Sep 15, 2020Liked by Gillian Morris

Nice article Gillian! The infrastructure account's a great idea, kinda essential for long term co-op survival.

For example: from 2008-2011, I lived in a sweet co-op in an apartment in Nice. It had started in 2004 but the original housemates had moved on. The co-op ran well and had a great vibe. When I moved in, it was starting to need some basic work, like painting and replacing the original furniture... but there were 3 of us planning to live there for a few years, we had a long term lease and so we made the investment in a lot of improvements.

Time moved on, we moved on, but I did come to visit annually for a few years. 5 years later the apartment was looking quite tired... the floors needed work, the paint was tired after living with smokers for several years. Even things that had been broken for years had not been fixed. I recently got word that the lease had ended, so I guess that's good bye co-op. I wonder if an infrastucture fund would have ensured its long term survival?

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I think it may have! The question then becomes what happens to the money if the group ends anyway. You're also likely going to get a deposit return as well, so can end up with quite a chunk of cash at the end. The most egalitarian thing would be to distribute it proportionally to the people who lived there, but that assumes great record keeping. The Embassy Network has I believe used these chunks of cash to then pay the startup cost of new places, and I'm aiming to do the same with Gramercy House winding down and me starting a new coliving house in Puerto Rico - but it may be tricky to explain this to the IRS.

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Mar 10, 2021Liked by Gillian Morris

Great article Gillian & interesting questions Tadgh. One strategy we employed early on in the development of our coliving setup was to rent non traditioanl spaces (dinning room, living room) for a set amount of time while we were getting setup. All procedes from these temproary housemates funded the first round of major infastrucutre purchases (washer/dryer, dishware, house supplies, etc around $3,500). We rented the rooms for bellow market so we could live with cool people and made it clear how and why we were renting those rooms. From there we established an ongoing fund with a minimum balance that can cover the cost replamcnet for any one large item. (we dont have to worry about the roof falling in as we are leasing). This strategy worked well & prevented the founders from having to spend out of pocket to get things up and running. Our home accomidated this setup and this might not work in all/most home setups, nevertheless its worht the share. Thanks again for the post! Im certainly looking forward to reading more of your content.

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Thanks for writing this, Gillian. Trailblazing as always!

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