Friday, January 30, 2009

Do You Know a Sustainability-Minded Landlord?

Mark Shipley is a Chicago community member - Office of Sustainability staff have met him at Re-Thinking Soup over at the Hull-House Museum.

He and some sustainability-minded individuals are looking to establish a housing co-op in the Logan Square/Humboldt Park/Garfield Park areas, and need to build some critical mass and connect with a landlord.   We're posting his e-mail request here, as well as the flyer for this growing co-op.

Hi neighbors,

Myself and some others from Chicago Nest- a forming housing cooperative in Chicago- are looking for a place to rent starting this spring/summer in the Logan Square/Humboldt/Garfield area. We are also seeking more renters/housemates. We have an urban ecology/ecological sustainability focus, among other things, and so are looking for some specific conditions. I am hoping that you and your networks can help us find a building to rent beginning in the spring, so please forward as widely as you care to. The following describes what we are looking for. We are interested in employing some of the following things:

  • greywater
  • rainwater catchment
  • tankless water heaters
  • solar hot water heaters
  • chickens, bees, compost, and gardens
  • wood stove heat
  • alternative fuels for heating and cooking (wood, methane digestion, waste
  • vegetable oil, pellet, rocket stoves, etc)
  • superinsulation of building
  • passive solar orientation
  • root cellaring and cold storage of food (in place of electric refrigeration)

We do not expect to put all of these in place, but these are some of the things we are interested in using/doing. We intend to pursue these things responsibly and with commitment and care, not in a spontaneous, haphazard, or irresponsible way. We are looking for a landlord who is open to these things, or even *enthusiastic* about them! Ideally it is someone who believes in what we are doing, cares about their building (or doesn't and just lets us tinker around with it!), and will not be phased by experimental approaches to sustainable living. It could be any type of
building that could potentially serve as a living/working space. There would need to be potential for at least 5 bedrooms or sleeping quarters and some space for working (basement, garage, workroom, etc.). The building could either need work to be inhabitable or already be inhabitable. We are also open to rent-to-own and right-of-first-refusal (first option to buy) agreements.

We are at least 5 people, and at most 10, mostly in our late 20s/early 30s. We are financially sound, gainfully employed, and have experience with cooperative living and some level of handiness. We are looking to rent May 1, and as late as this summer. We are willing and enthusiastic about working on physical improvements and putting work into a place, and the arrangements about rent, reimbursement for capital improvements, etc. are negotiable.

If you have a property or leads to offer us, or are interested in this way of living and may want to join us, please contact me.
If you'd like, you can download a copy of Mark's flier.

Got a lead?  Post it in the comments, shoot Mark an email, or call him (contact info located in the flier).

1 comment:

Dean said...

Lot's of great ideas! Having a daughter that just moved off campus, I've seen so many opportunities to reduce energy use, recycle, and conserve water. Unfortunately, the owner of the apartment complex has no interest. Any ideas on how to inspire the landlord?

Dean M. Calhoun, CIH
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