Joining Maitri House

[updated Feb 2017]

Maitri House has openings! We’re welcoming new members to join our semi-urban intentional community in Takoma Park, Maryland. Individuals, partners, and families are all welcome to explore joining our community. We encourage those who might be interested in joining our community now or in the future to start getting to know us sooner rather than later.

About the Community:
More than a group house, Maitri House is a 10-year-old intentional community and housing coop that is collectively owned. Our purpose is to be a supportive, connected, multigenerational, and family-friendly community that enjoys living together. We strive to live more sustainably and to act with concern for the well-being of people and the planet. We currently have 8 people and 2 cats (who only live in the basement) in the community. We are looking to add a few more people and are open to additional animals.

We have shared dinners several nights a week and spend time together often. Interests held by more than one person in the house include gardening and fruit trees, contra dancing, Buddhism and meditation, society and social change, communication and relationships, animals and ecology, philosophy, puzzles and strategic games, emotional intimacy, science, and systems of oppression.

The house is a four-story, brick building with 11 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a spacious kitchen and dining room, living room, an office, and a large balcony for outdoor lounging. Our yard features garden plots and fruit trees for home-grown food, outdoors swings, a large bike and tool shed, and multiple clotheslines. Our house is located within walking distance of a food co-op, restaurants, a year-round farmers market, and the Takoma Metro station on the red line (0.9 mile away).

We developed a co-ownership model that makes it possible to buy-in or develop equity over time in the legal entity that owns the building. We use a values-based consensus approach to group decision-making. Read more about our shared values here.

What we look for:
Below is a list of qualities we value in housemates, understanding that there’s room for differences in interpretation. If any of the points concern you or you’d like to know what we understand a certain point to mean, please let us know.

We’re looking for someone who (please consider each point):
– Will prioritize being in compassionate, authentic, and warm relationships with one another and is willing to actively invest time and effort towards that priority;
– is interested in sharing meals and spending quality time together regularly, and enjoys simply hanging out with housemates;
– strongly considers the social and environmental impact of their choices;
– wants our group choices to consider social and environmental impact;
– actively seeks to learn more about systems of oppression and how they play out intrapersonally, interpersonally, culturally, and systemically;
– can prioritize house meetings (3 per month) and engage cooperatively in consensus decision-making;
– can reliably do roughly 5 hours a week of community service (e.g. cooking, cleaning, emptying the dishwasher);
– keeps community spaces pleasant, clean, safe, and inviting places to live;
– doesn’t use illegal drugs or drink heavily or frequently (people who smoke are asked to do so off the property);
– is willing to learn and share methods for improving relationships, resolving conflict, and building community (e.g. nonviolent communication, cooperative dialogue, restorative justice practices);
– can live without harmful synthetic chemicals and fragrances (this means avoiding products with the ingredient “fragrance”); and
– enjoys kids and wants to be part of their lives.

Basically, we’re looking for not just a housemate, but someone who is interested in being a community member, someone who aims to build close, warm relationships with fellow community members and contribute in some way to the world at large.

We have two cats who live only in the basement, thus maintaining a main floor accessible to people with allergies. As for new companion animals, a cat or dog might be possible.

We welcome prospective community members of any ability, age, background, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, race, or sexual orientation to explore joining our community. Disability is a very diverse identity group, and our community may work well for people with some disabilities and not well for others. For two examples, we have one community member with profound developmental differences, and at the same time, sadly, our home is not wheelchair-accessible. You are welcome to ask about the demographics of our house, which change from time to time.

About the Rooms Available

  • A very large 2nd-floor corner room facing southwest. The room is a large doublet (has a smaller room accessible only from the larger room). The outer room is L-shaped and measures about 13.5′ x 18′, part of which is cut into by the smaller room, which measures about 8.5’x6′. The occupancy cost is $950/mo for 1 occupant.
  • Another very large 2nd-floor corner room facing northwest. The room is a large doublet (has a smaller room accessible only from the larger room). The outer room is L-shaped and measures about 13.5′ x 18′, part of which is cut into by the smaller room, which measures about 8.5’x6′. The occupancy cost is $950/mo for 1 occupant.
  • A large 3rd-floor corner room facing southwest. The room is a large doublet (has a smaller room accessible only from the larger room). The room is about 13.5′ x 13′ with a dormer, a closet and two storage areas. The occupancy cost is $850/mo for 1 occupant.

Open in May:

  • A medium-sized main-floor room facing southwest. Measuring about 13’x11′ with a large closet. The occupancy cost is $700/month for 1 occupant.

Additional Costs:
All utilities, including high-speed internet, are included in the room cost. There is also a community fund ($120/mo for adults and $50/mo for children) that covers an abundance of vegan food, laundry supplies, and cleaning supplies. It is entirely possible to eat very well without spending any additional money on food.

There is an additional cost of $75 per month per additional occupant older than 2 years old.

Lastly, we ask for a security deposit equivalent to one month’s room fee, which functions as an initial equity investment into the co-ownership structure.

If you’re interested in exploring joining us:
We encourage those who might be interested in joining our community now or in the future to start getting to know us sooner rather than later.

In our experience, the process to be accepted as a community member can take a month or longer. If that doesn’t work with your timeframe, you probably want to prioritize other housing options.

Please read this whole ad and the Home and Purpose pages on our website at maitrihouse.org. Then email ryan[at]notjustskin.org with this information:

1) a few sentences about yourself,
2) what draws you to want to explore living with us,
3) when you’re looking to join and how long you’re interested in.

Please feel free to ask any questions. We’ll share our document of intention, which lays out many of our shared agreements and practices around living together, and other core documents about our community. We will then schedule in-person visits, or Skype meetings if the former is not possible. If it’s logistically possible, we prefer to arrange a visitor stay of a week or more to have a better sense of what it would be like to live together.

If you’d like to explore joining our community in the future, you can start getting to know us now by joining us for dinner sometime and/or by joining our events and announcements email list and attending a house event. Write to ryan[at]notjustskin.org for either.

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