Photos courtesy of UCD Student Housing






We are always accepting new applications ! More info at


The Tri-Cooperatives (more commonly known as the Tri Co-ops) are an on-campus student housing association providing affordable, cooperative housing to low-income students as well as students seeking housing that fosters educational and personal growth as instrumental components of safe and comfortable living. The community is comprised of three houses: Davis Student Co-op (DSC), Pierce, and Agrarian Effort (Ag), which regularly house 12-15 students during the academic year. The houses operate by consensus and collective action as independent entities as well as a community. Together, we stand by four community agreements:

1. At the Tri-Coops we are actively working to create a space where we feel physically and emotionally comfortable, respected, and safe from oppressive forces.

2. This is a learning space: We are working together to unlearn oppressive behaviors; we embrace some level of discomfort in this process but are creating a space for everyone to take initiative to learn.

3. We strive to improve our community and uphold the community agreements in the form of conversations, workshops, or community projects.

4. These community agreements are yours; re-agree upon them at the first Tri-Coop meeting of the year. Change and modify them as needed via the consensus process.

All this being said, the experience of living at the Tri-Cooperatives changes with each generation, shifts with each new quarter. Our community agreements are subject to change, but the basis of our community relies on acceptance rather than tolerance, as well as continuous communication and interest in living cooperatively. The expectations of communication and acceptance are meant to help us in unlearning our oppressive behaviors and foster community-building. 


Tri Co-op Promo Video!


Who lives here?

Individuals of diverse races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, faiths, sexualities, survivor statuses, accessibility needs, and ages compose the population at the Co-ops. Although we do embrace some level of discomfort in unlearning oppressive behaviors (please see community agreements), there is no room for racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, orientalism, ableism, sizeism, ageism, or cultural appropriation

We acknowledge that not everyone has been exposed to this terminology; however, we seek to cultivate a culture of self-education in this community. Additionally, not everyone has the same connotations with these terms and we encourage people to recognize the existence of multiple experiences.  Click links for various definitions of these terms:

cultural appropriation





multiple "isms"

Rent + Board

Rent and board are two separate payments each month, where rent is a fixed amount paid to SCHA, and board is made out to the house the individual lives in, and the board amount varies from house to house, with a total amount typically between $540 and $570 per month (for example, rent is $440, and one house sets board at $110, making the total $550 per month) . Please keep in mind that this is an affordable housing community, so we have payment plans available.  Rent and board covers:

  • all utilities (internet, water, trash, electrical, etc.)

  • basic foods (veggies, spices, flour, rice, beans, milk, and miscellaneous)

  • cleaning supplies/household necessities (brooms, rags, soap, detergent, etc.)

  • garden supplies (shovels, rakes, seeds, etc.)

  • social fund (house trips, party supplies)

Additionally, the houses have accumulated tools (wrenches, hammers, nails, etc.) and furniture, so incoming residents need not worry about having these things. Bedrooms come with a mattress (usually with a bed frame or box spring), dresser, clothes hangers, and some rooms have desks. Our kitchens have pots, pans, plates, bowls, some tupperware and jars, and silverware. We buy toilet paper as a house. We have couches, dining tables, wifi, a printer, and a washing machine (no dryer, we hang dry). You do not need to bring any of these items if you do not want to. 

Incoming residents will need to bring linens, pillows, towels, personal toiletries, clothes, a bike + bike lock (strongly recommended, and we may have bikes around to lend), school supplies (we do have a number of textbooks around too on our bookshelves), and any personal items you may want to bring.

More to know about us!

Thank you for your interest in the Tri-Cooperatives!

While our rent fluctuates and varies from house to house, it usually sits around $550, which covers food, utilities, and social costs. The Tri-cooperatives were first and foremost founded upon affordable housing--we cook and clean together as well as manage our own garden to try to eliminate extra spending that perpetuates capitalism and racist food systems. Because we are considered affordable housing, we prioritize low income students.

It is important to note that cooperatives are an alternative housing arrangement. We acknowledge it may be unusual or challenging at first. We expect an interest or commitment in cooperative living from applicants. This is more than simply a place to sleep. We want to stress this part. We like to see applicants who are committed to being a part of, and working with, a community. One of the systems we operate under is consensus, which entails weekly meetings with your house and monthly meetings with all three houses. In these meetings, we discuss and vote on matters that might have any effects on our housemates or community members, such as workshops, anti-oppression, conflict resolution, gardening, altering community spaces, etc.

If this sounds like a community you think you are interested in contributing to and growing in, or would like to learn more, please come by during your visit to Davis for a dinner, Sunday through Thursday at 7pm. Feel free to email us with anymore questions.

    All the Tri Co-op houses:


                 Agrarian Effort:


Information on our application process


1.  Fill out the Universal Application, making sure to specify which house(s) within SCHA and the Tri-Cooperatives you are interested in:


2. Schedule an interview with the individual houses, which will be set up via email

         Interviews are usually done during house meetings on Mondays starting at 8pm. They are about 20 minutes and are a great time to get to know the people within each house, and for the houses to get to know you! If you are not in Davis we can do phone and/or Skype interviews. In order to be prepared for interviews please fill out the application and send it in before your scheduled interview so that co-opers can read the application to be prepared. Also come with questions about co-op living, concerns, intrigues, and honesty :)
         After you have your interview, each of the houses will eventually get back to you on whether or not you have been accepted to live in the house.

3. Come by for dinners, parties, and garden parties!

         If you are in Davis and are able to come by, please do! It helps our applicant process to be able to meet you in person or hang out in a relaxed setting. We have communal/potluck dinners Sunday through Thursday at 7pm. We have occasional parties and garden work parties, so ask us when the next one is if you want to be involved or come by. 

Also here is a resource for information about what a Safe Space is: Safe Space Guidelines.pdf




The gardens

The large Co-op community garden

The people

Thanksgiving 2012Thanksgiving 2008Thanksgiving 2007



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2007-11-02 11:31:30   I plan on updating this incredibly outdated page. -DSCr —DerekDowney

2008-03-17 23:08:18   there's lots of fresh, delicious looking red swiss chard growing on the bike path side of the garden right now. everytime i bike by i just want to sit down right there and have some greens. —MiranPark

2009-10-25 20:15:49   The WEF mailing list just sent out a letter stating that Student Housing wants to shut down one of the houses for budgetary reasons. The content of the letter can be read here. —EliseKane

2009-10-25 21:10:08   If the students who are living in a dormitory or co-op are the ones paying for it, how can something be closed for budgetary reasons? I know the dorms are in no way a good deal for students if you look at similar rooms or apartments in the area ( ), so unless UC Davis is paying extra to ostensibly show how environmentally-oriented the campus is, closing the co-ops for budgetary reason is utter nonsense. —hankim

I have been told by some (although I do not have first-hand knowledge of this) that student housing is a "revenue unit," a unit of student affairs that is intentionally run at a healthy profit margin to subsidize the rest of student affairs. If the tri-coops aren't that profitable for student housing to run, they may not want to deal with it.

That makes sense, although it sounds a bit cold coming from an organization that is supposed to be helping people. Anyway, apartment complexes in the area are charging a lot less while making enough profit to bother staying in business in the area so the profit margins coming from the dorms must be quite ridiculous (especially with a monopoly on freshmen). —hankim

I think you're assuming a much larger profit margin from the dorms than reality. As an aside, freshman can opt out of the dorms pretty easily. -ES

I do so because with how much one pays for a shared room, you could get your own room and still have money left over. —hankim

Right, but the situation is completely incomparable. Most apartment complexes have one or two people manning the 'office' and a couple handymen. Utilities and benefits are paid for by renters. The dorms on the other hand require a fleet of custodial workers, not to mention paid RA's and supervisors. Supplies (soap, paper towels, toilet paper, seat covers, etc) are required in massive bulk. Even resource usage is different (people have no qualms about running the AC 24/7 for months in the dorms, whereas they wouldn't want to pay that powerbill if they rented). etc, etc. There's a whole lot of factors involved just with budgeting (not even looking at convenience of living on campus or other relative value). In my opinion, simply looking at rent price versus room size cannot be a fair assessment at all. There's quite a big difference between apartment complexes and the dorms. And hey, it could surely go the other way, and despite the massive upkeep required by dorms, they might indeed still profit. But without really looking at the numbers.... -ES

I lived in Cuarto so the cleaning, toilet paper, and whatever else the other dorms offer the residents had to buy. I believe the price is the same though. Residential Advisers are paid with a free room and a meal plan I believe. The air conditioning also can only change the temperature a few degrees, and even running the air conditioner often in a larger three bedroom apartment might run about eighty dollars a month (and this is if you have the temperature set ten degrees lower than what you can in the dorms). And the only actual additional upkeep in non-suite dorms probably is cleaning the restrooms. —hankim

2009-10-25 21:56:44   This could be because it has a mandate to house more people than it did before. Or it could be that it wants to turn the co-ops into dorms that it gets more money from. Or both. —IDoNotExist

I wonder if students will get to see the benefits if the school is doing this because of the opportunity cost. —hankim

2015-05-19 00:46:52   I have a question about the ag effort! If someone could please reply to my comment as soon as possible that would be great! Thank you! —1975savannah

2016-08-08 11:08:41   This page completely misrepresents the tri co-ops. There is virtually no garden minus a few volunteer squash plants. The original garden shown in the pictures here has been completely taken over by very large weeds. There are no chickens anymore, and while there are bees still, no one knows how to safely harvest the honey. The actual houses are covered in decades of filth because the residents do not clean it before handing it over to the next year's residents. The page advertises that they are flexible on rent but realistically this means that the house fills up with significant others that live there for free. The non-judgment policy induces odd behavior like overnight intruders and a house full of random pets in various states of health that previous residents have abandoned. The food is purchased communally and must cater to the combined dietary needs of all of the housemates which realistically means that you will have to eat vegan curry almost every night, and the ingredients must be purchased from the co-op grocer where it is the most expensive. There is no HVAC system. You must share the tiny bedrooms with one to two other people. If you are even giving a passing thought to living here I strongly recommend that you join them for dinner as stated in the article above BEFORE you commit to living here because you won't believe all the stuff I've written here unless you see it for yourself. The entire place needs a visionary -- perhaps it is you. Godspeed. —idealist

I've never lived in one, but I've visited the Tri-Coops repeatedly, over decades, and I don't agree that this page "completely misrepresents" anything; I'm going to check up on the photos, though, because the garden photos might need an update. Completely agree with idealist that you should (1) visit and (2) share a dinner before you apply or commit. (I'm in awe of anyone who commits to living somewhere based on a LocalWiki page, but stranger things may have happened!) —DougWalter