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Local residents fighting to save their communal-style housing in San Luis Obispo

establishment .jpg
Posted at 7:33 AM, Jun 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-04 10:33:37-04

Nineteen people living in communal-style housing in San Luis Obispo are fighting to save their home.

As you walk through San Luis Obispo's Railroad District, you may notice a big, green house known as "The Establishment". It has been home to hundreds of artists, musicians, students, and business owners over the years.

Nineteen bedrooms, four bathrooms, four fridges, and one big community — that’s how the residents of "The Establishment" describe their home. But after 40 years under its current ownership, it was recently announced the home would be sold.

“As they told us, I started crying. How could I not? This has been my home for four years," said housemates Sara Powers.

Many of the housemates fear, that if sold, the house will lose some of its most valuable characteristics.

“When this was purchased by its current owner, the idea was to keep rent reasonable so that all types of folks could come into this space," said Willy Wilson who also lives in the house.

Current residents pay about $750 in rent for one room.

“It attracts creatives, people who work untraditional jobs and you know, you don’t have to grind in order to live here," said Wilson.

However, it’s not just affordable housing at risk of being lost, Powers says the bonds formed with all of the housemates create a huge support system and sense of community.

“When I’ve been through really difficult times, I can just go knock next door or I even just shoot a text to the house chat and within five minutes someone is like 'yeah, I will be right there,'" said Powers.

A group of former housemates and community members are forming an LLC to purchase the house and preserve its traditions, but with that comes costly legal fees, which is where the community comes in.

People can become investors starting at $1,000 or choose to donate through a GoFundMe that will be used to pay for legal fees.

The goal is to reach $15,000.