2018 Membership Drive!

We launched our 2018 Membership Campaign at the beginning of February. It is a new year and that means new dues! Invoices for 2018 Membership will be emailed soon!

Did you know that not only can your cooperative support the movement with your organizational membership, but we also offer individual membership starting at $50.00 per year. This is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of cooperatives one member at a time.

There are many opportunities in the year ahead and we would hate for you to miss a minute of it. If you are interested in becoming an individual member, please click here to join or contact us by emailing board@acba.coop.

Treasure City Thrift, a worker-run thrift store

Guest blogger, Siyolo Ndika

Treasure City Thrift, a worker-run thrift store, started as an all  volunteer-based collective to fund community organizations like the Inside Books Project (IBP),which sends books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Currently, we promote sustainability and zero-waste efforts to lessen our carbon footprint on this sacred planet and to educate our community on how to do the same.

As a donation based thrift store, located in the heart of the city’s eastside neighborhood, we are able to be in solidarity with over 20 local grassroots organizations through financial and material support such as shopping nights where 100% of sales during the event  go to a monthly designated group such as Challenger Street Newspaper this February. Other efforts include continuously collecting art supplies for Puro-Chingon Art Collective or cycling items to support the Yellow Bike Project. Other groups we stand in solidarity with include Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, Black Sovereign Nation, Youth Rise Texas and many others who address local political, health, and cultural issues in Austin.

Stand in solidarity with us and support our community! A couple things to be on the lookout for include:

Our monthly 25 cent sale: February 17th, March 17th, April 21st from 11am-5pm

Really Really Free Market: February 25th, March 25th, April 29th from 1-3pm at Chestnut Park

Shopping Night: Challenger Street Newspaper: on February 22nd from 7-9pm

Bikes Across Borders: on April 6th from 7-9pm


What’s next with CodeNext?: Paving the way for Austin housing co-ops

Remind me — what is CodeNEXT?


CodeNEXT is the City of Austin’s initiative to revise the Land Development Code, which determines how land can be used throughout the city — including what can be built, where it can be built, and how much can (and cannot) be built.


What’s the issue for co-ops?


If hearing “Land Development Code” makes your eyes glaze, consider this — the 2nd draft (released Sept 15) would greatly restrict where new housing co-ops could be established, and would strip the “co-op” status from over 90% of existing cooperative housing.

How could CodeNEXT be altered to help co-ops?


The folks at the ACBA are working hard to lobby for more co-op-friendly conditions in CodeNEXT. The changes they are proposing for the 3rd draft include:


  • #1 - Improving the land use definition of “cooperative” - The current definition limits co-ops to properties with 3 or more separate units, which would exclude the many co-ops that are in large, single households.

  • #2 - Allow co-ops by Minor Use Permits (MUP) in R zones -  This would allow co-ops in most, if not all, neighborhoods around Austin.

  • #3 - Allow higher occupancy limits - Under the current draft, the maximum number of people allowed to live in a single housing unit in most zones is 4.

  • #4 - Allow co-ops in R zones to have more flexible development standards  - This would allow cooperatives to be bigger, have several attached units, and have more lenient requirements for parking and open spaces.

  • #5 - Incentive the redevelopment of older apartment buildings into co-ops - Co-ops can be a great way to preserve older apartment buildings in a more tenant-friendly fashion (e.g. La Reunion in North Austin). However, bringing them up to code can be cost-prohibitive, so partially relaxing these requirements would give more co-ops a chance of forming.


How can I help?


There are many stakeholders in the CodeNEXT negotiations, so it’s important that co-opers have a strong voice if we hope to pave a promising future for Austin co-ops. Here are some ways to stay in the loop and support the cause:


  • Most Importantly: Comment on (or upvote!) on the CodeNEXT website to support the allowance of co-ops in more areas of Austin. Comments for this current draft are open thru Oct 31st. For more detailed instructions, check out the end of this blog post!

  • Sign up to be a CodeNEXT organizer to stay in the loop and hear of future volunteer opportunities. All backgrounds and levels of time commitment welcome!

  • Contact the Planning Commission and let them know that you want fair development rights for co-ops in Austin through the changes listed above. Not sure who to call? Click the link below to find out who represents you on City Council, and then check who your Commissioner is here.

  • Contact your city council member’s office and let them know, too. Not sure who represents your house? Find out here.

  • Talk about CodeNEXT with your fellow co-opers! Share this info with your friends on social media, send it out on your email list, bring it up at dinner, or put it on the agenda for your next meeting.

  • Hold a letter-writing event or comment party at your house where your members are encouraged to get together and write letters to the CAG and your city council members. If you're not sure where to start, get in touch with us and we'll give you everything you need to become a Co-opNEXT organizer.

  • Subscribe to the ACBA email list for more updates and opportunities for action!


What’s the timeline for this whole process?


The current CodeNEXT timeline is as follows:

  • Oct 31, 2017 - deadline for public comment on the 2nd draft of CodeNEXT

  • End of November, 2017 - the expected release date of the 3rd draft of CodeNEXT

  • Feb, 2018 - Council begins deliberation on the final iteration of CodeNEXT

  • April, 2018 - Council votes on CodeNEXT


Keep an eye on ACBA social media to stay up-to-date on all things CodeNEXT. Remember, the last time the Land Development Code was overhauled was nearly thirty years ago — who knows when we’ll get another chance to improve conditions for Austin co-ops!


Instructions for Commenting on CodeNEXT.

  1. Go to the online commentable text and create an account.
  2. To comment on the  recommendation #1 improve the definition go to 23-2M -2030
  3. Recommendation #2 allow Coops in R zones by MUP. Found in section 23-4D-2030(B) and (C). On the top left make sure the Current Section drop down is on Section D.  
  4. Recomendation #3 The sections dealing with Occupancy limits is 23-4E-7040. Make sure Current Section drop down is on Section E.  
  5. Recommendation #4 is found in  23-4E-6 and Recommendation #5 23-2G-1050, but we need to work out the specifics. Feel free to review and provide feedback.

Cash for Coops: Funding for Your Cooperative

Cash for Coops: Funding for Your Cooperative

There is lots of funding for cooperatives out there, but is your cooperative taking advantage of these opportunities? This update explains some of the funding available for cooperatives located in Central Texas, discovered through research done by members of the Austin Cooperative Business Association. Keep reading for a brief explanation of specific funds and how to find out more information about them.