directors.

Fun Fact: Sophia’s first pet was a potbelly pig named Inky! When she can, she loves to volunteer at the Central Texas Pig Rescue.