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Ant Hill Cooperative: Good Food, Good People, and Community Living

Ant Hill Cooperative, a housing cooperative located in the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood, is seeking new members. We are currently a community of 17 people (20 to 30 in age) who live in several large houses and apartments on South Plymouth Avenue, where we share chores, cook and eat together, and run our organization democratically.

Essentially, a housing co-op is sort of a glorified living-with-roommates situation, one with organized chore rotations, and a business plan aimed at group ownership of property. We are seeking new members (residents).

We started up in Summer 2005 with two rented houses at 960 and 972 South Plymouth Avenue, conveniently located across the Genesee River from the University of Rochester and within commuting distance to several other universities. Ant Hill will be not only a communal living environment for its residents, but a focal point of the community. Like many other housing co-ops, we aim to be not just a supportive, affordable, and ecologically responsible place to live, but a place for exchange of ideas, building of community, incubation of creative projects, and development of ways of living that further our goals. Ant Hill will be an experimental community and a cheap, fun place to live.

Why would you want to live in a co-op?

  • Yummy dinner cooked five nights a week, and fun people to eat it with.
  • Stocked fridges and pantries for your snacking pleasure
  • Our economy of scale means cheaper, better quality of life.
  • Awesome housemates.
  • Be part of building something that may last a long time and affect many people.

The co-op is a place to live, but it's also a focal point for projects, both relating to the co-op directly, and members' personal projects. No matter what your interests, you're sure to find some projects here that interest you:

  • Painting murals on our walls
  • Learning skills from your housemates
  • Growing our own food in a garden
  • Hosting community potlucks and other events
  • Incorporating as a not-for-profit corporation
  • Developing a business plan for our operation long into the future
  • Improving the houses in which we live
  • Building a workspace for woodworking and other crafts, a darkroom, etc
  • Improving our kitchen, working on bulk buying, developing a commercial kitchen
  • Making contact with other Rochester organizations

Ant Hill was inspired by the co-op system in Berkeley and by the need for communal, non-university-controlled housing in Rochester (or "ROC" as we like to call it). Along with our friends at the EcoHouse (an environmentally-themed rental co-op up the street!) we are making great progress. We invite students, activists, creative persons, and anyone interested in good food, good people, and communal living to help make this dream a reality.

Costs to live in the co-op are approximately $225 per month in rent, $120 per month for food, $70 per month for gas and electric, and $20 per month for our development fund. Members also are expected to fulfill a number of chores every week, participate in monthly co-op work parties, attend weekly co-op meetings (Sunday 7pm-10pm), and generally take an active interest in the maintenance and development of the co-op. Benefits of living in the co-op are many, including a family-like living environment, dinner five nights a week, and being part of an exciting project that is changing people's lives.

This means that your total housing+food bill while living in the co-op will be approximately $435 per month.

Web site: http://ant-hill.org/
More photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobin/tags/coop
Blog entries: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nibot/tag/co-op

If interested, please reply to this post, or write to housing-coop@cif.rochester.edu.

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informal visit and house tour

We're meeting for brunch at Java's on Sunday at 11am, followed by a visit to the houses at 1 or 2 pm. If you're interested in possibly living at the co-op, or being involved in some way, this is a great opportunity to get to know everyone and find out what's going on.

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Ant Hill description for NASCO guide

Here is the description I submitted to NASCO for inclusion in their co-ops listing:

Ant Hill Cooperative — Rochester, NY

Ant Hill Cooperative is a new student housing co-op getting underway in Rochester, New York. Starting up in Summer 2005 with one or two rented houses conveniently located across the Genesee River from the University of Rochester and within commuting distance to several other universities, Ant Hill will be not only a communal living environment for its residents, but a focal point of the community. Like many other housing co-ops, we aim to be not just a supportive, affordable, and ecologically responsible place to live, but a place for exchange of ideas, building of community, incubation of creative projects, and development of ways of living that further our goals. Ant Hill will be an experimental community and a cheap, fun place to live.

Ant Hill was inspired by the co-op system in Berkeley and by the need for communal, non-university-controlled housing in Rochester (or "ROC" as we like to call it). Along with our friends at the EcoHouse (an environmentally-themed rental co-op up the street!) we are making great progress. We invite students, activists, creative persons, and anyone interested in good food, good people, and communal living to help make this dream a reality.

Edit here: http://rocwiki.org/index.cgi/Ant_Hill_Cooperative/Description
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EASTCO: April 1st-3rd in Philadelphia

EASTCO is an intimate gathering of housing and worker cooperatives and collective organizing groups from the East Coast. The weekend provides an opportunity for co-op networking and training through workshops, skillshares, and through hands-on experiences with local co-ops of all kinds. NASCO helps to organize regional co-op 'bashes' closer to home so that more members from each collective who can't always make it out to Ann Arbor for the Fall's NASCO Institiute can participate in a fun and dynamic educational exchange.

This year, NASCO welcomes co-opers to Philadelphia, the home of the East Coast Regional Office, and a community with a rich history of collective organizing. We'll learn about the Movement for a New Society, and their creation of a neighborhood movement in West Philly that founded land trusts, credit unions, and a food co-op, invigorating cooperative values and practices within an urban community. Presentations will cover issues from urban housing and squatting, to running a small food co-op, creating structures for fighting oppression in your collective, and radical intimacy or 'open relationships' in the world of co-ops. Bring stickers, buttons, t-shirts or zines from your co-op, and come prepared to lead a skillshare!

Registration is $20 per person, $15 for active members of NASCO co-ops, and free for Philadelphians. You can register upon arrival, but please contact NASCO if you are interested in free community housing (ie, crashing on someone's floor or couch). A schedule for the weekend will be handed out once you arrive.

Most events will take place at the (A)-Space, at 4722 Baltimore Ave (between 47th and 48th) in West Philadelphia (about 15 blocks from UPENN).

Meeting Friday night 7pm at 714 south 49st in west philly and sat morning at 10am at the a-space (4722 baltimore ave), also in west phillly. Contact boywonder@nasco.coop for more info.

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Visit from NASCO

Adrian Vlach (from NASCO) will be visiting us on Monday to talk about all things co-op. There will be a big get together—if you're on the mailing list then you know all about this. Otherwise, if interested, contact me asap. It should be great!

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nickel city

Last sunday, on the way home from a concert-going trip to Toronto, Ryan, Brette, and I stopped at the famed Nickel City co-op in Buffalo. We definitely need to plan a "real" visit, for a whole weekend, but it was nice to finally see their house, if briefly. They fed us some yummy food. Going around the table, those present gave some advice, recommendations to anyone starting a co-op. I don't remember all of them, but some things that stand out are:

1. Try to get disagreements resolved satisfactorily as soon as possible. It might be unpleasant, but it's better than leaving the situation unresolved.

2. Have someone bake bread often.

3. Have some idea of what you're "all about." Nickel city is an "activist co-op"—everyone knows "why they're there."

I think we really need to talk about #3. I think we all have an idea, but it would be nice if we could write it down in five words or less.

They're having a party on March 5.. I can't go, but if anyone is free it would be awesome to roadtrip out for their party.