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Interested in joining the co-op? Applications for the 2019-2020 year are open and we are accepting new members! CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

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Podcasts & Parties

Podcasts: In a podcast hosted by 3rd Way Collective, a student organization at Penn State, a Houseasaurus friend Mojdeh Motamedi talks about the unique features of cooperative housing. Give it a listen to hear more about Houseasaurus and our position in the community!

Parties: On Friday, March 24, in lieu of a Community Café, Houseasaurus held a party to celebrate our recently gained non-profit status. Chief among the celebrators were State College’s Mayor Elizabeth Goreham as well as representatives from NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation), the Co.Space,  Hearts for Homeless, and the 3rdWay Collective; not to mention plenty of Houseasaurus alumni and other friends of the house.

After officially starting the potluck and gorging ourselves on food, the members and lovers of Central PA Community housing took the opportunity to talk about the importance of a student-run, community-oriented Co-op in Penn State. Although affordable housing might be a deciding factor for some applicants, a cooperative living arrangement offers so much more. As our members and friends talked about what they gained from the Co-op, it became clear that in addition to affordable housing, what many of us have really found is a niche. Houseasaurus offers us a place to be ourselves, to care about the environment, to network and make connections with endlessly fascinating people, and to pursue our passions (be they fashion or politics or activism). The strangers that once made up our home have become our family, and we feel safe, respected, and ready to take on the world.

As we look to the future, the members of Houseasaurus are very interested in securing a house for ourselves. By that, we mean actually buying a house as an organization–this would reduce our rent, give us more freedom to govern ourselves, and ultimately make State College’s first Co-op a little bit stronger. And who knows? Maybe in a few years, we’ll have more and more affordable, student-run housing in our college town.

All in all, a lot of reflecting was done Friday night. We’re proud to be connected with so many hard-working, worthwhile organizations, and we can only hope to continue strengthening our bonds within the community. The future is looking bright for us!

P.S. The photo you see is a sticker drawn by one of our talented House members. If you come by for dinner of a café, see if we have any left–they look great on water bottles and phone cases.

Community Cafe: GMO and Organic Mythbusting

On February 24, we hosted a GMO and Organic foods Mythbusting café.

We wanted to talk more about GMOs, the stigma surrounding them, and whether or not it’s worthwhile to buy organic and GMO products.

A short summary of the presentation:

  • GMOs are actually pretty helpful. They don’t have documented side effects and they don’t hurt beneficial insects. We need them to feed everyone.
  • Organic foods aren’t necessarily better tasting or better for you than non-organic foods. In fact, a lot of the beneficial aspects of organic foods might come from the “halo effect” — you know the food is organic, you know that should be a great thing, and so your perception of the food is enhanced.
  • The best thing you can do is buy fresh, local food. Local food doesn’t have to be shipped far, therefore it leaves less of a carbon footprint. Since the food doesn’t have to be shipped, it’s also picked when it’s ripe (and tasty), versus shipped food that is harvested underripe so it can ripen when traveling. Plus, smaller farms generally don’t have as many outbreaks of diseases or pests.
  • All in all, buy local, buy fresh, and reap the benefits.

We even presented our guests with a taste-test: pitting organic foods against non-organic foods. After a few minutes of chewing and discussion, most people realized they couldn’t tell the difference between organic and non-organic raspberries and cucumbers.

After the presentation was done, our guests stuck around to make a little art and to watch The Princess Bride.

Our guests found this Community Café enlightening, and we’re proud of our members for educating us on GMOs and Organic foods.

We have more fun stuff planned– keep track of our events through our Facebook page and come join us for our next community café!

We’re a non-profit!

As of January 15, 2017, Central PA Community Housing is an officially a non-profit organization under IRC Section 501 (c) (3).

For years, our board members have filed paperwork and talked with the IRS in order to make this dream a reality. The 501 (c) (3) status means a lot of things — for one, our hard work paid off!

The non-profit status also means that your donations to the Co-op are tax deductible (wink wink). It also makes it easier for us to get food donations, whether it be from food-banks or the local Trader Joe’s.

We’re incredibly proud of the work that went into making our Co-op a non-profit organization! With the non-profit statue, we can continue our goals of being an organization that upholds the values of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, queer positivity, and egalitarianism.