Seattle has an active alternative living scene and there are a wide variety of cooperative living arrangements available - so, if you want to live WITH people, you can probably find a place and group that works for you.
Options include non-profit corporations that own and run co-op houses, cohousing (cooperative groups of private homes with common facilities), group houses (friends who live together, share some meals, and consider themselves as almost family), and shared-income communes. There are other kinds of intentional familiy and intentional community available for you to share.
This list of cooperative residences focuses on different types of urban, shared households.
There are two type of Seattle Urban Cooperatives
1. Residential Co-ops, Basically a condo, except you own shares in the co-operative that owns the entire building, and have a lease on your unit that lasts as long as you own the shares. Loans with terms similar to mortgages are available and are easily obtainable. You live in your own unit, and share in using the common areas. Monthly dues pay for common expenses for the building and its upkeep, plus reserves. During the purchase process, the co-op board interviews and approves prospective owners. Otherwise, decisions are made by the board of directors that is elected by the owners.
2. Shared Housing Co-ops, One person or land trust like http://evergreenlandtrust.org owns and rents the house. You have your own room and possibly share a bathroom. You share everything else (chores, meals, rent, utilities, decisions, bathrooms, and new housemates). There are regular meetings to make decisions or plan social events.. Some shared housing co-ops are based on religion or common interests..
Beacon Hill Edit
- Emma Goldman Finishing School (formerly the Beacon Hill House) (Shared Housing co-op)
- EGFS was founded in 1996 as an egalitarian, activist, intentional community in the heart of Seattle. We live together in a large house on Beacon Hill that was built in 1907, purchased by us in 1996,and that we've since been fixing up. We share food, labor, transportation, health care, 22 rooms, and an ambitious social justice project. Some of our common values are: non-violence, consensus decision making, ecological sustainability, anti-capitalist politics, social support, physical and emotional health and growth, and non-discrimination. We currently (October 2011) have 10 residents, and are open to meeting folks who share our politics and are who are "in it for the long haul.". The membership process generally takes around 3 months; check out the website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Jolly Ranchers (a tribute)
- Sad to say, but it is indeed true that after a decade of devotion to radically redefining community & committing to communication & just basically working their asses off in so damn many ways, the Jolly Ranchers have indeed stopped income sharing & are in the process of splitting their shared resources (hence their old website at riseup is void & this link is the best to get a glimpse of who they were) Jon Dumont, one of the founding & ending members, confirmed this to me (a former 'intern', 'leach', 'guest', whatever ~ i lived there from October 2000 - January 2002) on March 5th 2006 (although they called it quits over a year ago [as of when? <-- uh, as i said immediaely preceding this parenthetical notation, march 5th, 2006 *grin*]) There are many wonderful articles available that Jon has written if you Google his name + community. Though technically they were located more in the Central District (off MLK near Judkins Ave) they were a 'sister community' of sorts with the Emma Goldman Finishing School as they were the only two members of the FEC located in an urban setting. I truly believe the communities movement has lost an amazing off-spring.
Queen Anne/Belltown/Downtown/Pioneer Square Edit
- APEX (Residential co-op)
- The Apex is a corporation formed to own and operate a housing cooperative at First Avenue and Bell Street in downtown Seattle. The purpose of the Apex is to provide its members with housing and community facilities on a nonprofit basis consonant with the provisions set forth in its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and where possible, to provide such to the benefit of low income households.
- Dearborn Commons cohousing
- Hadley House Inc. (Residential co-op) We were the first co-op in Seattle built in 1960, with 43 units. We are located at 919 2nd Ave West. (Lower Queen Anne). Our shareholders elect a board yearly. We have an on-site building Manager. We have a view of the Space Needle and the Bay with a roof deck, Social Room/Library. We maintain a resident-only social networking web site. This allows everyone to stay in touch with everything that is happening in the building, with quick reference to meeting minutes and calender of events here. Units that are for sale, can be found through your realtor. All residents must go through a board interview before moving in. Great place, Great people.
- Jackson Place cohousing
- Seattle EcoUrban Village
- Seattle EcoUrban Village (SEV) is a grassroots initiative that is in the process of forming to create a culturally and ethnically diverse community of resident-owned and resident-empowered affordable homes in downtown Seattle for everyone and especially for low-income persons including single parents, students, artists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and people with disabilities. SEV needs organizers, creative problem solvers, and others to become involved to take the vision from concept to reality. No experience necessary.
- Tashiro Kaplan is a newly instated Artist live/work housing with 50 units, 5 Art Galleries (Soil, Platform, Garde Rail, Davidson and G. Gibson), 15 work only studios, 4 Culture's main headquarters, All City Coffee (Great for coffee, beer, wine and good art) and a jazzy Graphic Design firm: Design Commission.
- The Alder Street Co-op (Shared housing co-op)
- The Alder Street Co-op is a 7 member co-op located at 15th and Alder. It has been operating since 1999 on a shared vision of sustainability, social justice, and egalitarian decision making.
- The Chesterfield (Residential Co-op) Is a 14 unit co-op located at 18th Ave and East Republican in Capitol Hill. The building was built in 1914.
- The Maryland (Residential Co-op)
- The Maryland was built in 1910 and is on the Seattle Historic Register. Like the Princeton, it has 20 member-owned units and one owned by the corporation and rented out, although unlike the Princeton the renter is not otherwise affiliated with the building. The Maryland is located on a curving tree-lined section of 13th Street in Capitol Hill, about 2 blocks from Volunteer Park between 15th and Broadway. The building has 3 floors with 6 units per floor, along with 2 units on the ground floor, which also houses storage units, mailboxes, and laundry facilities.
- Melrose Terrace Cooperative on Capitol Hill. Built in 1961 (Residential Co-op)
- This Co-Op now offers one of the best values for in-city living on Seattle's Capitol Hill. An indoor pool, large meeting room, workshop, library and best-in-Seattle view from the roof-top deck are just some of the unique features of this sturdy 9-story building.
- The Metaphorest
- The Marquis
- The Marquis was built in 1926. It has 36 member-owned units and one owned by the corporation. The Marquis is located near the intersection of 16th Street and E Olive St. in Capitol Hill, a few blocks from Cal Anderson Park, and on the same block as the Central Co-op's Madison Market. The building has 3 floors with 12 units per floor, 1 unit in the basement level, along with a garage, storage, and large laundry area.
- People's Revolutionary Action Group (Prag House) (Shared housing co-op)
- Established in 1972, we are an urban housing cooperative that seeks to foster community and sustainable lifestyles. We are adults and children with ages ranging from 1 to 60; we live in a fifteen bedroom house built in 1907. Sharing organic vegetarian food, we have at least one scheduled communal meal a month. Currently we practice a moderate form of income sharing in which members pay a portion of their income to the community in addition to payments for base dues and food. Title to our property is held by the Evergreen Land Trust. E-mail us at email@example.com.
- One Prag house "alumnus" is city council member Nick Licata
- The Princeton Co-Op (Residential Co-op)
- San Remo Co-Op ' ' (Residential Co-op)
- The Princeton Cooperative is a housing cooperative located on Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington. It was built in 1907 and was converted to a co-op in the 1940s. It has 25 member-owned units and one unit owned by the corporation that is rented at a reduced rate to a live-in caretaker. There are three floors with eight units per floor. One unit is located in the basement as is communal storage and laundry facilities. 19-unit cooperative located on the corner of E. Thomas and E Belmont.
- The Sunset House
- Union Terrace Cooperative - built in 1924 (Residential Co-op)
- Union Terrace, located on the corner of 13th Ave and E. Union St, has 30 member-owned units and one owned by the corporation and rented out. There are 3 floors with 9 units each, plus the basement which has 3 units, the rental unit, laundry room, bike room, storage, and a meeting room for the co-op board.
- The WIlana Co-op
- Built in 1909, this 27-unit, long-standing cooperative is located at the corner of 15th Ave and E. Howell, right next door to The Princeton Co-op.
- Bright Morning Star (Shared Housing Co-op)
- Bright Morning Star is a small urban cooperative household, formed to support our members in their social change and artistic pursuits.
- Orca Landing (Shared Housing-Co-op)
In north Greenwood, this is a family-oriented and close knit household which was founded in 1991.
South Seattle Edit
- The Goodenough CommunityIs technically a non-residential community, although several groups of (non-family) members live in shared housing of various sizes (3-7 unrelated persons). Living intentionally doesn't necessarily entail living in the same place.
- Sunny Arms Artists' Co-op
- The Plague House in Georgetown (is dead, may she RIP)
- Fire-Breathing Kangaroo
- Ballistic Chicken Coop (Co-Housing)
- Bob The House, email: bobthehouse @ lists.riseup.net (Co-Housing)
- Bob The House is a cooperative style home with a 30 year history. It was founded in 1976. Located in Seattle's University District near Ravenna Park, Bob The House is typically comprised of 7 to 10 members. We strive to maintain a safe and welcoming space for residents and guests. Bob is incorporated as a 501 (c) 7. We share in the responsibility of keeping up with chores, and collectively purchasing organic, whole foods. We often enjoy informal meals together. We undertake to integrate social, communal, and environmental awareness in our collective lifestyle. We are continually seeking to expand our connections with other communal/collective/cooperative homes in the Seattle area. And appreciate the mischief and goofiness that accompanies living together under one roof.
- IHOT (Co-Housing)
- GRN STRP HAUS (Co-Housing)
- Ravenna/u-district, 2 blocks from Ravenna Park. 6 rooms. 206-527-2622
- Meridian House, Wallingford. Email: lanscot (at) drizzle.com (Co-Housing)
- Coop home since 1994. Currently has five members. We collectively buy household foods (mostly local and organic) and grow food. A culturally, musically, politically active group.
- Ravenna Kibbutz email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Co-Housing)The Ravenna Kibbutz is a denominationally-unaffiliated Jewish intentional community in Seattle, where member households cooperatively maintain commons spaces and public programs for the greater Jewish community. Hosts weekly vegetarian potluck Shabbat dinners, garden work parties, and a monthly open mic - anyone's invited! See website for more info, or write with questions!
- Sherwood Co-op email: sherwoodcooperative @ gmail.com for membership queries (Co-Housing)
- The Sherwood Co-op was established in the 1930s by University of Washington students. Presently, we are a 14 member co-op of students from schools all over Seattle. We live in a 14-bedroom house in the University District. Our work-share system includes regular dinners, cleaning of the kitchen, weekly chores, and capital repairs of the house. We buy the bulk of our food collectively. We generally eat vegan meals at house dinners, buy dairy and eggs as a group, and infrequently eat meat. In 2001 we purchased the house we have occupied since 1978. We are members of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), the Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA), and are list
- Our Mission is to provide low-cost housing for students and nonstudents, so we can all focus on our studies and contribute to our community and have more time to be creative in life. We emphasize sustainable living and introducing cooperative living as a lifestyle choice beyond school.ed in the Communities Directory.
- The Haunted (Co-Housing)
- Casa Luna Co-op (Shared housing co-op)
- bicycle powered freegans making music,growing gardens, raising havoc, and kicking it with other friendly cooperatives to create, enhance, and participate in organizations and systems that offer a sane, uncapitalistic, and communally run society.
- The Wayfarer Cooperative. http://www.wayfarercoop.org/
Defunct U. District collectivesEdit
- The Punkin House email: punkinhouse @ seattlediy.com (Co-Housing)
- The Punkin House is a cooperative/punk house started in 99', started with the intent of creating a community/living space that is active in the advancement of activism, DIY principals, and punk/hardcore music. Sadly, the house was sold and the collective has scattered.
- The Wormbin (Residential co-op) The lowliest creatures are usually the most important. That's why we honored the worm. The worms are now breaking because the house was sold. Their home resided at 20th and Jefferson in the CD. Thanks to all who helped to dirty it.
- Toad Hall, circa 1975-1982 on 21st Ave NE (5200 block?), later had another incarnation near Green Lake. House mates included artist Ross Palmer Beecher.
- The Jean-Paul Sartre Memorial No Exit Rooming House, 1968 (maybe earlier) - circa 1990 on 21st Ave NE near 50th NE; building was later demolished for new construction. Founded by Lorenzo Milam, also founder of KRAB radio
- Friends of Entropy (later Orca House), roughly 1977-1985, 5000 block of 17th Ave NE. Famously eclectic household; at one point there were so many different non-mainstream religions represented that the unofficial motto was "Seven traditions, no waiting".
- Hospitality House, circa 1976-1981; 5236 21st Ave NE. Early sister-home to Friends of Entropy, sheltering residents/friends/travelers through good times and bad. Guest book recorded succession of house mates, visitor comments, and stray musings from nightly dinner/backgammon fests. One enduring marriage, and countless threads of interconnection, took root here.
- Flamingo Club, circa 1978-1986; 1603 NE 50th; building was later demolished for an apartment house. Texan artist Pam Gaddis lived there for a while, used to do exterior installations ranging from a pair of glittery high-heeled shoes in a birdcage to an official-looking sign saying "Since there is no water, all swimming is at your own risk." to a toilet bowl set up on the front porch with an elaborately rigged system by which a realistic hand would emerge from the bowl and wave at passers-by... or buses discharging passengers.
West Seattle Edit
Originally and affectionately called Casa de Casserole, the Wedgwood Co-op was founded in June of 1999 and re-invisioned at the beginning of 2010. This Co-op / community is a mix of scientists, ecologists, and creative types focused on living intentionally and productively. The Co-op embraces DIY / DIT (do-it-together) ideals with an emphasis on urban homesteading and sustainability.
Outside Seattle Edit
- Lighthouse Group House in Sharingwood cohousing, between Woodinville and Monroe
- Vashon cohousing -- Vashon island, off West Seattle.
- Songaia cohousing -- is a suburban cohousing community located in Bothell. Founded in 1987, it now consists of 15 families living on 11 acres of beautiful land. Some of its members were founders of the NW Intentional Communities Association.
- Sacred Groves -- is a small rural community located in a 10 acre forest sanctuary on Bainbridge Island. We are a spiritual community of sorts in that we believe the earth is sacred and host a variety of ceremonies and gatherings here. We are 'home' to 5 (1 couple and 3 single women, )but change is afoot as some of us are moving soon. Plus--we have just completed construction a new round community house and some nearby cabins. As of May and June, we will have space available for 5-7 new residents. We welcome women, men, children, singles, couples and small families--traditional and non-traditional--anyone who shares our beliefs that personal spirituality, living close to the earth, music, dance, and authentic connection create a meaningful life. Check out the website for more information about our scene and do contact us if it seems like you would be a good fit for our sweet life here.
- The Borg House
- The Cabin
- Hippie Hut
- The Kompound
- The Mothership
- Mombo Platso
- The Yellow House
- Community dinners every Sunday.