Nickel City Housing Co-op

Buffalo, New York, United States

  • Last updated: April 25, 2017 (1 month ago)
  • Listing created on: April 25, 2017

Mission Statement

Nickel City Housing Cooperative was founded in 2001 with the mission of fixing up vacant properties in Buffalo to provide affordable and cooperative housing. We focus on building a more sustainable and just world, and strive to create safer spaces in our cooperative homes.

Community Description

Nickel City Housing Cooperative is part of the NASCO Community of Cooperatives. NCHC has two houses: Ol’Wondermoth, founded in 2001, and Plankton House, founded in 2006. Our food is local, CSA bought, or grown ourselves. The houses are full of artists, cyclists, world travelers, couch surfers, animals, and generally pretty cool people. We govern as a house, as a housing co-op, and as a cooperative of cooperatives (NASCO). Both houses strive to be strong members of Buffalo’s communities, and host everything from music shows to community meetings, with potlucks happening every week at each house.

Both houses are often looking for new members to drive our vision forward to new cooperative and community endeavors. Come do your thing in Buffalo! It’s a low-income town with style and snow to spare! We’ve got beautiful summers full of water activities, festivals, farmers markets and free concerts! DIY-friendly! Bike-friendly! Vegan-friendly! Pet-friendly! Lots of room to dream!

Dreaming of a world where the things we love about each other makes us better people and helps create something bigger.



  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling), Student Housing or Student Co-Op
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Organization, Resource, or Network, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Urban


  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Housing Provided: Rental
  • Land owned by: Another form of Non-profit
  • Additional Comments:

    big back yard/front yard, depending on the house

    NASCO properties

    Nickel City Housing Cooperative has two houses: Plankton, more residential, and Ol’Wondermoth, more urban.


  • Adult Members: 25
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 11-20%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Call us or email us. This is especially important for anyone considering living here. We like to meet all applicants a few times before making a final decision.

    We love visitors and have weekly potlucks. Part of creating our community are the people who stop in to visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    always recruiting! Fill out the application at, and then join us for two potlucks at either house, and then attend a house meeting at your chosen house for the interview process!

  • Additional Comments:

    Any and all and none at all. No restrictions.

    up to the parents


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


    yes and no…we pass around board membership


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    cooperation is welcome!

    Cooking, cleaning, 5 hours maintenance work a month, educational workshops–participation!!

    Membershare equals one month of rent (kind of like a deposit).

    monthly rent, varies by room, plus food/utilities. email us at [email protected] for more details

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Workshop, Fire pit, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegan
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    but the rest is grown locally!

    vegan and gluten-free preferred as the basic meal simply due to various dietary needs, but no restrictions on what people can eat or prepare for themselves.

    All food is welcomed, but community food we buy is vegetarian with low dairy and eggs.

    currently a few brewers


  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    so long as we don’t get pests, everyone can do what they want.

  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

Rust belt love!

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Community Affiliations

Sasona Cooperative, Plankton House, Nickel City Housing Cooperative, Ant Hill Cooperative, Ol’ Wondermoth


bike, DIY, vegan, local