Kent Cooperative Housing: A community feel with affordable rent

Miranda Zoloty

Kent State students typically look for housing that offers extremely cheap rent and a sense of community. However, finding places that fit both of those needs can often be difficult. Kent Cooperative Housing (KCH) offers both of those amenities to its residents.

KCH is a nonprofit organization that operates to promote social activities and cooperative fellowship by providing affordable housing and opportunities for community involvement.

KCH owns four properties in the Kent community that they lease out. Two of these properties sit next to each other on Crane Avenue and house two residents each. The others, on Franklin Avenue, and Dodge Street, house four residents each. 

According to Courtney Plumley, KCH coordinator and a senior exercise major, anyone can sign a lease to live in one of the properties, and they encourage Kent State students to do so. 

“All members have the opportunity to meet once a month to brainstorm future projects up and put them into action,” Plumley said. “For example, one of our co-op houses wanted solar panels installed to supply their home with energy. This house now saves money on electric bills.”

Plumley said members usually live in the house anywhere from a year or longer.

“Our longest member has been here for 10 years,” she said.

Tyler Baldrige, a Kent State alumni, has been a member of KCH since November 2014.

“I heard about (KHC) through my friend, (whom) I originally met when we were both attending (Kent State),” Baldridge said. “I would highly recommend KCH to others.”

Between the four properties there are currently 10 residents and one open room.

Plumley says that there are many benefits to KCH. Baldridge agreed.

“My favorite advantages of (KHC) are having a say in what happens to my house, having affordable rent and being a part of a group that does much more than just live together,” Baldridge said. 

“Rent is only $225 a month,” Plumley said. “Members can get up to $49 worth of work hours off of their rent.”

Work hours include activities like mowing the lawn, painting the house and changing batteries in the smoke alarms.

“The co-op gives members the opportunity to take pride in their home and be a part of a proactive organization in a small town,” Plumley said. “We are looking to serve a bigger population and expand soon, too.”

Miranda Zoloty is a commuter and apartment life reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].