CoopNet

Team Members: Aaron Scherf, Ramsay Boly, Jinsu Elhance, Cara Wolfe
School: UC Berkeley

CoopNet’s vision is to create a digital financing model for shared housing, leveraging the community activation of crowdfunding to bring together residents and investors who believe in the virtues of cooperative living. Not only would such an online platform provide a legal, regulated, and contractually sound method for cooperatives to access financing, it offers the flexibility needed to scale across different property types and urban markets. Every cooperative housing venture financed via CoopNet would create immediate and lasting benefits for local communities: reducing overall housing costs, offering an alternative and communal style of living, and creating opportunities for residents to shape their communities rather than depending on governments, banks, or real estate developers. By June 2020, CoopNet plans to facilitate the formation of approximately 14 cooperative housing units, connecting over 70 local residents, and saving residents an estimated $320,000 in cumulative housing costs, with greater savings expected as the co-ops continue and CoopNet expands.