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Beal Housing Cooperative on M.A.C. Ave. to reopen in August

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 26, 2009

Beal02Beal01Currently in the midst of $75,000 in renovations, the formerly independent Beal housing cooperative at 525 M.A.C. Ave. is set to reopen in late August as part of the Michigan State University Student Housing Cooperative. The MSU SHC is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable student housing in community settings, and Beal is the SHC’s 13th house in East Lansing.

How co-ops work
In the co-op system, residents pay exactly what it costs to live in their respective houses, meaning there is no landlord making a profit off of their rent. Every semester, housemates set budgets for utilities and other supplies, do weekly jobs around the house, and handle much of the maintenance work.coop map

The MSU SHC community currently is made up of more than 200 members, ultimately a very small portion of the MSU student community.

Beal’s history and starting over
Beal—currently located next to two other SHC houses—was established as a co-op in 1949, which makes this year its 60th anniversary. Though it used to thrive as a cooperative, in the past several years it has gone into disrepair because of destructive residents and poor financial practices.

In late 2008, at risk of the city shutting down the house and putting it up for sale, former members of Beal approached the SHC in hopes to maintain it as a co-op. After legal counsel and an overwhelmingly positive vote from current SHC members, the MSU organization purchased Beal for the low cost of $50,000 cash, which covered former residents’ unpaid bills and taxes, as well as legal fees.

Now it’s time for the new members—most of whom have already lived in other SHC houses—to lay the groundwork for the rebirth of Beal.

















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