FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions! If you have a question that is not currently answered, please feel free to email us.

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General Questions

  • What is MOSAIC?
    MOSAIC is a housing co-op and intentional community. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive community that inspires and empowers creative, conscious, and sustainable living. Click here to learn more about us!
  • Where is MOSAIC located?
    MOSAIC consists of two separate houses in Evanston, IL: the Zooo is located at 2000 Sherman Ave., and the Treehouse is located at 1427 Elmwood Ave.
  • What's the difference between the two houses?
    Each house is different because of its location, amenities, and the people who live there! For more information on each house check out the pages for The Zooo and The Treehouse.
  • How many people live in MOSAIC?
    Currently, 13 people live in the Zooo and 9 people live in the Treehouse, for a total of 22 co-opers.
  • What are the dinners like?
    Dinners are cooked by fellow co-opers and are balanced meals. We generally eat around 7 PM, and co-opers gather to enjoy the meal together. All dinners are vegetarian with additional options to accommodate members’ dietary restrictions. Check out the Food page for more information. If you’d like to see what a house dinner is like in person, contact us ahead of time, or feel free to simply drop by!
  • Can I live in MOSAIC if I'm not vegetarian?
    YES! We choose to cook vegetarian dinners, but not all of our members are vegetarian. Many co-opers keep and cook their own personal non-vegetarian food outside of the meal plan.

Financial Questions

  • How much does living in MOSAIC cost?
    The cost of living in MOSAIC varies by room and by house, but overall, we strive to maintain a living environment that is affordable and accessible to people with a range of financial needs and abilities. You can see a detailed breakdown of the costs involved in living in MOSAIC here.
  • Do you have options for low-income members?
    While we do not have scholarships or other ways of reducing the overall cost of living in MOSAIC for low-income members, we strive to provide an affordable housing option. Many of our members were originally attracted to the co-op because of its affordability. Our room selection process allows members to choose from among rooms with different prices, and thus provides a way for low-income members to choose cheaper rooms.


    We do allow members to delay paying rent temporarily if need be. Members who encounter financial stress can temporarily postpone paying their rent for up to 12 weeks. We also allow members to delay paying their security deposit if need be (see question below).

    If you have specific concerns about costs, please feel free to contact us.

  • Can I delay paying my security deposit, or pay a reduced deposit?
    All members must ultimately pay the same security deposit. However, we allow new members with financial need to delay paying their deposit if they want. New members can delay paying the first half of their deposit ($200) until May 1st at the latest, and the other half until July 1st at the latest.
  • Can I use my security deposit to cover my last month of rent?
    No, we do not currently allow members to do this.

Application Questions

  • Is MOSAIC affiliated with Northwestern? Do I have to be an NU student to live there?
    MOSAIC is neither affiliated with nor recognized by Northwestern University. This means that MOSAIC is not an NU residence and members do not need to be affiliated with Northwestern in any way to live here. Due to our proximity to NU’s campus, many of our residents tend to be Northwestern undergrads and graduate students, but we are open to all—non-students, undergrads, graduate students, students of life, and anyone in between.
  • Who can apply to live in MOSAIC?
    Anyone! We welcome any and all members of the community to apply to our co-op. In accordance with the Fair Housing Act and Evanston ordinance, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, presence of children, age, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, order of protection status, source of income, whether a person was once homeless, or unfavorable military discharge.
  • How do I join MOSAIC?
    Please check out our How to Apply page for specific information about the process of joining MOSAIC.
  • Can I apply with another person/roommate/significant other?
    While you and another person may both apply to MOSAIC, every application is considered independently. Each person must complete their own application, and we cannot guarantee dual or multiple acceptance. Since we accept applicants on a first-come, first-served basis, we suggest submitting applications simultaneously if you’re interested in joining the co-op with another person.
  • Can I apply to live in MOSAIC for only part of the year?
    We lease spots in the co-op according to a schedule that roughly lines up with Northwestern’s academic calendar, with Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters. You are welcome to apply to live in MOSAIC for only some of these quarters, and we encourage you to do so; however, we do generally give preference to full-year applicants. (Summer housing is a bit special: For FAQ about summer housing, click here.)

Questions About Visiting

  • Can I visit one of the houses? When/how?
    Of course! We welcome any and all people to come eat dinner with us—you don’t even need to be a prospective co-oper. Dinners happen several nights a week in both houses, typically at 7 PM. Feel free to drop by unannounced, or email us to check when the next dinner is. If you’d like to visit one our houses at another time, please contact us.
  • Do you offer a meal plan for non-members?
    We do not currently have any official meal plan for non-resident boarders; currently, we ask non-co-opers who attend house meals more than once to pay $3 per meal (pretty damn cheap!). If you’re interested in attending co-op dinners on a regular basis, perhaps email us and we’ll see if we can’t arrange some kind of meal plan!
  • Does MOSAIC host events that non-members can attend?
    Yes! The Zooo hosts a famous quarterly Open Mic Night open to all, and the Treehouse regularly hosts events such as wine & cheese nights and movie viewings. To keep up to date on upcoming events, check out our Facebook page and Twitter account. Our spaces are also available for use by the wider community, and we occasionally host events in support of other progressive groups – contact us if this is of interest to you/your organization.
  • I'm a member of another co-op/political activist/vagrant who will be in town for a few days. Do you host overnight guests?
    Both of our houses have occasionally hosted overnight guests in the past, especially guests who are involved in other co-ops. Our houses evaluate requests for short-term lodging on a case-by-case basis. If you’re interested in staying at MOSAIC as a guest for a short period of time, please email us.