"Bloomington Cooperative Living creates and maintains affordable, communal housing in Bloomington, Indiana that is democratically controlled by residents."
- Adopted July 2021 by the BCL General Assembly
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. we believe housing is a human right. We work together to create, maintain, and expand affordable housing in Bloomington, Indiana without a profit motive.
• Creating institutional structures that allow community-based ownership and administration of large assets in order to benefit from economy of scale and prevent profiteering.
• Establishing governance structures and shared values that help us end exploitation of people in need of housing.
• Building administrative and decision-making structures that encourage collective democratic decision-making.
• Recognizing the ways in which our members and affiliates are already part of the communities around us as workers, students, friends, and family Integrating ourselves and our work into local communities and institutions.
• Recruiting members who are capable of providing help and support to other members.
• Proactively addressing member's material and emotional needs inter-personally and institutionally.
• Responding to members experiencing distress with compassion and care for both the member and the community.
• Rejecting the imbalanced power dynamics created by charity Expecting members to contribute to our common cause to the extent that they are able.
• Asking members to learn and grow in their work toward the fulfillment of all aspects of this mission statement, and supporting one another’s growth to this end.
• As part of the BLC mission and commitment to affordable housing, 75% our members meet national, state, and local low-income standards.
BCL was founded in 2007 by students from Indiana University with the guidance of experienced cooperatives in Ann Arbor, MI, Madison, WI, Athens, OH, and Berkeley, CA. Our range of members has expanded to include community members and families from Bloomington and surrounding areas.
In 2010, BCL first leases Goodlawn and Which House, at the time called Rivendell and Helm’s Deep, respectively. The following year, BCL incorporates as a nonprofit. So, BCL doen't pay taxes, and members don't pay sales tax when making purchases for the organization.
BCL's first owned property was Middle Earth located at 404 West Kirkwood Ave. The house is named in homage to its predecessor the Middle Way House. The 2011 purchase was acquired through loans from Shared Capital, IU Credit Union, and Middle Way House itself.
In late 2020, BCL finalized financing and purchasing of our second owned property, located at 921 West 9th Street, through grants, community-based loans, and a traditional mortgage. Slated for a late fall 2021, this property's official name will be finalized by members in late fall 2021.
With construction and renovation of 921 nearly complete. Members of BCL are excited for this house to join our other 3 cooperative housing locations.
And we're still going strong!