The California Drought. Immanent Runaway Climate Change. Record economic disparity. It’s getting real in this Whole Foods Parking lot called earth. How
What. As we define it, coliving is a modern form of community housing designed to support a purpose-driven and shared lifestyle. Residents unite around common interests, values, and intentions to collaboratively manage a space, share resources, and support one another.
Why. The purpose of coliving is to create a home environment for members, guests, and the extended community alike that:
Who. Coliving is for people who want to live with greater intention, mindfulness, and purpose. For people who value authentic human connection, learning, and personal growth, and who want to be part of creating something bigger than themselves. Our members include creative professionals, artists, makers, entrepreneurs, healers, teachers, adventurers, activists, and more – diverse people from all walks of life that share a desire to live with greater purpose, creativity and connection.
What we Value. We are exploring new ways of living and creating home together. Through this process, we have come to value:
More information on Coliving
Who We Are. We are a social enterprise that exists to support and expand community living through the development and management of coliving homes. As one of the founders of the modern coliving movement, our mission is to enable people to live with more creativity, collaboration and purpose, and we are building a national network of coliving spaces. Additionally, we are a public benefit corporation, meaning our social mission is codified in our core legal structure. We are driven by a vision that’s bigger than just coliving – one that’s about the future of resilient cities, strong social fabric, and sustainable lifestyles.
Why OpenDoor? OpenDoor is an invitation to “live better together” by living in community. We believe in community as a way to live happier, healthier lives; to live in greater alignment with our values; and to live more sustainably. We believe community is our native “habitat” as a species, having evolved in tribes and villages, and that many issues in our modern society stem the feeling of isolation, disconnection, and loneliness.
Our Origin Story. OpenDoor was started in 2013 by Ben Provan and Jay Standish. We met in our social impact-focused MBA program and quickly discovered a shared passion for community. Our capstone project was called the Sandbox House, our first coliving property and testing ground for many of the ideas of OpenDoor. The overwhelming interest and response we received for the project inspired us to launch OpenDoor. Since inception, Ben and Jay have lived in coliving and currently live at Euclid Manor.
What’s Next. We now have 3 properties in the Bay Area, and are opening up 8 more both in the Bay and in Portland over the next 18 months. Since our founding, we have helped popularize coliving as major social movement and emerging real estate product. Yet as we’ve grown, it has become clear that there are major barriers to the expansion of the community-driven housing – from finance to real estate development and city planning code. We are hard at work breaking down these barriers so that community living can grow into a major housing and lifestyle option for people around the world.
Overview. Our aim is to facilitate unique, authentic communities in each of our coliving spaces. We partner closely with our members to co-create a healthy house culture and shared sense of identity, purpose, and ownership in each of our spaces. We provide the basic framework and members bring it to life with their passion, vision and ideas. We believe this is fundamental to making authentic communities, as well as encouraging diverse culture and membership in our homes.
OpenDoor’s Role. We have learned a lot over the years about how to curate and manage community living homes, and aim to pass on those learnings to our communities. Our primary goal is to minimize the potential points of friction with shared living, while maximizing its benefit. As property manager, we handle basic items such as leasing, billing, payments, utilities services, and repairs. As community facilitator, we provide a structure and process for members to create their community agreements, systems, and culture. This includes:
Your Role. As a member of one of our homes, you are part of OpenDoor as well. We are excited to have you on this journey with us! We are a highly collaborative organization and strive to build close relationships with all of our stakeholders. As a learning organization, we are not presenting a polished product but rather a platform on which we can all learn and create together. We invite our members to take a stance of co-creation with us – which includes offering constructive feedback and experimenting with new and better ways of doing things in their communities. We look forward to working together to improve the experience for your house, other houses, and future projects to come!
The Coliving Experience. Living in an OpenDoor home can be an inspiring and enriching experience. For many, it is one of the most impactful periods of their lives: a time of personal growth, of making lasting friendships, and of being part of something bigger than yourself.
An Invitation. While OpenDoor holds the overall process, we invite members to generate participation and value for themselves in the following ways:
Coliving Membership. Over the years, we have learned best-practices for living in a shared home. As such, we set up clear community rules, agreements and policies in each of our homes, codified in our community Membership Agreement. Each resident signs a Membership Agreement with OpenDoor that grants access to their private room, common areas and furnishings, and OpenDoor’s member services.
Common Furnishings & Housewares. The common areas in our houses are beautifully furnished with furniture, kitchenwares, and housewares for use by all members. OpenDoor collaborates with founding members of each house to purchase items that are unique to each home.
100% Digital Billing, Payments, and Leasing. We have set up a convenient online billing system to eliminate much of the headache of splitting the costs of living together. We provide a single bill each month that covers the membership fee, utilities, and house fund contributions. Members pay electronically through our online system (Bill.com), with free ACH transfer from their bank account (no checks or credit cards accepted). Additionally, we require everyone select the autopay feature, for both their convenience and ours. We want our collective attention on building an amazing community together, and not on chasing down late payments.
Business-class Internet and Wifi. Each of our houses is set up with high-speed, business-class wireless internet throughout the property.
Utility & Cleaning Services. We manage all utility services on behalf of members, collecting monthly utility payments from members. Utility charges are based on average usage amounts, which will periodically be adjusted to cover actual usage. Utilities include gas, electricity, water / sewage, garbage, high-speed internet, and periodic cleanings.
Shared Chores. Members are responsible for the day-to-day management of their home. This includes basic cleaning of common areas & bathrooms, tidying of the kitchen, and taking out the garbage. OpenDoor provides members with resources & training for a successful shared chore system.
Shared Food Program & Community Dinners. Shared meals are the lifeblood of community, while shared groceries are a major cost saving & convenient opportunity. All of our homes have a shared food program managed by the members. This includes a food fund for collective food purchases and weekly community dinners. Members get to select their monthly budget, purchases, and dinner schedule. OpenDoor manages the monthly payments collections and provides resources & training for a successful food program.
Events & Gatherings. An important and fun part of coliving culture is the hosting of events, gatherings, and community dinners. Houses typically host a myriad of fun and inspiring events, including dinner salons, house concerts, skillshares, meditations and more. Members should expect periodic events in their homes by fellow members, and are encouraged to both host and attend these events. OpenDoor offers support and best practices in event planning and hosting.
Community Workshops. We facilitate community workshops and trainings that help build strong relationships, shared vision, and agreements within our communities. While most of these happen in the startup phase of a coliving house, we do provide periodic workshops to continue to support our communities.
Slack Community Workspace. We set up a Slack workspace for each of our communities. This serves as an online and mobile platform for easy communication and collaboration within the community. Additionally, it serves as a convenient customer service channel for reaching OpenDoor with any property or community issues.
The full details of our community policies and agreements can be found in your Membership Agreement. However, below is a highlight of some of the more important and commonly asked ones.
Repairs & Maintenance. Making maintenance requests is simple. Just go to our website www.opendoor.io/repairs, and fill out the form. You’ll hear back from us within two business days with a plan of action for the repair. As a general rule of thumb, the person who submits the request is the point person for that repair going forward.
New Member Selection. Members are responsible for selecting new housemates when a room turns over. OpenDoor works with members to share openings via our collective networks, and supports with the overall application and selection process. If the members do not fill the vacancy in a timely manner, OpenDoor reserves the right to find a new Member for the room and will do their best to find a good match.
2 Months’ Notice Policy. We require two full months’ notice prior to moving out, which must be given before the 1st of the month. This is to allow sufficient time to select the new Member. There is a lot involved in finding and selecting a new Member, and the process typically takes up to two months.
Termination by Supermajority. Members are accountable to one another to be great housemates and to nurture a positive, healthy house culture. To empower members to self-regulate their culture and membership, each member agrees to allow a supermajority of other members to vote them out. This is meant to be used only if a member no longer has a positive relationship with their fellow housemates.
Guests. Overnight guests are allowed in only in your private room. For the comfort of the community as a whole, we do not allow overnight guests to sleep in common areas.
Subletting. We generally discourage subletting, as it adds complexity to the community dynamic. However, we do allow it under very specific guidelines, with prior approval by both OpenDoor and fellow members.
We empower houses to have strong levels of participation and creative freedom in many aspects of the community, including selecting new members, defining the house culture, and designing internal house systems & agreements. As such, some responsibilities live with OpenDoor, some directly with members, and some are shared between both. We’ve found it useful to clarify these upfront:
Jump into our Community Guide to learn more about setting up a thriving community and house culture. It includes useful resources and tools for running a successful coliving home.
Five to ten days before your move-in date, you will receive your first monthly invoice. It will include your membership fee, utilities, room share (if applicable), and shared food program payment. Please pay this prior to your move-in date.
We require that OpenDoor Members have renters insurance while living in one of our properties. We believe this is in the best interest for our members as it ensures that you are protecting the things that are important to you and your community. Luckily we’ve partnered with a company named Jetty to make signing up a breeze. You can protect all of your things from threats like fire and theft, and protection is global. So whether you are at home, skiing in the Sierras, or backpacking in Bali, your items are insured. Learn more at www.jetty.com and go to www.jetty.com/opendoor to sign-up.
We’d love to meet you and get to know you better as the newest member of our community. To accommodate busy schedules and long commutes, this will be a virtual meeting via video conference. This is also a great time to address any questions you might have, as we will briefly review some of our core policies and expectations. To set something up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your general availability.
Let us know the condition of your room upon move-in, which will help us when we eventually process your security deposit return (upon move-out).
Congratulations on being invited to live in an OpenDoor community! The next steps will help to secure your spot:
New OpenDoor residents will be invited to a house-specific slack account. Email email@example.com if you haven’t yet recieved your invitation
1) Internal communication among community members (OpenDoor will not be on the channels where most of this happens to protect your privacy) and
2) A direct line of communication to OpenDoor (via the #opendoor_chat channel).
A team is a group of people that use Slack to communicate (aka the Bryce St community). Your Slack workspace is the digital space you and your teammates (housemates) share to communicate.
Your Slack workspace is comprised of channels. You’ll use channels to hold most of your conversations with other members. They can be organized around anything — events, food, plants — and you can create as many as you need. We went ahead and created some channels in your workspace, but again, feel free to add new ones as you need them!
In addition to using channels to communicate, you can send direct messages to other members. This can be used for a private conversation between 2 or more people.
Check out this article for more info about getting started.
Food and shared meals are a central part of living in community. A core part of OpenDoor’s coliving program is our Shared Food Program, which provides shared groceries and regular community dinners to Members. This program makes it easy to share a single kitchen between many people and to cook meals together, while also reducing food costs through bulk purchases. This policy is designed to provide clear expectations and procedures for Members participating in the Shared Food Program.
The Household is required to have a Shared Food Program that each Member pays into monthly. This program includes shared groceries and regular community dinners. OpenDoor manages the collection of Shared Food Program payments and transfers them to a Member-managed House Fund. The Household is required to maintain a shared account that serves as the House Fund. The monthly contribution amount is set by the Household must be equal for each Member.
Members self-manage the selection and purchasing of groceries, as well as the cooking of meals through meal shifts. OpenDoor provides members with basic tools for coordinating meal shifts and grocery purchases and works closely with them to set up the Shared Food Program. Additionally, the Household is required to designate one person as the Food Manager, who is in charge of the House Fund and Shared Food Program. In practice, this role is typically shared between multiple Members, but we require one person to be designated as our official point of contact for the Shared Food Program. The role is a typically a volunteer role, though can be paid out of the monthly food collections if decided on by Members.
An important part of OpenDoor’s coliving program is our House Fund Program, which provides a system for collecting funds from each member which are used for common household purchases. The majority of these funds are used for the Shared Food Program, which provides shared groceries and regular community dinners to Members. This program makes it easy to share a single kitchen between many people and to cook meals together, while also reducing food costs through bulk purchases. OpenDoor handles all of the monthly billing to aggregate funds from each Member. The Community Finance Manager is a dedicated member of the community who is responsible for managing the House Fund account.Note: Households also have a Food Manager, and in some cases, the Food Manager and Finance Manager are the same person.
The House Fund System has the following features:
Every OpenDoor house will have a designated Finance Manager. More information can be found below in the Fiance Manager Agreement
An important part of OpenDoor’s coliving program is our House Fund Program, which provides a system for collecting funds from each member which are used for common household purchases. The majority of these funds are used for the Shared Food Program, which provides shared groceries and regular community dinners to Members. This program makes it easy to share a single kitchen between many people and to cook meals together, while also reducing food costs through bulk purchases. While OpenDoor handles all of the monthly billing to aggregate funds from each Member, it is important that we have a dedicated member of the community who is responsible for managing the House Fund account. Note: Households also have a Food Manager, and in some cases, the Food Manager and Finance Manager are the same person.
The Community Finance Manager must be a resident of the community, serving as OpenDoor’s dedicated point person for all matters related to the House Fund and Shared Food Program. Specific responsibilities are as follows:
At-Will. OpenDoor may choose to change or remove the Community Finance Manager from their role at any point and at their sole discretion.
This policy is designed to provide clear expectations and procedures for Members subletting their private room, so as to protect Members, Households, and OpenDoor from potential upset and/or unintended consequences.
Members may only sublease or assign their Private Room with prior consent from the entire Household. Subletting is the full responsibility of the Member, not OpenDoor nor other Members. Members must adhere to the following rules:
Sublease Agreement (Canopy – Temporary)