With the onset of the corona virus pandemic, many of our members have unfortunately lost or seen a significant decrease in their source of income. Collective living has been difficult to navigate in these times in many ways, and Spring, usually one of our busiest times of the year for applications and new member move-ins, has been very quiet. This just so happens to coincide with several large planned maintenance projects that now are in limbo as we scramble to adjust our budgets. These maintenance projects are time-sensitive and cannot be put off for long.
We are in need of help covering some of our base operating costs so we can continue providing much-needed affordable housing when this is over.
Our first priority is keeping our members safe. While we pride ourselves in our commitment to our "people before profit" motto, and will absolutely not evict any of our members due to their loss of work because of Covid-19, we still do need to pay our operating costs. Many of our housemates have been trying to cover the bills however they can; selling their DIY creations online, working odd jobs, looking for work, etc. Those of us who still have income have been doing our best to pay extra towards our costs and other less fortunate members' fees, but it isn't enough. While still technically accepting members, we cannot count on new membership to help cover our costs. Few people are looking to move into houses with others right now, and many students taking online classes have opted to put off moving to Eugene until in-person classes resume. Each of our dwellings can house 16-28 members, and based on news reports, we expect this crisis to effect our membership numbers for some time.
Several of our disabled and immune compromised members have had to move out in a hurry to more isolated situations, and those who could not haven't been able to find work that is safe for them. Though we have been implementing our own safety strategies to avoid the virus and reduce risk, many of us are stuck between the need to find any work they can and the fear of endangering our friends' health. Those of us who are receiving government assistance are are contributing large chunks of those funds as well, but only a limited number of our residents have qualified for or received such assistance at this time. As some of you may know, our usual go-to for fundraising is through hosting shows and events, but that is also obviously not possible.
More about who we are:
The SCA was established to provide affordable non-profit student housing, support marginalized communities, give students an opportunity to learn about nonprofit management and home ownership, encourage environmental sustainability, and enrich the Eugene community. We consist of 3 houses; The Lorax Manner, The Campbell Club, and The Janet Smith Graduate Student House. Our members co-own and manage our properties together rather than paying rent to a landlord. Our fees go directly to our taxes, bills, and other expenses. Our pooled finances help us purchase food, basic supplies, and hire contractors when necessary, which helps save us money. We make our decisions via consensus, and equitably share labor. Much of the administrative work that a property manager would do is handled by our members, and we all pitch in with chores. We regularly host shows and events for other groups in town, and support our local art and music scenes. The Campbell Club, our oldest house, was purchased in 1962, but we were originally founded by students in the 30s as an experiment investigating how to live as cheaply as possible after the Great Depression.
If you'd like to learn more, our website is here: https://eugenesca.com/
All in all, we are so very grateful to have a supportive home with our friends during this whole thing. The solidarity and support among our own community has been amazing, all of our members have been stepping up to help each other in huge ways. The kindness and care has been overwhelming. It has certainly driven home just how beneficial housing cooperatives and collective communities are. We hope that this period of instability will pass and others will be able to experience being part of this family in the future.
Thank you so much for reading. We know that many of you are struggling as well, and hope that you and those close to you are safe and healthy!
The SCA <3
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