Cooperative Communities of Chicago

Info hub for housing that you can afford and enjoy.

advice for finding your core group

Founding members of housing cooperatives will tell you – it’s difficult to find your core group.  It takes persistence.  Interested parties will come and go.  It may take years.  Friends of friends maybe become part of your core group.

Some key pieces of advice follow:

1. Don’t rely on family members.
2. Be transparent about finances.
3. Casual meetings with no agenda are hard to pitch and to maintain; instead get friends serious by convincing them to visit a co-op with you or go to an open house.
4. Search for potential members outside your network and make connections in your target neighborhood.
5. Discuss topics one at a time and resist the urge to talk about everything all at once.  Where and how you live are exciting and granted many topics overlap, but it’s easy to get carried away and frustrate participants who crave results and structure.  Focusing makes the idea more tactile and makes your meeting more productive.  You may have to table some topics for next time.

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