Are you interested in living in a unique and affordable community located in the center of Austin, TX? Learn more about what has made cooperatives a one-of-a-kind living experience since 1964!
When you live at one of our communities, you become a member of the cooperative. This means you get a vote at regular house meetings, and you vote to elect a representative to the College Houses Board of Directors. You also take an active role in managing the community through a few hours per week of tasks (we call it “labor”). The cooperative model is a grassroots structure, designed to give tenants more control over their living environment.
There are a few requirements to becoming a member of our co-ops. In previous years, we mainly housed full-time college students. This year, we’ve expanded our eligibility. Through at least July 2021, you can live in a College Houses community if:
- You have graduated high school, or attended college full-time (6 credit hours), within the last 5 years
- You are enrolled in at least 6 hours of college courses (online courses count, even from non-Austin institutions)
- You are a staff or faculty member at a local college or university
- You are an active AmeriCorp member (special requirements apply, please email us)
We’re Not for Profit
When co-op members pay rent and do labor, they pool their resources with the goal of creating the best residential community possible for themselves and their neighbors. This sets us apart from strictly for-profit housing, which usually seeks to maximize profit above all else. Since College Houses is a nonprofit, it’s no surprise that our units are drastically more affordable than the Austin average. In addition, our rent includes the cost of electricity, water, heating, trash, high-speed internet, and (in most of our housing) meals. That means that by choosing co-ops, members can save hundreds per month.
We’re a Community
Our co-ops are a great place to meet people from all different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities. Even though shared meals and house meetings are not currently being held in-person due to COVID-19, co-ops are still a place where everyone knows their neighbors, and building strong friendships is the rule, not the exception. Most former members find that the community aspect of co-ops is what they cherish most about their experience, and it truly makes co-ops unlike any other housing option in Austin.
Read on for more details, such as our lease terms and coronavirus response. Questions about co-op living? Please email us!
College Houses has 7 communities to choose from, all located in West Campus within walking distance of UT-Austin. Our buildings are all distinctive, from the historic Taos Cooperative located directly on The Drag, to our newest building on Nueces Street, which houses 3 co-op communities across 5 floors (thus earning the nickname “The Super Co-op”).
Our co-ops are designed with community living in mind. While we offer private bedrooms, you should expect to share a bathroom with one or two other members, and utilize our meal plan rather than cooking in a private kitchen. The exceptions are our two “apartment style” communities, Nueces and Opsis, which are arranged as 4×4 and 2×2 apartment units, and do not include a meal plan.
If you are looking for convenience and community, and don’t need a ton of extra space, our co-ops could be a great fit for you!
College Houses responded quickly to the coronavirus pandemic starting in March of this year, and we have been continuously updating and improving our plans in response to the latest health and safety guidance. Changes include moving to “grab-and-go” meal service, a shift to digital house meetings and community events, and firm policies to ensure safety protocols are followed in common areas. Read more details about our COVID-19 response.
“I am so thankful to have lived in a co-op during the pandemic because we do still have a sense of community here, even when many other people have been isolated. We spend a lot of time outside in our garden and at the picnic tables. I always feel safe because our community really cares about each other and everyone follows our community guidelines.”
– Nicole, College Houses resident
College Houses offers a 9 month lease from August 21 to May 19, as well as a spring lease from January 15 to May 19. Both leases can be extended through the summer months.
In addition, we can usually accommodate flexible move-in dates, and an August to December lease can be accommodated for a small fee. Want to know if we can accommodate your preferred dates? Please contact us!