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 College Houses, you are not just a resident—you’re a member of the cooperative. This means you actively participate in running your house alongside your neighbors. You get a vote at house meetings, and you elect house leaders. 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 student co-ops. You can live in a College Houses co-op if:
- You are enrolled in at least 6 hours of college courses at a local university (online courses count)
- 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)
- You graduated high school or attended college full-time within the last 5 years (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 only)
We’re Not for Profit
When co-op members pay rent and do labor, all of those resources go directly towards maintaining and improving their housing. Unlike strictly for-profit housing, none of your rent goes to a landlord or management company. Because of this nonprofit model, it’s no surprise that our units are drastically more affordable than the Austin average. In addition, your rent includes the cost of electricity, water, heating, trash, high-speed internet, and (in most of our houses) meals. That means that by choosing co-ops, members can save hundreds per month.
We’re a Community
Co-ops are a great place to meet new people and to build connections in the Austin community. While some community activities may be socially distanced due to COVID-19, our co-ops continue to be friendly and socially active spaces.
Even in our larger co-ops with over 100 members, 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, community, and affordable rent, our co-ops could be a great fit for you!
College Houses responded quickly to the coronavirus pandemic starting in March of 2020, and we have been continuously updating and improving our plans in response to the latest health and safety guidance. Changes included 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.
While social interaction is important in our communities, safety comes first. Our co-op houses’ COVID precautions are based on the City of Austin’s Risk-Based Guidelines. As cases and hospitalizations decrease, houses will be able to enjoy co-op life with fewer restrictions. 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 15 to May 31, as well as a spring lease from January 15 to May 31. Both leases can be extended through the summer months.
In addition, we can usually accommodate flexible move-in dates. An August to December “Fall only lease” can be accommodated for a small administrative fee. Want to know if we can accommodate your preferred dates? Please contact us!