Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a Co-op?

A Co-op is where people come together with a common cause or idea and share their resources towards achieving this end. Co-ops are most commonly member-owned. UCHA is a housing co-op, but there are other kinds as well, such as day-care, credit unions, grocery markets, and dining.

What is the UCHA Co-op like?

WITHOUT COVID, we have capacity for over 400 members.  WITH COVID, we can have up to 260 members. Because we work and dine together, the best part of life at the co-op is the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people from across virtually every discipline and from all over the world.  And because we run it, there are umpteen different kinds of "chores" and it is teeming with opportunities to take a leadership position.  Our fairly large membership offers the added advantage of greater flexibility, so your level of involvement can fluctuate with your mood and work load. 


Like all larger organizations, we're organized by work areas. Some examples: social activities, governance, food service, maintenance, clean-up, gardening, administration, mail processing, the UCHA store, and many specialties which can get created or dissolved by individual members. 


All chore assignments are based around your schedule. Members are encouraged to volunteer their ideas as well as their time in improving the organization and to make it a fun, efficient, and beautiful living environment. 

Do you offer tours?

Yes, we do offer tours on a regular basis. Please call 310 208 8242 for current tour times. 
See a virtual tour at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CpNaQbgla4

How are new students and returning members admitted?

There are no application deadlines. We generally follow a first-come, first-serve order with priority given to UCLA students and returning members, until all vacancies are filled. See the Apply web page for details.

After the application is processed, UCHA will contact you and provide instructions on next steps and how to pay the reservation fee. This fee is non-refundable and serves as the first part of the quarterly payment, which is paid in parts each month. On receipt of the reservation fee, UCHA will contact you again with next step instructions. On check-in day, new members pay the deposit, membership fee, and early check-in charges (if any). The member fee is a one-time fee, to join the Association. The security deposit is refundable after you leave.


Returning UCHA members, if qualified to return, will need to re-apply and provide supporting documentation, like any new applicant.

What payments do I need to make to complete the admissions process?

When you first apply, you pay only the $35 application fee or $60 express fee. 
After your application is processed, then you pay the non refundable reservation fee of $650.00, which is treated like it is first month's rent.
When you check in, you then pay the  the $200.00 (Non-Refundable) member-fee and the $1,200.00 deposit, along with any early check-in charges (if applicable).  Early check-in means you check in during the break, but prior to the official check-in day, and is charged at $30.00 a day until the official check-in date.

Whom do I make payments out to? And how or where do I send it to?

You will be provided payment instructions in the admission process. Sorry, but we do not accept personal checks for new admissions.

What guarantees me a spot?

UCHA must reserve the right to withdraw an offer of housing and/or make changes to its policies, which might be evoked by disasters or other unforeseen circumstance, so no guarantee is offered.  However, you should consider you place secure when:

  • you have been officially admitted AND

  • you have paid the reservation fee by the due date AND

  • you are in receipt of official confirmation from the UCHA (in writing) stating that we have reserved a place for you

Please note: Any verbal assurances, regardless of the source, are not to be accepted, and UCHA will not at any time consider such claims as valid.

Can I apply for space on arrival?

You can come to the office to apply, but you will not be admitted on the same day. Your application will be processed and we will send further instructions by email.

What is the membership fee?

At UCHA, residents are members of the organization. This one-time, non-refundable fee, is used for various member related activities such as social events, to fund and maintain the computer lab, movie nights, the member year book, etc. The membership fee is not part of your quarterly room fee. They are additional dues.

Can I use financial aid towards payments?

UCHA does not work with financial aid offices of any college.

How is the student billed that does not attend UCLA?

Non-UCLA students (i.e. SMC, UCLA Extension, CalState schools etc.), or students attending UCLA professional schools may check-in at any time during the week in accordance with their school schedule. However, UCHA operates according to the UCLA undergraduate school schedule. As such, all members, regardless of their school's schedule, are responsible for all payments due for each contracted period, which is the UCLA quarter. In other words, if the non-UCLA member's school schedule should end mid-quarter, that member would still be responsible for room and board payments until the end of the quarter.

What if I want to leave mid-quarter?

If you leave mid-quarter you are still responsible for all contractual obligations, including the entire quarter's room and board payments as well as chore requirements,  regardless of the actual days spent at UCHA. In addition, there will be a $100.00 breach of contract fee.

If you wish to avoid this, you may find a qualified candidate to replace you. The replacement candidate would apply as any regular applicant would, but specify on the application or cover letter, who they intend replacing. If the replacement is accepted and a reservation confirmed by the UCHA, then room and board charges will be pro-rated effective the week of the replacements official check-in. Please note, replacements do not inherit the seniority, room or other priviledges of the person they are replacing. A replacment is only for the purposes of having the quarterly charges pro-rated and release of chore requirements.

When do I make my room and board payments?

The quarterly room and board charge is billed in 3 installments, due on the first business day of each month.
1st installment/month: $650.00 (the reservation fee for new and returning members)
2nd installment/month: $650.00
3rd installment/month: the Balance payment, which will depend on the rate for the specific room you are in. See the RATES web page for details.

When do I get my deposit?

Approximately three weeks after you move out. You will need to contact the Accounts department (accounting@ucha.coop) directly for specific information pertaining to your refund. The front office does not process refunds.

When and where do I check-in?

You check-in at the office which is just inside the front door at 500 Landfair Avenue (Hardman Hansen Hall). Usually, you would check-in on the official check-in day of each quarter, but earlier may be possible. For these arrangements, it is best to correspond by email: admissions@ucha.coop

See the Contacts web page for office hours and other contact info as well is official check-in and check-out dates.

What type of room will I get and when? What is "Bump"?

When you check-in, you will be assigned a temporary room, until "Bump" when you pick your permanent room. Bump is usually during the second or third week of each quarter.

Once you select a room through Bump, you "own" that space and can stay until you check out. However, many members stay for years and choose to change rooms several times.

Bump room selections are made according to each member's seniority, where the most senior member gets first pick, followed by members of lesser seniority.  Seniority is defined as the number of days a member has actually lived at the co-op.

Members who want to stay together can bump as a team.  There are no restrictions on who may form a team.

There is no way to know what kind of room will be available when it's your turn. It will depend on how many old members are giving up their room to find a different room and how many new members there are and how many teams.


On average it takes approximately two years to get a single and maybe two quarters to get a double.  Most new students usually live in a triple the first quarter of their residence at the co-op. 

Can I get parking

There are a limited number of parking spots to members. Parking may be obtained only after you officially check-in, and not anytime before. Members select their spot through the "parking bump" proccess, resulting in the spots going to the most senior members.  

Ordinarily, it takes maybe 6 months seniority to get parking.

DUE TO COVID-19, PARKING INS READILY AVAILABLE.

As such, new members should expect to obtain parking on campus or park on the streets around the first two quarter's of their residence at the UCHA, until such time as they are able to compete for and obtain a spot. 

How far away is the UCLA campus from the Co-op?

We are 2 blocks off the UCLA campus, which is approximately five to ten minutes walking distance. But the campus is quite large, so it can take much longer to get to the farthest classes.

What is the difference between the three buildings?

The Co-op has three buildings Hardman Hansen (HHH), Essene and Robison.

  • HHH is a seven story building which is centrally located, housing the cafeteria, mail room, main office, computer room and student store.

  • Essene are all triples, most have their own private bathroom.

  • Robison is a cultural landmark and is a collection of apartment-styled entry ways to the individual rooms.

What kind of meal plan do you offer?

During the quarter,we offer 19 meals per week:

  • Monday through Friday: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

  • Saturday/Sunday: Brunch and Dinner

Meals are part of the quarterly room and board charge and cannot be separated out.

Should you not be available during these times you may ask the kitchen to save a plate for you. Meals served during the break or outside of posted hours (if any), are a courtsey, and are not part of the quarterly contract. Such services depend on staff and member availability, and are at the discretion of the UCHA. We do not permit members to prepare/cook their own meals instead of participating in our meal plan.

What type of foods do you serve?

As UCHA is culturally diverse , we try to cater to wide variety of tastes. Vegans, vegetarians and food allergies are accommodated. There is typically more than one kind of dish at each meal.  Some of the more popular dishes served are: spaghetti and meat balls, pasta, hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, soups and salads, pizza, lasagna, steamed rice, boiled vegetables, curry, egg rolls, etc. UCHA also serves a variety of cuisines from Asia and other parts of the world. All entrees are prepared by a full-time professional staff. However, we also accept the contribution of individual members to the overall menu.

Are the rooms furnished?

All rooms are furnished with a writing desk, chair, bed, mattress, closet, curtains and a bookshelf for each member. Any other items, including all personal items such as bed sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, toiletries, etc., need to be brought in by you. Microwaves, toasters and other electrical appliances are not allowed. However, you may bring in a mini-fridge. The cafeteria does provide a microwave and toaster for members to use.

What kind of a chore shift would I have to do?

All first quarter members are required to help-out (do their chore requirement) in one of three areas: Kitchen, Facilities and Security. A member may transfer to a different crew (i.e. Office, Co-op store, social etc.) the second quarter and after.

Explanation of Shifts:


Kitchen: The kitchen is open for service from 6:00am each morning (starts at 8:00am on the weekends) till 10:00pm each night (ends at 9:00pm on the weekends). Members will select a specific day and time (at check-in), to work in any four-hour time slot (i.e. shift) each week. The time slots available are based on the needs of the department. You may continue to do your chore at the same time each week unless you need to change your time or crew. Working in the kitchen usually entails helping in serving food, washing dishes, pots/pans, preparing salad items and a variety of clean-up projects(i.e. mopping,sweeping etc). All students work under the direction of a supervisor popularly known as the KC (Kitchen Chief).


Facilities: Here too each member works under the direct supervision of the manager or supervisor for the day. Projects include fixing and assembling furniture, painting, and assisting the full-time staff with a variety of miscellaneous duties. Duties also include: Sweeping/Mopping the public areas of all three buildings,emptying trash,vacuuming etc.


Security: All shifts are in the evening/early morning (i.e. 11:00pm to 6:00am) and crew members work largely unsupervised. Duties include patrolling the buildings and monitoring the presence of non-members. Additionally, crew members may be requested to work extra hours at special events.

Is it possible to rent a double to be with my friend?

DUE TO COVID-19, YOU CAN RENT A ROOM WITH YOUR FRIEND.

Ordinarily, we do not give out specific rooms. Rooms are selected by the members on a seniority basis in the bump process, so all singles, and most of the doubles are taken by the members who have been here a longer time. If you want to stay with a friend, it is likely you would succeed in that, especially if you team with a third person for a triple in the bump process.

What size beds do you provide?

Beds are usually twin size. The approximate mattress size is: 38"x77". Please note we also provide bunk beds that are similar in size.

What is a Triple, Double etc. and what size are the rooms in UCHA?

A Triple is one room shared by 3 roommates, a Double is one room shared by 2 roommates etc. Room size varies depending upon the building you live in. However, the average sizes are:

  • Triple - 11' x 20'.4"

  • Double - 10'.8" x 18'.2"

  • Single - 7'.6" x 6'.10"

What other requirements are there?

In addition to your weekly chore requirement, members will also have to maintain their bathrooom and do 4 Quarter Project Hours sometime during the quarter.
While some rooms have private bathrooms, most of the rooms share a common bathroom in a hallway. The members in that hallway take turns cleaning the bathroom. The co-op takes bathroom cleaning very seriously and failure, especially repeat negligence, and result in penalties of escalating proportions. Cleaning times vary and depend on how many members in a hallway share the same bathroom. Usually, it's 2-3 times a quarter, but the requirement is determined by the bathroom crew chief.

Do you offer airport pick-ups?

No, unfortunately, we do not. However, there are many options available to passengers at the airport. Please inquire at the airport information booth.

How do I get to the Co-op from LAX airport?

As the Co-op does not provide transportation most people usually hire a cab (approximately $45.00 and around 25 minutes), or take the shuttle van (around 1 hour, depending on traffic) from the airport. Look for the blue "Van Stop" sign outside the baggage claim area and tell the airport employee that you need a shuttle to UCLA or Westwood. There are many van companies with cost ranging from $15 to $35.

Could I change my arrival date or quarter of admission?

Yes, once approved, you can change your arrival date, so long as you inform the office in writing (by email) prior to the change and come during our check-in office hours. Check-in hours are Monday through Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm. Also, please be informed, there will be an additional charge for early arrival. The price will vary depending on the arrival date.
If you want to transfer your admission for a different quarter, that may be possible as well. In this case you would need to email the admissions office and formally request that your admission be forwarded to the next quarter of your choice. The confirmation of your request will depend on space availability for that quarter. No space can be considered reserved until you are in receipt of official confirmation from the office of the Executive Director in writing.

What if I cannot make it during the check-in hours?

If you are unable to make it during the official check-in times, you would need to check in to a nearby hotel/motel and come in on the next day open for business. We do not have other persons check-in on your behalf. We only check-in the person who has an official reservation. For details on nearby living options, please visit the online UCLA Housing Office Hotel/Motel directory.

How far away are you from Santa Monica College?

We are about 45 minutes away by bus (depending on traffic) and about 20 minutes away by car (depending on trafic).

Are there separate floors or wings for men and women?

While the rooms are same sex our halls are gender-mixed. The bathrooms however are used by members individually. Should you want to live with a member of the opposite sex you would need to apply to do so at BUMP. However, no assurances are offered and it depends on space availability.

Are personal appliances (like a radio or TV) allowed in the room?

Yes. Personal appliances are allowed in the room provided that they are not cooking devices (ovens, microwaves, hot plates etc. are not allowed). You may have a small fridge. Microwaves are available in the cafeteria, which are open to members 24 hours/day.

Is there a place where I can keep my valuables?

At UCHA, while we provide a closet and writing desk, we do not provide safes, lockers, etc. Students that require such facilities would need to bring their own or seek professional services that may be available in the neighborhood.

Do you offer laundry facilities?

Yes, the co-op, as a courtesy to members, permits an outside company to use the premises and provide coin operated (prices differ in each building) laundry facilities in each of the three buildings.

Is there an area where residents can keep food or fix their own snacks or meals?

Members have access to a microwave and some food in the dining area at all times. We do not allow cooking in the rooms for health and safety reasons.  Snacks and other food that does not require cooking can be kept in the room.

How are your bath and shower facilities?

While some rooms have private baths, most rooms share bathrooms in the same hallway. On average, four rooms will share two bathrooms. Each bathroom is occupied by one member at a time.

Can I send my packages to UCHA before arrival?

UCHA does not take any responsibility for handling packages of prospective residents. As such, you will need to make sure that you are here and officially checked-in prior to the arrival of your package.

Is there any internet service in the rooms / on UCHA premises?

Yes, there is an internet service in each room. In addition, we have a fully operational computer room that provides internet / print services to members. Residents are able to utilize these facilities upon registering for it.

Are pets allowed?

Sorry, no pets are allowed on UCHA premises.

What is the policy on the break periods and do I have to re-apply each quarter?

Members continuing to the next quarter are allowed to stay on the premises during break periods for no extra fee. Members checking-out/not staying for the next quarter, however, will be assesed a per-diem charge (daily charge) for stays after the official check-out day. Any per-diem stay is only till the day prior to the start of the new quarter. Any stay into the new quarter would assume responsibilities for the new quarter, and would make the member responsible for the room and board charges for the entire new quarter. All stays during the break periods include members having to perform their chore and other obligations as one would during a regular quarter/contract. Utilities and Food are also provided during this period (as a curtesey and assuming staff availability).

Members do not need to re-apply each quarter. Contracts are automatically renewed each quarter (assuming you remain a member in good standing) unless you give notice of intent to move-out. This notice may only be given 30 days prior to the end of a quarter (see SERVICES section of website for check-out dates). For a member checking out, he/she would need to re-apply to check back in to the UCHA at a future quarter. Only members who left in good standing will be eligible to be re-admitted.

How far away are you from the nearest hospital?

The UCLA medical plaza and Hospital is in the heart of Westwood and is around a 10 to 15 minute walk from the UCHA Co-op.

Do I need insurance?

Health Insurance: Prospective members should know that as the cost of Health Care in the United States is expensive, it is advised to consider obtaining health insurance as recommended by the institute you are planning to attend. Or if you choose to waive this option, then on the alternative, consider a comprehensive insurance policy that includes (but not limited to), emergency care, doctor's services, inpatient & outpatient hospital care, basic surgical procedures, prescription drug coverage, mental health service, vision care and dental care.

Other Insurance: The UCHA also does not assume responsibily for any personal injury or property damage or loss of property or damage to personal property/items caused by any source. As such, the member is advised to obtain his/her own insurance as necessary, while in residence at the UCHA.

AAP

UCHA does not permit pets/animals on the premises. For ESA/SA needs, please see attached link, complete the attached application (as applicable to your situation) and email to the Executive Director with the required materials, for review/approval.

Click to view/download the AAP policy/application

 

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