The Lucy Stone Cooperative is an intentional community living the values and tradition of Unitarian Universalism through cooperative home ownership. We seek to grow a diverse community centered in justice. Through shared resources and faithful action, we align our daily lives with our core values of sustainability, spiritual practice, and social change.
The VisionWe will buy a house in Boston, MA where 10-20 people can live intentionally, sustainably and democratically, informed by Unitarian Universalist principles. Many people of faith and spiritual seekers are looking for a way to better live out our values. The world-as-it-is does not always allow us a supportive environment to eat, relate to our neighbors, or relate to the earth the way we would like. Lucy Stone Cooperative will create a structure and a community of mutual support for people to make the daily decisions that put our values and our faith into practice.
Cooperative Ownership The Lucy Stone Cooperative will use a “group equity” model, in which the building and land will be purchased with community-supported financing and owned by an affordable housing nonprofit. Residents of the house will be represented on the board, having control over all significant property decisions. In this way, the cooperative will be owned by its members through the nonprofit, as well as owned by a larger set of investors and stakeholders in the cooperative and Unitarian Universalist movements. Over time, the nonprofit, rather than any individuals, will gain equity as the loans are paid off.
Affordable HousingWe believe in housing as a means of shelter, rather than a means of profit. By taking housing off of the speculative market and placing it in the hands of a community owned nonprofit, we ensure permanent affordable housing for our residents. In time, the house will become increasingly affordable relative to surrounding properties. Cooperatively owned equity from the house will be used to keep rent low, in addition to providing the option to buy more houses in the future.
A Center for Social ChangeIn addition to creating an intentional “immediate family” of housemates, we plan to foster a much larger “extended family” of spiritual and political activists. The Lucy Stone Cooperative will be a place where old friends, new friends, and not-yet-friends gather for meetings, discussion, spiritual renewal, food and celebration.
SustainabilityIntentional living in a high-density urban center provides a unique opportunity to make choices around food, energy, building materials, and the sharing of resources in a way that can greatly reduce our collective impact on the environment. The building, the land, the consumer choices we make and our relationships with other local and national organizations will be a testament to living in right relationship with the earth.
Encouragement to Spiritual GrowthAs a house informed by a tradition of Unitarian Universalist values, we will provide a space for internal reflection and communal celebration. In addition to the spirit-centered practices of intentional cooking/dining and democratic decision making, our house will be alive with the energy of reading groups, workshops, weekly meditation or yoga, music making, annual retreats, and interfaith connections.
Community FinancingWe are seeking private loans from individual “allied lenders” to fund the down payment of a house. These investors will receive an annual check for 1 to 4% interest on their investment. In addition to private investments, we will seek loans from community banks, foundations and cooperative organizations to fund the purchase of our house. The cost of the mortgage, interest payments, building maintenance, etc. will be built into the cost of rent.
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