What is MCC?
Madison Community Cooperative (MCC) is a non-profit housing cooperative with approximately 200 members living in 11 houses in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.
What is MCC’s Mission?
MC strives to improve the Madison community by providing lo-cost, not-for-profit cooperative housing for very low- to moderate income people, and to be inclusive of underrepresented and marginalized groups.
MCC works toward its mission by:
- Educating its members about cooperative principles and the management of cooperative housing,
- Providing resources, services, and administrative support to its members and member houses,
- Developing cooperative housing and services,
- Assisting very low- to moderate-income students afford higher education by providing low-cost housing convenient to Madison campuses,
- Striving to be inclusive of underrepresented and marginalized members of the community, including people of color, lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people, people with disabilities, parents raising children, and international people,
- Striving to be environmentally responsible, and
- Maintaining a community of cooperative by affiliating with other cooperatives, non-profit community groups, schools, neighborhood associations, and collectives for the exchange of information.
What is a cooperative?
A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
—International Cooperative Alliance
There are many different types of cooperatives, or co-ops for short. Many businesses are worker co-ops, where the workers own the business (rather than having a single owner.) This also means that the workers establish the conditions of their labor. Another type is a buying cooperative, wherein individuals contribute equal amounts of money to buy goods, such as bulk food, at much lower prices than if each person made the same purchase on their own. So, the basic idea behind co-ops is that people join together, share resources equally and use collective strength so each member benefits more than could be accomplished individually.
What is a Housing Cooperative?
Housing cooperatives can take many forms. Financially, this includes equity and non-equity models, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit models. Physically, this includes shared houses, dormitories, apartment buildings, and single family homes. Socially, this includes anything from a small house controlled and operated entirely by a handful of members, to Co-op City in New York with over 43,000 members, which uses representative democracy and has over a thousand full-time employees.
MCC is a non-profit community cooperative, with a shared equity model. Members pay only a security deposit plus monthly rent and food costs, and control operations of their house and of MCC through direct democracy and a board of directors. Each of the eleven houses has between seven and thirty-one bedrooms, each rented privately by a member or members, and commons spaces shared by everyone who lives in the house: kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, yards, etc. Members pay monthly rent and food costs, and share the responsibilities of maintaining a house, like shopping, cleaning, cooking, and paying bills.
How do I find a co-op house that is right for me?
Each MCC house has its own unique personality reflecting its location and building, and the passions, interests, and priorities of its membership. You can read about all the houses here.
How do I apply to live at an MCC co-op house?
Each house within MCC has a specific process for accepting new members. For details about the membership process for each house, contact the House Membership Coordinator by email, using the email addresses listed on the House’s pages.
Do I need renter’s insurance?
MCC carries insurance on physical structures and contents of shared spaces, but this policy does not cover a members’ personal property. We recommend that members purchase renter’s insurance for their personal property.
Are children and families able to live in MCC co-ops?
Families with children are welcome at all MCC houses.
Is room-sharing allowed?
Room sharing policies vary by house. Please contact each house Membership Coordinator to find out more about specific policies and charges.
Are pets able to live in MCC co-ops?
Each house has their own policies regarding pets. For example, only small caged pets or a limit to the number of furry animals. All uncaged animals in MCC are required to have a Pet Contract as part of MCC’s “Safety With Pets” policy. If you have pet allergies, please check with each house to find out about the current pet situation.
What kinds of chores are required in MCC co-ops?
The members of each house collectively decide which chores are important and develop a method to distribute those chores among its members. Some common house workjobs include cooking, cleaning, maintenance, gardening, grounds upkeep, meeting facilitation, bookkeeping, and grocery shopping.
What is the average monthly cost to live in a co-op house?
The cost of room and board varies by location, size, and features of each room. The average cost per month is $535 including room, board, and utilities.
Do co-op houses allow motor vehicles? Is parking space available?
MCC houses do not have restrictions on motor vehicles. Many houses have limited parking space in a lot or driveway (some houses charge an additional fee for parking), and street parking is generally available.
I have food allergies/dietary restrictions. Are MCC houses able to accommodate me?
Most MCC houses are able to accommodate food preferences and restrictions. If you have a severe food allergy, please make sure house members are aware of special directions and procedures regarding shared kitchen space and food preparation.
Do members attend meetings?
All members of MCC houses are required to attend house meetings, typically every one to two weeks. All members of MCC are also required to attend three general membership meetings each year, where issued relevant to all of MCC are discussed and decided.
New members are required to attend an orientation to MCC when they move in. These orientations are held in January, June, and August. Continuing members of MCC are also encouraged to attend these orientations to learn new things about MCC!