Common Place Cooperative, Inc.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

  • Last updated: November 29, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 13, 2015

Mission Statement

We are a cooperative, intentional, mutually supportive community, committed to peace, equality, inclusiveness, social and environmental justice.

Community Description

We are a cooperative housing community with 8 households in a 3-story walk-up near Porter Square, Cambridge. Our urban location is ideal, convenient to shopping, good public schools, universities, public transportation, and bike lanes into Boston.

We come to this community as individuals with our own aspirations, values, and experiences. At the same time we recognize that the art of successful life in a cooperative community is dependent upon building healthy capacities for compromise. We seek to live in community, learning from each other, respecting our differences and resolving the inevitable conflicts that will arise from these differences. Kindness, compassion, and respect are the foundation for our interactions. We are committed to engaging in honest, direct, and respectful communication with each other.

Many of our members have been here for our history, since 1973, with new members bringing energy and commitment along the way. We’ve raised children together and now most of us are retired, enjoying grandchildren, family visits, travel and social occasions, as well as the cultural life of the city.

We share celebrations and support one another through losses. We gather for community events in our common room as well as our beautiful yard and gardens. We have off-street parking for one car per household. Many people stop on their walk to the “T” to smell our roses or choose a book from the Little Free Library.

Members own the building and land cooperatively, each household owning shares based on square footage. Shareholders rotate terms serving on the Board of Directors. We work together on committees and projects, including planning, maintenance, gardening, and social events. In our monthly meetings, we share perspectives and concerns, and make decisions by consensus.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1972
  • Start Living Together: 1973
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Open to new Members: Not currently, but there is a list or possibly in the future
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Keene Metzger
  • FIC Membership

    Since 2016
    This Community is an FIC Member


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Programs & Activities: Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 0.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes, one building/8 apartments
  • Current Number of Residences: 8
  • Housing Provided: Purchase
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    In addition to a shared community room, we share a small exercise room, laundry room, tool room, workshop, a recycle room and some individual storage space.


  • Adult Members: 13
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 5
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Visitor Process:

    Please send an email so that a visit can be arranged.

  • Membership Process:

    We have a written application, reference and credit check process and interview. There is an opportunity to meet with the entire community.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    The Board of Directors serve two-year staggered terms. President, Clerk and Treasurer are elected annually. Leadership is rotated among the entire community. Ongoing committees include Building and Garden. Other ad hoc committees form as the need arises.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments:

    In addition to monthly meetings, members are expected to participate in weekly tasks, two 1/2 day work days per year, committee work and other tasks that keep the community well maintained and functioning.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Workshop, outdoor gas grill, parking
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, We support vegan, dairy-free, & gluten-free diets
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We are committed to healthy eating. We support local growers within New England. We make an effort to eat locally grown, not processed food.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

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Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Coho/US


consensus, cooperative, celebratory, politically liberal, social justice, progressive