Boulder Co-living: What is it and why?

pollard coliving profile

The Boulder Co-living community is a proposed diverse income co-op housing / cohousing hybrid that is largely governed and managed by the residents

There are some estimates that up to two-thirds of renters across the nation say they can’t afford to buy a home. Since home prices are rising at a rate twice that of wage growth, saving up for that down payment is an even bigger challenge.

Millenials and GenXers with high student debt are in this boat, as are some older folks who for one reason or another were unable to build any extra savings.

In a high-cost place like Boulder, Colorado, if you didn’t get started here at least 25 years ago, or came to town with a big wad of money, finding a place to live is a challenge – and that’s an understatement.

The Boulder Co-living community is proposed as a place for neighbors with diverse incomes from as low as 50 percent of the area media income can live. The project proposal is planned for a small lot known as Quadrant 4 on the Boulder Junction former Pollard motors site generally located at 30th and Pearl Street, and submitted at the end of March.

The city of Boulder will evaluate proposals and hopes to have a project selected by the end of April.

We want to develop a list of people interested in the project, particularly potential owners. There have been a couple informational meetings and recorded as a youtube video you can view.

Check out and see if you’re eligible for the city of Boulder Affordable Housing program. Becoming qualified ahead of time will give you a head start, for any home you may find that meets your needs as part of this project or otherwise.

High-density communities, such as Boulder Co-living, are seen as one way to provide affordable housing to owners and renters. Two such configurations are “cohousing” and “co-op housing” will be hybridized in the Boulder Co-living community.

In a cohousing neighborhood, residents own their homes, but agree through a shared vision and list of values to maintain and operate their community through participation in activities like mowing the lawn, weeding the garden and shoveling snow, while enjoying each other’s company at shared meals a couple times a week.

Similarly, residents of a rental cooperative house have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The residents typically govern through consensus and share responsibilities and resources. New members are typically selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real estate agents, property managers or non-resident landowners.

If you can’t afford to buy a home or your rent is too high how can Boulder Co-living meet your needs?

Research points to a variety of co-living benefits. The most often mentioned benefits relate to reducing social isolation. The co-living “secret sauce” provides for intentional socializing, neighborly support when a neighbor is under the weather; sharing chores, expertise; and having neighbors who share similar interests and values.

What is co-living “secret sauce”? Co-living has certain basic characteristics. They are fairly broad, but include:

  • Relationships – Neighbors commit to being part of a community for mutual benefit. Co-living cultivates a culture of sharing and caring. Design features facilitate community-member interaction.
  • Balancing Privacy and Community – Co-living communities are designed for privacy as well as community. Residents balance privacy and community by choosing their levels of community engagement.
  • Participation – Decision-making is participatory and often based on consensus. Selft management empowers residents, builds relationships and can save money.
  • Shared Values – Co-living communities support residents in actualizing shared values.

If you’re into energy efficiency; resource reuse and recycling; use your bike, feet, or bus to get yourself around, the Boulder Co-living community may be the place for you.

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