Shrapnel from the city of Houston makes up the kitchen of a weird old house in the Third Ward. Wall tiles come from a torn-down property, and the countertops are thick oak doors that once swung at the Houston Ballet. Jay Blazek Crossley is dicing a small mountain of onions on the doors, helping prepare the nightly vegetarian dinner that feeds him and his ten housemates.
Not that any of them are vegetarians. It’s just that it’s part of their lease agreement that any food bought with pooled money be vegetarian.
That same lease agreement also is the impetus for the worms out back that feed on the chest-high heap of compost, and the rainwater tank that powers the house’s four toilets. The landlord requires each tenant to sign a pledge promising to reduce his or her carbon footprint while living in this house.
This is Houston’s first housing co-op: a community under one roof where members share resources and labor for the good of the environment, their social lives and their bank accounts. They cook and clean for each other. They fight with each other. At the end of the day, they come home to each other — and try not to sleep together.
Full Story: Our HAUS
Source: Houston Press, July 6, 2011