Solar Community Housing Association
Solar Community Housing Association (SCHA) is a non-profit that has provided affordable, sustainable, and cooperative housing in Davis, California since 1979. SCHA is governed by its resident members (~90) and is comprised of three cooperative houses (Sunwise, J Street, and the Cornucopia Corner Co-op) along with two student co-housing communities on the UC Davis campus (the Baggins End Domes and Tri Co-op Houses) that we lease from the University. Over the last five years, SCHA has experienced rapid growth and expansion and is currently working on integrating a set of social justice goals to ensure its communities are more inclusive, equitable, and just.
"SCHA is committed to providing low-income cooperative housing that works to confront and critique systems of oppression through ecological awareness, inclusive self-governance and alternative economic models."
SCHA cooperatives are shared, living-learning spaces that empower residents to educate themselves, organize, and inspire community. SCHA holds the following values:
Striving to create a radically empathetic, inclusive, safer space, we are passionately collaborative, invested in systems of support and cooperation, acknowledging and welcoming the lived experiences of every generation/age of person, and accessible in the way we share resources, engage in communities, and democratize knowledge. We focus on the process of asking for and communicating consent, working through disagreements with mediation, and communicating our wants with respect and compassion.
As a non-hierarchical, self-governing organization, we are committed to developing leadership through empowerment and shared responsibility. We acknowledge that power and leadership can take many forms. We work to identify, encourage, and support leadership in traditionally marginalized and disinvested communities. We create processes for transferring skills and knowledge over time and engaging/integrating new members. We do this because we know that fairly distributing power organizationally requires making great effort to counter systemic privilege and inequitable distribution of resources.
Social and Economic Justice
As institutions that assert the maxim "living and learning", SCHA cooperatives seek to confront oppression and hierarchies that exist mutually outside of and within our homes. We specifically acknowledge the prevalence of white supremacy, both within the organization and without, with the hope of dismantling it. In this way, we are a community committed to collective liberation. We encourage educational programs, foster an awareness of climate change, and other mediums of sharing knowledge. We strive to empower one another as co-inhabitants and workers, and we work together to create a safer open space that nurtures dialogue about social and economic justice. We support sustainable economic models that are community-based and respect the inherent worth of people and ecosystems. We constantly strive to acknowledge the privilege we hold as a community of mostly settlers, and the colonization and ongoing genocide of Native Americans we are inherently complicit in.
We strive for an active awareness of the land and resources we occupy, as an establishment mostly comprised of settlers on this land. We actively encourage sustainable relationships between people and the land. We work towards low-impact, environmentally conscious lifestyles and designs. In hoping to maintain a conscious engagement with colonized land and racist food systems, we try to source our produce locally as well as grow our own food.