Madison Community Cooperative (MCC)

Madison, Wisconsin, United States

  • Last updated: December 30, 2015 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: October 17, 2004

Mission Statement

Affordable urban co-op housing

Community Description

Madison Community Cooperative (MCC), founded in 1968, is a thriving housing cooperative consisting of about 200 members who collectively own and manage 11 cooperative houses. Our houses are located on Madison’s isthmus and range in size from 6 to 30 members.

Each of our houses features individual bedrooms, shared bathrooms, and a large communal kitchen. Members at all of our houses are part of house level dining co-ops. Most of these dining co-ops are also open to members of the Madison community who are not members of MCC.

Our members are young and old, workers and students, parents and non-parents, and represent a diversity of ethnicities, national backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations. The central mission of MCC is to improve the Madison community by providing low-cost, nonprofit cooperative housing for very low- to moderate-income people, and to be inclusive of underrepresented and marginalized groups.

MCC is run by our members at our bi-weekly Board of Directors meetings; bi-weekly Maintenance, Finance, and Membership Committee meetings; tri-annual General Membership meetings; and weekly house meetings. Each of our houses has its own unique culture and history and is entrusted with a high level of autonomy. Each of our houses is responsible for its house policies, membership process, work/job system, annual budget development, minor maintenance program, dining co-op, house meeting system, and designation of Board and committee representatives.


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


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Current Number of Residences: 11
  • Land owned by: The Community


  • Adult Members: 200
  • Child Members: 15
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please contact each house individually (preferably in person). Some co-ops allow only guests (visitors with a sponsor within the house). There is also a hostel in Madison, if you would like to stay somewhere else while exploring membership in the co-ops.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Each house memberships slightly differently. Most follow some combination of in-person shared dinners, surveys and interviews for prospective members.


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    House representatives to the board of directors and committees, officers elected at large

    Most decisions are made using a form of consensus; General Membership decisions may be by some percentage of majority.


  • Join Fee: $45
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:

    Each house sets its own labor policies; generally individuals contribute 20-25 hours/month


    Must be able to pay security deposit and monthly room & food charges

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Some houses buy & cook only vegetarian &/or vegan foods; others also buy & cook meat

    Most houses do not allow tobacco smoking in common areas; some do allow it

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Madison Community Cooperatives, North American Students of Cooperation

Community Affiliations

Avalon Cooperative House, The Phoenix Cooperative House, Sofia Cooperative House, Syntropy Cooperative House, Ofek Shalom Cooperative House, Lothlórien Cooperative House, Hypatia Cooperative House, Friends’ Cooperative House, Audre Lorde Cooperative House, Ambrosia Cooperative House, International Cooperative House (ICH)