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  • How do I apply for membership?
    To begin your application process, we suggest that you use the membership application by clicking the link at the top of our site. Once you apply, our membership coordinators will contact you to arrange an interview and house visit. Apply Now!
  • For 2022, what are your income guidelines?
    To be in compliance with low-income housing and City of Bloomington regulations for Middle Earth and The Trellis, we have income limits for members at these locations. Students: tuition aid (whether through grants or family assistance) does not qualify as part of your income. Income limits are based on total persons in your household. Below you will find required limits used by the City of Bloomington based on U.S. Housing and Urban Development criteria.
  • What should I know when I first arrive?
    Each year, new and returning members at each house receive a welcome message in email that includes important information to get you settled into your new home, your housemates family and the BCL community. Communicate with your house membership coordinator to arrange a move-in date and time. You will get a chance to yourself, introduce yourself and move-in plans in your house Slack channel. On arrival one or more of your housemates will meet you to give you the code for keypad entrances and assign a key to your room. You will also get a final house tour and many times housemates will assist during move-in. Final move-in paperwork will be finished during your first few days. Don't worry, the first few weeks will be chaotic. Your house, as well as the cooperative, will have orientation for all new members. This is a great time to introduce yourself and ask questions.
  • Is there a member orientation or what more should I know about being a member of BCL?
    Each year at the August or September General Assembly, BCL devotes the meeting to member orientation where important information is given, questions answered and introductions to other members happen. About 30 minutes before this meeting, we have a pot-luck dinner where members and houses bring a variety of dishes. After the orientation, we somethings have a movie night or other social event. Houses also hold a house meeting at their normal weekly gathering to discuss house-specific orientation. It is good to always check with your housemates about this meeting. New members are expected to attend both orientations. This is typically our largest meeting of the year, and it's the best place to meet your housemates and cooperative members. If for some reason you are unable to attend, please make sure your membership coordinators are informed.
  • Do we receive a welcome kit?
    Each year, new and returning members of each house receive a welcome email message. This should include all important information you need to get settled into your new home and our community.
  • How often are meetings and when are they?
    House meetings are typically held once a week after a house dinner. All members are encouraged to participate in at least 1 committee meeting monthly. Committee meetings, times, and frequencies vary depending upon committee charter. Finally, all members must attend a monthly General Assembly (GA) where members from every house and all board members meet.
  • How do we communicate?
    Probably one of the most important methods of communications is via our Slack channels. There's a common room for all members and channels for each house, committee and other special interest rooms. We also hold weekly house meetings and monthly General Assemblies. Finally, talking to your housemates is a great way to communicate, as well as to get to know other members.
  • How does mail work?
    Each household has a housemate responsible for all mail and packages. Mail and packages are then sorted into house mailboxes. If you're missing a package, look for it in one of the common rooms. Packages also may mysteriously appear at the door to your room.
  • What about cooperative documents and electronic access?
    The cooperative uses Google Workspace for non-profits. Access to Google Drive and other Workspace features is based on your Google email address. To access these services, Google mandates that you have a Google email address. Your email address may also be used to send invitations to meetings, orientations, events and new member orientations. For this reason, it is a great idea to give the membershipping committee a valid Google email account during the membership process.
  • What about house food and dinners?
    At each house, housemates have weekly cooking and/or cleaning shifts. Generally, you will have a dinner shift buddy to help prepare, cook and clean during a 2 to 3 hour shift. You and your housemates will determine the time for dinner. Most evenings, your housemates will gather around a dining area inside or outside. During cooking shifts, we make enough food to have leftovers and save plates for housemates who can't be at dinner. Flexibility in cooking shifts are common, and when needed, we reach out to one another to swap cook shifts . During the summer and winter holidays, schedules tend to be hectic and ad hoc. The cooperative hosts Thanksgiving Dinner at one or more houses. You and your housemates will determine a food budget and pantry staples based on dietary needs. House fridges are devoted to house food, leftovers and personal food items, and to keep space free, all items, including personal, items should always be labelled with item name and ingredients (keeping in mind allergens, dietary needs, etc), a date and your name, if it's not house food. Each house will purge, tidy and clean fridges weekly removing old leftovers, expired items and lingering personal food items. During a housemate's weekly fridge cleaning chore, they typically ask if your items may be cleared out.
  • How are members held accountable for household chores?
    A standard practice is for each household member to give a check-in during house weekly meetings. The check-in includes cooking shifts completed, meetings attended, and explanation of household chores completed. We also highly encourage members to communicate with each other to resolve differences and to reach mutual resolutions. However, we recognize that sometimes it is needed to bring in either a 3rd-party or to bring these to household meetings. For members needing guidance in reaching their cooperative expectations, we also have a membership review process to assist members. By using this process early and often, it helps us maintain our quality of cooperative living.
  • How do I pay my rent and when is it due?
    Member Cost of Living (CoL) is due on the 15th of each month prior to the term month. A grace period of 7 days is given before a late payment fee is accessed. Work with your house treasurer if you encounter a situation where your CoL may be late. CoL is collected through the website. ACH (direct withdraws from your checking or savings account) payments are free. However, Credit and Debit Card transactions are assessed a fee by
  • What are BCL and house smoking/vaping policies?
    For the courtesy of all members, smoking is prohibited inside all houses. Outside smoking policy varies based on house, but a good rule is to do it away from doors, windows, common walkways and communal gathering areas, Vaping is permitted in member rooms, and based on house policies, you may be allowed to vape in common areas, away from children and/or at specific times.
  • What kind of social and community events does BCL sponsor?
    We put on a variety of events: poetry readings workshops theme and seasonal parties house movie nights lake boat days game nights BCL community potlucks This is only a sampling of social and community events we support each year.
  • What should I know about parking at my house?
    We don't have assigned parking or passes. If you have a car you'll be parking at your house, you should get with your house membership coordinator within the first couple of days to make sure it's on the house list. Each house has different parking situations, and we work to secure enough parking for all members. This includes: house lot parking street parking neighborhood parking passes Parking in Bloomington is always tight, so please be sure to communicate you needs during the membership process, orientation and movie-in procedure. If you rarely use your car, you can volunteer to park in one of the neighborhood street spots or at another cooperative house to free up space for those who frequently use their cars. As a cooperative, we buy neighborhood parking spots each year.
  • What about pets?
    In your membership process, you may be asked about your pet(s). Each house determines their household pet policy, the total number of pets for the house and the type of pets. We also keep in mind that other household members may have pet allergies and phobias. So, you may be asked to keep your pet(s) in your room. We ask that you be mindful of messes.
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