Providing affordable student housing since 1932

Frequently Asked Questions

Most Common Questions About ICC

Joining the ICC

We encourage prospective members to do some research to figure out if the ICC is right for them. You can find contact information for each house president here, contact the president before you stop by. A word to the wise: if you visit during the day, many of our members are at work or school. The best time to see a house and meet the people is on a weekday for dinner. Bring questions and an appetite.

After you’ve done your research, visited a few houses, and decided to be part of the ICC, you should fill out an online application. We ask that prospective members choose at least four houses that they would like to live in. (We promise that they’re all awesome.) Most of our houses end up having waiting lists, but we encourage prospective members to keep trying. Once your spot is confirmed, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to sign your housing contract. Please bring a government-issued photo ID, proof of student status, and your checking information. The contract signing process is lengthy, since we want to make sure all new members understand what they’re agreeing to; please make sure you have at least 30 minutes to complete the process.

Congratulations! Take a look at our New Member Info so you’re prepared for the wonderful journey of cooperation.

Life At the ICC

The ICC primarily houses students at the University of Michigan. “Students” in this case means people who are enrolled for at least six credits a semester. We do have members who aren’t students; applicants who are taking fewer than six credits will need to obtain approval from their houses before living there.

Most houses invite the new members for the following contract terms to the last meeting in April to vote on a new president & BoD Representative and pick rooms for next year. Room picks are based on house seniority, as determined by the rules of that house’s constitution. Room picks are determined at the house level with the exception of houses with specific room contracts, such as Baker, Escher and King. If you want to live with a particular person be sure to let your House President know—especially if you want to live in a room with a person of a gender different than your own. If there is only one space left in a house you may not be able to choose your roommate, but because our houses are run cooperatively, members may be able to negotiate other options at the house level.

House meetings, which are held once or twice a month, provide a forum for open communication. Members vote on such issues as how much to spend on food, how many meals to serve per week, and what upcoming events the house will host. Meetings also provide an opportunity for members to resolve any conflicts that might occur within the community.

Each house has its own rules for meals: how often they happen, what kind of food can be served, how much money is set aside for it. Several of our houses are strictly vegetarian. All of our houses can accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions. Escher House, because of its size, employs a chef that plans meals, orders food, and coordinates kitchen labor with member input. All of our other houses rely on their members to come up the menus.

Every member contributes a set number of hours a week, either to the house or to the ICC’s operations. You might be tasked with cooking house meals; cleaning kitchens, bathrooms, or common areas; doing yard work or maintenance; or organizational work as a member assistant or committee member. Everyone has a role in making the ICC a better place to live.

Each house has a unique personality and atmosphere. Some of our houses are well known for hosting concerts and shows. Others might host costume parties, potlucks, open mics, or bonfires. Many houses will also have group outings to nearby camping spots or events in town. When you’re part of the house, you get to have a say in the kinds of activities that happen there. We have a very active community, and you will definitely be able to find your niche (perhaps with another house!)

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Here’s more information about each of our 16 houses. Many of the houses also host public events, such as shows and potlucks. If you’re interested in living in one of the houses, we encourage you to attend one of these, or to set up a visit on your own time. Even if you’re not sure, you should still visit us! We’re friendly and cute.

Houses, Operations Management Committee (OpsCom), and the Board of Directors (BoD) collaborate to designate our houses as either pet-friendly or pet-free. Some houses may implement stricter standards set by the members (i.e no cats, but dogs allowed). We encourage you to review House Constitutions and discuss this with the House President when you’re touring houses. See below for information on Emotional Support/Service Animals.

Service and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not considered a pet as regulated by federal law and, legally, must be accommodated for if the landlord (the ICC) receives the appropriate paperwork.  This is also a fair housing issue as currently legislated. Allergies (unless designated by a physician) do not preempt properly documented ESA’s therefore a Pet Free house may contain an animal. As always, contact your house leadership for current roster information.

Houses Pets Allowed Maximum Pets Per House Cats Allowed? Dogs Allowed?
Baker Yes caged reptiles only (max 2/room) No No
Black Elk Yes 2 cats, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Escher* Yes 13 cats (only large singles in Russell or Karma), 2 caged/room Yes No
King Yes 2 per apartment Yes Yes
Linder Yes 2 cats, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Luther Yes 5 cats, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Osterweil Yes 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Owen Yes 2 cats, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Johnson-Rivera Yes 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Ruths’ Yes 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Truth Yes 5 cats, 1 dog, 2 caged/room Yes Yes
Debs No None No No
Gregory No None No No
MichMinnies No None No No
Nakamura No None No No
Vail No None No No

*Escher Specific Suites: Falstaff, Karma, Russell and Valhalla.

Pet Approval

Anyone who has not yet signed a contract may request pet approval from their top 3 preferred houses before they sign. Pet approval granted in this way becomes active at the beginning of that member’s contract period (i.e.., if a pet approval vote occurs in March and the member’s contract begins in August, the pet’s approval period begins in August). All pet approvals expire at the end of the approval’s designated contract period. Members with pets who wish to sign contracts for terms after that time period must have their pets reapproved by the house.

Voting on pets will be conducted by secret written ballot. Ballots must be distributed to each member of the house with a set time to be turned in. Ballots that are not returned are considered abstentions. Abstentions are not counted in the vote. No pet may reside on ICC property without at least 85% house approval (Escher may opt for simple majority house approval. 85% suite approval is mandatory.)

Approval Process


All dog owners must provide proof of renter’s insurance covering their dog.
All cats and dogs must be neutered or spayed with proof on file at the Central Office.
All cats and dogs must be current in their vaccinations with proof on file at the Central Office


$15 per pet, per month (including pets in enclosures, except for aquatic animals and crustaceans). These funds are utilized for maintenance costs of cleanup of the house.

Enclosure Requirements

  • Aquariums must be less than twenty (20) gallons in capacity.
  • Terrariums must be less than fifty (50) gallons in capacity.
  • Enclosures must be secure and provide sufficient space for the pet’s size.

Service and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not considered a pet as regulated by federal law and, legally, must be accommodated for if the landlord (the ICC) receives the appropriate paperwork. This is also a fair housing issue as currently legislated. Allergies (unless designated by a physician) do not preempt properly documented ESA’s therefore a Pet Free house may contain an animal. As always, contact your house leadership for current roster information.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service animal (SA) as a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. SA’s perform some of the functions and tasks that the person with a disability cannot perform for themself. Given the tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability, an emotional support animal (ESA) does not qualify as a SA.

We recognize that the emotional support and comfort provided by a pet allows one to deal with challenges that might otherwise compromise their quality of life. To legally be considered an emotional support animal (ESA), the pet needs to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness. A therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, for example, must decide that the presence of the animal is needed for the mental health of the patient.
The application process is a little different than pet approvals. We encourage folks to explore pet friendly houses as their top choices as this assists in reduction of allergens in our pet free houses. Please contact the General Manager ( to discuss the process and documentation needed to proceed.

Costs & Contracts

By joining the ICC, you’re expected to fulfill certain commitments. Paying your charges is one of them. Participation is another. Members must attend house meetings and actively communicate with their housemates. You are also expected to contribute four or so hours of work towards your house and/or the ICC. This can be in the form of performing your chores, being a house officer, or sitting on a committee or the Board of Directors (BoD). Lastly, all members must abide by their House Constitution (passed by house members) and Standing Rules (passed by the BoD)

Each house sets it budget at the start of the term, which means that members, to some extent, get to decide how much they’ll pay. We keep costs low by pooling resources and sharing. Individual charges vary based on the house, the size of the room, and how many people share the room. For a more precise breakdown of all the costs, you can look here.

New members do not pay deposits, but they do have to pay certain fees. Some of these are refundable, and some of them are not. These fees function under a different set of laws than most rental deposits.

New members pay a one-time, non-refundable membership fee of $100.

New members join the ICC by buying “shares” in the organization. This means members are co-owners, and paying for shares is how that happens. Each ICC share has a value of $10.00. Each contract type requires a different share amount:

  • Fall/Winter members must buy 50 shares for $500
  • Spring/Summer rooming and Non-Standard members must buy 25 shares for $250
  • Boarding-only members must buy 5 shares for $50
  • OpsCom approved Non-Standard members must buy 5 shares for $50
    • This is the only type of share that is Non-Refundable

The shares are refundable and are returned twice a year based on the end of the contract period with the ICC, not the date you leave, or necessarily the end of your contract.

Share return calculations include totaling the house charges income and house spending for each house.  Then the team calculates the member days for each person in each house and calculates the prorata share of the rebate or assessment for each member in each house.  Finance also has to track down the former members of each house to return their shares.

Shares are a result of being an owner in the ICC, your co-op; shares are not deposits.  The return of shares are guided by the ICC standing rules and should — as often as possible — be returned within those guidelines. Under certain circumstances, there may be a delay in returning shares or assessing members who owe more than the amount paid for shares, and under Michigan co-op law, that is allowed.

Every member gets full room and board. Your charges pay for your bedroom, utilities and internet, house meals, and communal food. You also get full access to all of your house’s awesome amenities.

Most of our members are affiliated with the University of Michigan (UM), so our contract periods follow the UM academic calendar. The academic terms do not follow calendar months, so neither do our contracts. For example, UM Spring term is from May 4th – June 25th and our Spring contract is from May 3th to June 26th. The Spring contract is 53 days long and does not end on the last day of a month, so it doesn’t make sense for us to quote a monthly cost.

We do offer 30 day contracts to serve our members who are not University of Michigan students. If you are interested in a 30 day contract please call the main office.

Yes! The ICC has scholarships available to members facing financial difficulties. You can learn more here.

Yes, the ICC offers meal plans to people not already living in our houses. We call this “outside boarding.” Not all houses provide this option, and not all those that do provide them during Spring/Summer.


The Board is made up of representatives of each of the houses. Any member can make a proposal to the ICC, either amending policies or creating new ones. The Board then discusses these proposals during board meetings. These meetings are open to all members, and members can contribute to the discussions about policies. The Board then votes on the proposals, and if it passes, it becomes part of the Standing Rules.

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