Grand Rapids Alliance of Cooperative Communities

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

  • Last updated: September 6, 2017 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: March 30, 2015

Mission Statement

The Grand Rapids Alliance of Cooperative Communities offers affordable, community housing in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. We foster a framework for creation and growth by connecting our members to each other and to the local community. Come grow with GRACC!

Community Description

We provide cooperative communal housing in downtown Grand Rapids, with an emphasis on affordability and openness to alternative lifestyles. Shared work, group meals and innovation are hallmarks of this mode of intentional living. Through consensus-based decision making, the members establish systems to meet their basic needs collectively within each house and elect representatives to manage the affairs of the organization.

The initial group first formed as the Grand Rapids Dining Cooperative, which met for regular dinners in each other’s homes. Inspired by housing cooperatives in Austin, Ann Arbor and elsewhere, members of the dining coop leased the property at 535 Fulton St E in 2012, starting what would become the James Russell House.

This group of co-opers incorporated as the Grand Rapids Alliance of Cooperative Communities in 2012, and has since started cooperatives at three more locations. GRACC currently provides housing for approximately 50 individuals.


  • Type(s): Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 45
  • Planned number of residences: 0
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Housing Provided: Rental
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership


  • Adult Members: 50
  • Child Members: 5
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please visit our website at and submit a membership application to schedule a tour if you are interested in joining. If you simply want to visit, e-mail us at [email protected] and we would love to meet you!

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    After an applicant submits a membership application through, the membership committee interviews the applicant and sets up a tour. Approval depends on financial stability and approval by an individual house.


  • Decision Making: Voting (majority or super-majority rule)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    The GRACC membership elects a board of directors to oversee the business affairs of the organization. The board consists of a president, secretary and treasurer, as well as a representative for each house.


  • Join Fee: $50
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $400
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)

Sustainability Practices

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


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Workshop, Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Kosher, Halal, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Quaker, Native American, Hare Krishna, Rainbow Family, Atheist, Agnostic
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Inter-cooperative council (ICC – Michigan), Inter-cooperative council (ICC – Texas), Madison Community Cooperatives, Michigan State University Student Housing Corporation, NASCO

Community Affiliations

Circle Pines Center


Grand Rapids, Cooperative, JR, James Russell, Atlantis, Penrose, Sparrow, House