One part of living in a co-op is sharing responsibility for things like shopping, cooking and cleaning. This allows everyone to save time. Living in a co-op also means shared rights, so those of us living here make decisions for ourselves about how to split up responsibilities and deal with issues that arise. As part of a cooperative we have rights beyond those commonly offered tenants, yet a fraction of the hassles of being a home owner. We can garden, host events, and borrow items that past members left with the coop. Because the lease we sign is also a covenant agreement to respect the needs of resident students, we offer an environment very conducive to serious study.
Living here is slightly more affordable than the average housing in the area because the co-op is a not-for-profit enterprise led by resident members who we elect to represent our collective interests. As cooperative residents we can afford to live in the beautiful Saint Anthony Park Neighborhood of Saint Paul, be guaranteed an off street place to park our car, and live closer to the University of Minnesota Saint Paul Campus and Bus Stops than most U of M students. Unlike student housing, which one must leave upon graduation, the MSC lets graduates focus on establishing a career without an extra temporary housing search.
Environmentally conscientious people appreciate that shared housing lets them live comfortably with a fraction of the resources and environmental impact of having a private home. By participating in Committee and household decisions, members can further reduce the ecological cost of daily life. Collectively we can afford to invest in and enjoy sustainable and quality improvements that few new home owners can. This cooperative facilitates recycling, composting, and hanging ones clothes to dry. We benefit from the thought concerned members devote to identifying more sustainable cleaning solutions (e.g.antibiotic free foaming hand soap dispensers), and efficient appliances (e.g. upgrading the least efficient appliances first, and buying the energy star lamps that yield more lumens/Watt).
All this said. While nobody takes out the garbage every week, nor always has to shovel their walks, we all take part in some of these chores. We pay contractors to help out when needed, but prefer they devote their time and expertise to improving our comfort rather than cleaning up after us. Expect to do your part as a MSC member.