Thanks for your interest in Sasona Co-op!

There are no rooms currently available. We might have more room openings this winter.

Rent varies from $660 to $1,020 depending on the size of the room. Rent includes all bills paid, internet, laundry, stocked kitchen, and dinner 7 nights a week.

If you’re interested, you have to attend two informal dinner meetings in order to be accepted as a potential member.

We have meetings every Sunday at 7:45pm – show up hungry if you want to eat dinner with us. If you’re out of town, you can attend meetings by phone – just let me know what your number is and what Sunday we can call you (around 7:45pm CST).

(Note: When you come to visit us, please do not park in front of our immediate neighbors’ house. They don’t like that. Please park in our cul-de-sac or, if there’s no spaces available, please park a block down the street. Thank you!)

We also offer Associate Membership. For $80 a month and two hours of labor a week, associate members enjoy all of the benefits of being a member – dinner every day, internet, laundry, being part of a community – without actually living at the house.

Let us know if you’d like to be added to our email list to be informed of upcoming openings.

Here's a FAQ about the house. Let me know if you have any more questions.

cheers, membership coordinator http://www.sasona.org/ :)

Frequently asked questions about Sasona Cooperative

What is Sasona?

Sasona (pronounced Suh-Soh-Nuh) is a group-equity community housing cooperative. Started in 2002 by a small group of friends living at student co-ops in West Campus, Sasona provides affordable housing in a co-owned, non-profit, democratically run house.

What is a co-op?

According to the NASCO 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.”

For more info about why coops are such a good idea, check out http://web.archive.org/web/20120623044407/http://www.nasco.coop/coop.html.

What principles does Sasona follow?

Sasona, like many coops, follows 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, and information 6. Cooperation among cooperatives 7. Concern for community

For more information on the Rochdale Principles, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_principles

How can I learn more about Sasona?

Sasona website ~ http://www.sasona.org/

Pictures of Sasona Coop ~ http://tinyurl.com/sasonaslideshow

Pictures of tasty meals cooked at Sasona ~ http://tinyurl.com/sasonadinnerslideshow

What are the benefits of living at Sasona?

• Dinner 7 nights a week • Rent includes all bills paid, internet connection in every room, free laundry, & stocked kitchen • 3 living rooms, 5 bathrooms, big kitchen, vegetable gardens, big backyard • 2 public computers plus a 55” widescreen TV & DVD player in spacious living room • 5 minute walk from Mr Natural (vegetarian Mexican food), Maria’s Taco X-Press, Half Price Books, Kerbey Lane, Good Will, Amy’s Ice Cream • Right next to several major bus routes (3, 331, 338, etc) • 10 minute walk from the Barton Creek Greenbelt • 5 minute bike ride from Barton Springs & Town Lake • Friendly fun-loving community!

Living at Sasona will give you the amazing opportunity to take part in an ever-evolving experiment in democracy, self-management, cooperation, and community. You will have the opportunity to learn many skills, such as cooking, gardening, landscaping, maintenance, bookkeeping, accounting, conflict resolution, meeting facilitation, public speaking, etc. You will be a part of the worldwide cooperative movement, and you will be able to attend the annual co-op conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan (See: http://nasco.coop/institute/ ). You will meet interesting people that you might have never had the opportunity to meet if you were not living in community. What’s not to like?

How much is the deposit?

Before you move in, you must pay a refundable $500 deposit. The first month’s rent is also due when you move in.

How much is rent?

Rent varies from $660 to $1,020, depending on the size of the room. Large rooms with lots of windows are the most expensive, while the smaller rooms will be in the $500-$550 range.

What does rent pay for?

Rent covers all utilities and bills, internet connection in every room, wireless connection throughout most of the house, two public computers, TV/DVD/VCR, three living rooms, a big backyard, vegetarian dinner seven nights a week (although meat eaters are welcome and in fact the majority of the house eats meat), a stocked kitchen, and free laundry.

How do I become a member?

Sasona follows the cooperative principle of Open Membership. We strive to create an open and diverse community in which all people and lifestyles are accepted and valued.

In order to be accepted as a potential member, prospective members must attend two meetings. (Former members must also attend two meetings and go through the acceptance process again.) The reason for that requirement is to give you the opportunity to ask questions, meet the members, and make an informed decision about whether you will be happy living here. If you are living out of state or if there is some reason that you cannot attend the meetings in person, you can attend via crackly speakerphone. If you work every Sunday night, you can make arrangements with the Membership Coordinator to attend meetings on different nights – we just request that you give us 3 days’ advance notice.

At the first meeting, the meeting chair will ask if you have any pets.

At the second meeting, all non-members will be asked to leave the room, and the Meeting Chair will ask, “Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge of why this prospective member could be evicted from the house (including for non-payment of rent, abusive behavior, disrupting the right of quiet enjoyment, instilling fear in others, and any other evictable behavior)?” If no one does, then you will be accepted as a potential member.

If someone does have firsthand knowledge of why a prospective member, let’s call him Fred, could be evicted, then the meeting will discuss it and vote on whether Fred should be accepted as a member. (What constitutes a reason someone could be evicted are occasionally subjective and open to interpretation.) According to the House Rules, prospective members “must receive a 90% majority vote at a house meeting to be accepted.” So, if someone states that they have firsthand knowledge of why Fred would be evicted, 90% of the people voting would have to accept Fred in order for him to be accepted as a potential member. If he is not accepted, he cannot sign a contract, and he cannot become a member. [Note: The House Rules were written at a time when all votes, in order to pass, had to be approved by 90% of the votes. The voting majority has since changed, but the House Rules have not.]

People who are accepted as members will be put on the Prospective Members Waiting List. When a room is available, all of the members of the house (who can switch rooms if they want) and all people on the waiting list will be alerted. If several people are interested in a room, and they are able to move in when the room is available and pay the deposit right away, then who gets the room will be determined based on several factors, such as who attended their second meeting first.

Who is higher on the waiting list is important, but the *most* important factors determining whether you get a room are the flexibility of your living situation (whether you can move in as soon as a room is open), whether you can pay the deposit right away, and whether you check your email regularly to receive the updates about room openings.

Meetings are generally held on Sunday nights around 7:30-8pm. Please show up at 7pm and have dinner with us. That will give you a chance to meet some people, take a tour of the house, and ask some questions about the house before the meeting starts. Dinner will be your chance to ask questions, then during the meeting you’ll have a chance to watch house governance in action. You’re welcome to stay for the whole meeting, but it’s not required.

It’s best to contact the Membership Coordinator beforehand to let them know you are planning on attending the meeting. But if you show up out of the blue, that’s fine too. Just let yourself in the front door and let people know you’re here to check out the house—we’ll be expecting visitors. You can ask if the membership coordinator is around to give you a tour, or whoever you meet can give you a tour (unless they’re busy cooking dinner).

What is the length of the lease I have to sign?

Contracts must be for at least 6 months.

How long is the waiting list?

We have a list of people who have been accepted as potential members. When a room opens up, we contact everyone who has been accepted. If several people are interested in a room, and they are able to move in when the room is available and pay the deposit right away, then who gets the room will be determined based on several factors, such as who attended their second meeting first (i.e. who is higher on the “waiting list”). So we can’t really say for sure how many people want the room until we offer it to everyone and get responses.

Who is higher on the waiting list is important, but the *most* important factors determining whether you get a room are the flexibility of your living situation (whether you can move in as soon as a room is open), whether you can pay the deposit right away, and whether you check your email regularly to receive the updates about room openings.

What’s the chance that I’ll get a room?

It’s hard to say. The only thing we can tell you for sure is that you have no chance of getting a room if you don’t attend two meetings and become accepted as a potential member. We can also tell you that attending two meetings as soon as possible will improve your chances, because you’ll be higher on the waiting list. Typically there are only a few people interested in an opening at a certain time, so if you are interested, and you are available to move in when the room opens, you have a good shot of getting the room.

How does house governance work?

We have house meetings every Sunday night. Every member is welcome to write items on the agenda for discussion or voting. More than a 75% majority is required to pass a motion. It’s exciting to take part in a truly member-owned, member-run organization!

Who cooks and cleans and pays the bills?

We do! This means that all 17 members of the household have vital roles to play in the daily functioning of the house. We divide all necessary tasks up into an organized labor system to ensure that the house runs as smoothly as possible.

How does the Labor System work?

As a member of our cooperative, you will perform 5 “lumps” of labor a week. (A “lump” is a unit of labor that is roughly equivalent to one hour of work.) When you move in, the Labor Czar will assign you labor based on what you would like to do. The Labor Czar will work with your schedule and try their best to give you labor that you’ll enjoy.

Labor positions include: washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, cooking dinner, cleaning living rooms and bathrooms, performing house maintenance, cleaning the yard, etc. There are also elected positions, which include: Board Members, Membership Coordinator, Treasurer, Bookkeeper, Labor Coordinator, Kitchen Manager, Menu Planner, Food Shopper, Grounds Coordinator, Maintenance Coordinator, Meeting Chair, Minutes Taker, and House ‘Zine Editor. Everyone is welcome to run for these positions, and they are a great opportunity to learn various skill sets.

All labor roles are vital and we encourage everyone to participate by proposing and managing improvement projects for our organization.

How do we ensure that all the labor gets done?

When someone doesn’t show up for their labor, that’s known as a “no-show.” There is a public sheet posted in the house for people to write no-shows on. If I notice that Fred didn’t do the dishes last night, I can no-show him by writing it on the sheet. If he doesn’t have a good excuse for missing his labor, then he will be given a make-up labor. He has to communicate with the Labor Coordinator, Kitchen Manager, Grounds Coordinator, or Maintenance Coordinator to find a project that needs doing so he can work off the labor he owes. If he does not finish all of his make-up labor by a certain cut-off date, he will be fined $10 per lump of unfinished labor. If Fred continues to neglect his labor, he might eventually be evicted from the house. No-shows provide an incentive to everyone to get their labor done on time, which ensures that the house runs smoothly.

How does Sasona handle interpersonal conflict?

In any group of 20 people, conflict is inevitable. Sasona has four elected Mediators (from the house membership) who are there for any members who want to discuss a conflict, ask for impartial advice, get assistance to resolve a conflict, etc.

We have held discussion sessions about conflict resolution and non-violent communication. Living in community provides a great opportunity to learn a lot about effective communication strategies.

Abusive behavior is not tolerated, and members in the past have been evicted from the house for verbal abuse.

Can I share a room with a roommate?

Yes. However, you wouldn’t just split the cost of the room. $200 of rent goes toward non-rent-related items: utilities, internet, food, etc. So your roommate would also have to pay $200, on top of the price of the room. For example, if the room is $600/month, you would add $200 to that price, then divide it by two—each of you would pay $400/month.

The charge for each extra person in a room per month is as follows: for ages 0-6: $100; for ages 7-12: $150; for ages 13+: $200.

Can dogs live here?

No. Unfortunately, due to numerous unavoidable problems, dogs are no longer allowed to live at Sasona (with the exception of service dogs).

Can cats live here?

Yes, cats are allowed. However, in order to limit the flea problem and the effect on those with allergies, no more than five cats are allowed to live at Sasona at one time, and each member is not allowed to own more than 2 cats. Please inquire about whether we have reached our five-cat limit.

There is one side of the house, consisting of the kitchen, dining room, TV room, and the 8 adjacent rooms to the right of the front entrance door, where cats are not allowed.

All pets must be approved by the house. If you have a pet, you need to tell us at both of your meetings. It is not just you that will need to be accepted at the meeting—your pet will also need to be accepted, so you need to tell us about your pet so that it can be approved by the house. If your pet has any issues that might affect other people or pets in the house, or if you think your pet might have some difficulty in a house with 17 people, please let us know.

You must pay a $100 deposit for each pet you are bringing into the house. $50 is non-refundable. The pet owner is also responsible for any damage done to carpet, rugs, walls, furniture, smell, etc., above and beyond what is normally expected to put the room back into its pre-pet condition. This means a pet owner can be charged additional costs if needed.

No tigers allowed.

I’m allergic to cats, can I still live here?

There is one side of the house, consisting of the kitchen, dining room, TV room, and the 8 adjacent rooms to the right of the front entrance door, where cats are not allowed.

If you have allergies, please ask the membership coordinator if there are any rooms available in the pet-free side of the house.

Are guns allowed?

No. No guns are allowed on the property.

Is smoking allowed?

No. No smoking is allowed in the house, not even in your room.

Can I eat meat in the house?


Sasona only buys and serves vegetarian food. However, in the spirit of inclusion, the members are welcome to use the kitchen for their own personal food, including meat. The reason that the house is vegetarian is largely due to the economics of eating cheaper better foods, and the ease of keeping a vegetarian kitchen sanitary. Traditionally, the majority of the house has been omnivores, with vegetarians being in the minority.

When members cook meat in the kitchen, they should respect the vegetarian nature of the house. This should be done by completely sanitizing all used cooking and preparation surfaces, by not cooking meat at times that the house's vegetarian meals are being prepared, and by running the ventilation system in the kitchen at all times that meat is being privately prepared.

Are the rooms furnished?

No. We do not supply anything. But we might have some various mattresses and pieces of furniture floating around that you might be able to help yourself to. The living rooms are furnished with couches etc.

Where is Sasona?

Our address is 2604 Paramount Ave, Austin TX 78704. Going south on South Lamar, about a mile past Oltorf, a couple blocks before you get to Manchaca, you will take a right on La Casa, then take the next left onto Paramount. We are the big house at the end of the cul-de-sac. Here’s a map: http://tinyurl.com/sasonamap

If you know Austin, you know this is an awesome location. If you are new to Austin, let us assure you—this is an awesome location! You will be a ten minute walk from the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which is a beautiful hiking trail with swimming holes and scenic vistas. You’ll also be just minutes from Barton Springs & Town Lake, which are other wonderful natural areas for swimming, hiking, biking and jogging. There are restaurants, bookstores and retail shops within walking distance.

Are there any other coops in Austin?

Yes, there’s a bunch. If for whatever reason Sasona doesn’t work out for you, we hope you’ll look into some of our fellow co-ops here in town (or elsewhere).

Here’s some links:

Whitehall Coop ~ http://whitehallcoop.org/

College Houses ~ http://www.collegehouses.org/

Inter-Cooperative Council ~ http://www.iccaustin.coop/

Other Coops ~ http://www.austincooperatives.coop/

How can I learn more about cooperatives in general?

North American Students of Cooperation ~ http://www.nasco.coop/

Wikipedia definition of Cooperative ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative

More about Coops ~ http://go.coop/

Okay, I'm interested—what's next?

Email us at info@sasona.org to set up a time to come by and have dinner with or do a phone interview!


Sasona Co-op Meeting Info

The meeting will be your opportunity to learn more about the house in order to determine whether you will be happy here. We have an open membership policy; everyone is welcome to live here. So we’re not going to interview you—you’re going to interview us. As long as you think you’ll be happy living here and you can follow our house policies regarding rent payment, performance of labor, and civil behavior, then we want you to be our roommate. Attending meetings is your opportunity to find out if you want to live here, so make the most of it!

Some meeting tips:

1. Read all available information about the house before your meeting… Look at our website www.sasona.org, read our FAQ, and check out some info about coops in general at www.nasco.coop.

2. Ask the members general questions about the house… Please show up at 7pm on Sunday so you can take a tour of the house and eat dinner with us. (Contact the membership coordinator first to make sure there will be a meeting that week.) Dinnertime will be your opportunity to meet some members and ask us questions about what it’s like living here. When the meeting starts, you’ll be given another chance to ask us any questions, and then we will start discussing the regular agenda items.

3. Suggested questions… Here’s a list of questions that some people have asked us…

How loud is the house? Do people hang out a lot together? What do you do for fun? Does everyone get along with each other? What’s the best labor? What’s the worst labor? What do you like about the coop? What do you dislike about the coop? What’s your favorite zombie movie?

4. You can stick around for the whole meeting, but you’re welcome to leave at any time… If you have time, you’re welcome to stay for some or all of the meeting. This may give you a better idea of how house governance works and how meetings are conducted, what kind of topics we discuss, etc. You’re welcome to say bye at any time—you’re not required to stay for the whole meeting. As long as you’re here during the first few minutes of the meeting, you will be counted as attending one meeting.

5. Talk to the Membership Coordinator one on one… If you would like to chat with the Membership Coordinator alone for a little while so you can have some things explained to you in more detail, don’t be afraid to ask. Before or after the meeting would be a good time to have a more in-depth discussion.

6. The second meeting… At your second meeting, we’re going to ask you a couple of questions, and then we’re going to ask you to leave the room. While you are in the other room, we are going to ask “Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge of why this person could be evicted from the house (including for non-payment of rent, abusive behavior, disrupting the right of quiet enjoyment, instilling fear in others, and any other evictable behavior)?” If so, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t live here, but in that case we will have a vote to see if you’re accepted. If no one knows of any reason you likely could be evicted, you are accepted to the house as a potential member and you will be put on the waiting list. The membership coordinator will contact you if a room opens up, and you’ll have an opportunity to sign a contract.

Anyways, that’s all I got right now.

We look forward to meeting you!

See you soon!

Cheers, The Sasoonies

(Last updated Oct 2011 by TripleEntendre)

SasonaWiki: SasonaFrequentlyAskedQuestions (last edited 2023-07-16 01:31:21 by GracieHopkins)