Chicago Housing co-op

June 2021 Update: We have reached capacity! So not looking for new members at the moment, but do say hi if you are in town :slight_smile:

Hey folks,

My housing co-op is looking for new members. The house was created to provide affordable living for people involved in social justice in various areas and a couple of us are big Holochain + Metacurrency project enthusiasts who would love to have more techies in the house.

Here’s the website for more info and feel free to hit me up with questions!


That is fantastic! My goal is to live in a distributed housing co-op and have all my personal possessions fit in a small backpack! I’ll drop to visit if I’m ever on Chicago! I have so many questions!

How did the initiative started? How did you get a hold of the building? How was the process from “Hey you know it would be cool to live in a co-housing” to actually materializing the movement? How many were there on the beginning? What tools do you currently use to coordinate and organize? How are the shared finances managed? What kind of shared spaces are there?


Hey Zequez, it’s been wonderfully liberating to access furniture/appliances/tools in common and not having to own much privately at all.

I’ve only lived here for four months. Praxis on its own started in 2017, but it was an offshoot of Stone Soup Cooperative that started 20 years before with 10-12 people. Here’s their wiki that leads on to an article from the Chicago Tribune that details how that co-op came together and acquired their first location:

We rent our current location from the Institute of Cultural Affairs, which has its own interesting history of providing space for social justice projects:

Now there’s 13 of us, but we have a maximum capacity of 18. Our main tools for coordination are our bi-weekly meetings where we converse and decide on all aspects relating to the house by ‘Radical Consensus’–meaning that any individual has the power to block a proposal, so as to dissolve a ‘dictatorship of the majority.’

Finances are managed by the finance committee, reporting back to to the house every quarter, plus we have a board of former residents that meets three times a year that reviews our processes for external accountability.

The shared spaces are two kitchens, a library, a media room with a projector, a co-working-style office, three bathrooms, a garage, and a music room.

Please do come visit if you end up in Chicagoland!

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If I was looking to live in Chicago that would sound wonderful. But Colorado winters are cold enough for me. I wouldn’t want to swap them for a Chicago winter. Best of luck finding compatible housemates.

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“Distributed housing co-op” I like the sound of that. I’ve had a similar vision, but I hadn’t though of it as housing co-op, but more of larger land based communities. Same idea though. Travel light and have family of choice and resources in different locations around the world.

I envision a network of affinity-specific housing in-between a hostel and a co-housing. More community-oriented than a hostel, but a faster multicultural flow of people than a co-housing.

I imagine having a co-housing focused on tools and specific activities.
For example…

  • One as an eco-village on the outskirts of the city where a public depuration center is available
  • One as a hacker-space next to the city college campus
  • One as a dark kitchen where a public community meal is served
  • One as a holistic school campus
  • One as a campground next to the beach focused on ludic sports
  • Etc

The people living in each place would have the ultimate say in who is allowed in. And vacant spaces in each place would be handled on a schedule system like hostels, allowing you to make a schedule of reserved space. The people who lived there the longest are responsible for welcoming newcomers and introducing them to the cooperative decision-making, coordination and house rules. Some people may decide to stay for years, while others may prefer to stay months, or make short visits to different places.

The network could expand without borders, and people across different cities and countries may decide to coordinate exchanges; which is kinda where CouchSurfing is right now. Hey if we could love enough the CouchSurfing team we might even get them to open source the whole thing and connect with their community to build upon that network, and maybe even fund the whole development and port it to Holochain! It could give them a whole new mission! (did you know CouchSurfing used to be a non-profit?)

I definitely envision myself living like that a few years from now. Doesn’t really matter how we call it, maybe we just call it “living”. I mean, from my perspective I’m already living on a decentralized housing co-op; it’s just that we’re all poorly coordinated :joy:

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I just have to mention, here in Denver just last night we passed new legislation allowing up to 5 unrelated people to live in a single-family residence. (The old law was 2, proponents were hoping for 7 but happy with 5) Huge news for cooperative housing here, which is so desperately needed.

How it started, how it’s going

If that is of interest, tune in to the Queen City Cooperative, who made the whole thing happen.


I wonder what were the concerns of the people that passed that law in the first place; where does the desire of controlling the amount of people that can live together comes from? Is it some kind of fear of a communist uprising? :joy:

Here in Boulder it was (and without explicit cooperative housing approval) 3 unrelated adults in a house. This has been a battle for over 25 years that I’ve lived here. As a college town, a legitimate concern is too many students in one house. Fire safety, street parking, and neighborhood noise. But the strongest fight against more people in a house seems to come from owners of rental property. It takes away from their supply of tenants.