Co-Op Emergency Housing

The property features will determine the possible uses for the company.  Having the farm separate from the kitchen and store may be the best way to go.  At some point in the future we may need more land for increased production, orchards, or livestock.  A property with an existing home puts utilities in place without the added investment.  It's entirely possible to have a house at our disposal.  What do we do with a house?

Company use in a farm situation suggests a break room, offices, storage of supplies and equipment.  An orchard would not have much need for a constant staff.  We could rent the place.  For those few periods each year when we need use of the structure, we'd have to make do with some other plan.  All the money we make on rent, we'd spend on a porto john.  

If we are in a position when a house is not needed as an important aspect of operations, we could keep it as a house.  Use it when we need to for tending the orchard.  The rest of the time, it can be handy to have the place available.  Some friends come in from out of town, rent the house instead of a hotel room.  The nightly rental would exceed monthly rent.  We'd make more money and receive less wear and tear.  For the guests, it would be quiet and offer all the comforts of home.  

With a couple hundred families ivolved in the co-op, we will need to look out for each other.  Disaster strikes now and then.  Storms, floods, fires beset us all.  I once had a tree fall on my house.  It took 5 years to reach a settlement with the insurance company.  Having a spare house available can offer respite in case an emergency.  Rather than see a family stuffed into a hotel room when they are the least prepared, we'd be able to offer a place to stay.  We don't have to make a profit on every single thing we do.  We can take in a few bucks with out of town guests, but when push comes to shove, an emergency home can make the difference in someone's life.

You just lost everything in a fire.  The family is ok, but they've lost everything...clothes, furniture, documents and photos, a pantry full of food, their lifestyle.  A hotel is a quick fix, but it will take weeks to recover.  $75/night, plus dining out will cripple a family budget.  Raising kids in a hotel room for a couple months is not an ideal situation.  We might never use the house for an emergency, but if we used it just once, we've made a difference.



Cooperative Enterprise, Plan Outline