Keeping Costs Low:
Because there is no landlord making a profit, the co-ops are the best deal in town. Individual house budgets are set by the house membership at the beginning of each term (and consistently run at least $200/month less than the residence halls!)
How do we keep our costs so low? We cooperate! Everyone shares the common space in the house, the work (you contribute around 4 hours of cooking, cleaning, office work, etc), and the democratic governance of the house and organization.
Why Future Charges Are Estimated:
Houses need money to pay bills before they have a budget meeting, so members pay our estimated cost for the first payment of a contract (May or September). Future Fall/Winter costs are estimated based on the actual costs to live in an ICC house during the current Fall/Winter contract period plus inflation. Future Spring/Summer costs are similarly estimated based on the previous Spring/Summer costs.
At the beginning of every term, each ICC house has a budget meeting where the members decide how much to spend on things such as food, maintenance, ammenities and a social fund. The members look at past years costs and then set a new budget. They account for many factors and preferences including how much it costs to heat their building, what kind of food they want to eat, how much water they use, and what kind of social events they want to host. Once the members of the house have decided the total cost to live in their house, they calculate the cost per member per payment.
After the end of the contract period ICC staff members close the house books and find out how good the house was at estimating their costs. If house members spend less than they paid, they get that extra money back as a rebate. If house members spend more than they paid, each house member is assessed for their portion of the overage from their memeber shares.
Our costs vary based on the type of contract , the timing of the contract, and in some cases what house or room type.