When entering the house on North Liberty Street in Asheville, NC, you immediately notice a peaceful energy in the communal atmosphere. The tree-sheltered roofed porch holds a melange of seating and tables grouped for easy conversations on this warm late summer day.
The usual rabbit warren of rooms discovered in any house from this era greet you, perfect for a multi-roommate solution. Throughout the residence, doors are shielded with curtains for added noise remediation.
A central kitchen snugs away toward the rear of the home. The group gathers for the monthly circle meetings in a sunny room adjacent to the kitchen.
Within easy walking distance to downtown Asheville as well as several grocery stores and other amenities, this community shares a cozy existence as they pioneer a new way of living together.
Selecting a New Roommate
When an opportunity for a new roommate arises, several people request inclusion. The unique connection that comes from living in this collaborative, communal environment attracts many as we all search for connection in this increasingly disconnected world. Current roommates share the opportunity if necessary.
Once a potential roommate expresses interest, the circle meets with them to assess their suitability for inclusion in the community. After all potential roommates are assessed, the group reviews everyone’s concerns and recommendations. This method ensures a result in which everyone feels heard and empowered, as well as finding the true communication that leads to a good addition to the community.
How Are Chores Shared?
Generally, the residents volunteer to perform only selected chores between meetings. For example, at one meeting, someone will agree to take out the compost, someone to haul the garbage bins to the curb, someone to salt the steps in the wintertime after snows. Then, at the next meeting, that duty rotates to someone else.
When do Circles Meet?
MCA recommends all circles meet once a month, but each situation evolves based on the group. In this location, the roommates gather for a regular monthly meeting.
Where’s the Rent?
In MCA's world there is no "rent", instead it's referred to as "occupancy contribution" since those residing in properties are pooling money before it is forwarded to the landlord. Because residents participate in the maintaining the property housing costs are reduced such that the overall cost is generally less than one would pay in rent.