A Letter from Sasona Co-op


My name is Patrick Parker, and I am the Membership Coordinator for Sasona Cooperative. You may hear about Sasona at an upcoming neighborhood planning meeting, so I just wanted to introduce our house to all of our neighbors and give you some information about how our co-op works.

Sasona Co-op has been at 2604 Paramount since the summer of 2002. (Formerly, this location was occupied by the Austin Family House and the Phoenix Academy, which are substance abuse treatment centers.) The purpose of our co-op is to provide affordable housing in a democratically-run community. Our co-op allows its members to co-own the house and participate in running and maintaining the property. We follow the Rochdale Principles of Cooperation:

1. Voluntary and open membership

2. Democratic member control

3. Member economic participation

4. Autonomy and independence

5. Education, training, information

6. Cooperation among cooperatives

7. Concern for community

We take pride in our house and are constantly improving it for current and future members. We have a maintenance crew of a half-dozen co-op members working every weekend to maintain and improve the house and our grounds, and have budgeted a significant amount of money annually for maintenance projects to make sure we have the means to be good stewards of the property. We installed thirty-year shingles on the entire roof; we refinished the hardwood flooring; and we are about to install beautiful bamboo flooring in the southern wing of the house -- just to name a few recent projects.

In addition to these physical improvements, we are growing as an organization. Our commitment to educate our members, advertise our house, and create an institutional memory ensures that Sasona Co-op will continue to be a unique contribution to the culture of the Zilker neighborhood far into the future.

There’s a FAQ on the back of this page if you’d like to learn more about us. If you have any questions about our co-op, or if you would ever like to visit and have dinner with us, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Patrick Parker

Membership Coordinator, Sasona Co-op




Sasona Co-op FAQ

What is Sasona Cooperative?

Sasona (pronounced Suh-Soh-Nuh) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, group-equity, community housing cooperative. Founded in 2002, Sasona provides affordable housing in a co-owned, democratically run house.

Sasona Cooperative is owned by NASCO Properties, a cooperative organization that collectively owns a dozen cooperatives across the United States. As a member of the cooperative, Sasona also co-owns and co-runs those dozen cooperatives. NASCO Properties provides us with maintenance support, guidance, and advice to ensure that our house will remain successful.

What kind of people live at Sasona Co-op?

In the past we have had infants and senior citizens living at Sasona. The current age range is from 23-55, and the average age is 30 years old. Our membership currently includes a licensed chiropractor, computer programmers, a state government employee, a paralegal, a Wheatsville Food Co-op manager, high school teachers, a UT neuroscience research assistant, and a few students. Most of our members are college graduates, and several of them have graduate degrees. Sasona attracts people who want to co-own their house, be an integral part of the community, and live in the beautiful Zilker neighborhood.

Where is Sasona Co-op?

Our address is 2604 Paramount Ave. We are the big house at the end of the cul-de-sac on the southernmost end of Paramount.

What is a cooperative?

According to the North American Students of Cooperation website:

“A cooperative is a business controlled by the people who use it. It is a democratic organization whose earnings and assets belong to its members. By patronizing and becoming an active member of a co-op, you invest yourself with the power to shape that business. You control the politics and economics of what is truly your organization.

“This localized member control allows co-ops to be as varied as the people they serve. Thus, there are different types of co-ops including: food co-ops, housing co-ops, arts and crafts co-ops, book co-ops, bakery co-ops, bike co-ops, farm co-ops, rural electric co-ops, financial co-ops (credit unions), and insurance co-ops. And each of these has a flavor of its own, reflective of the desires of its individual memberships. Despite the diversity in type and tradition of co-ops, most have several things in common, particularly the ideals and principles from which they emerge.”

How do members contribute to running the organization?

Members of our cooperative perform at least 5 hours of house labor a week. Labor positions include: washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, cooking dinner, cleaning living rooms and bathrooms, performing house maintenance, cleaning the yard, shopping for food, etc. There are also elected “Officer” positions, which include: Membership Coordinator, Treasurer, Labor Coordinator, Kitchen Manager, Menu Planner, Grounds Coordinator, and Maintenance Coordinator.

How can I learn more about Sasona and cooperatives in general?

Sasona website ~ www.sasona.org

North American Students of Cooperation ~ www.nasco.coop

Wikipedia definition of “Cooperative” ~ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative

How can I contact Sasona?

Information ~ info@sasona.org

Board of Directors ~ board@sasona.org

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