Each resident and each lodging space is unique, thus no two accounts look the same. Below is an attempt to provide some general details about costs associated with living at Lost Valley. Some think it is really cheap, while others are shocked at the expense. As a non-profit providing low income housing, no individuals are acquiring wealth from any profits the organization makes, which ultimately are fairly small and fed right back into the organization which benefits the community.
Rent: Varies considerably. All lodging spaces are compared against each other on an even scale based on square footage and amenities available. Our spaces vary a lot – from a small, old room to a 3 bedroom town house with 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a full kitchen. Rents vary a lot too – from $180/month (camping) to $975/month. Most spaces are between $250 and $550/month, but some are a bit lower and some are a bit higher. For most spaces, rent includes utilities; for some spaces electric is a separate charge. If electric is included, rent changes depending on the number of occupants.
Food: Walk into our Lodge any weekday at lunch or dinner time and there is a buffet of delicious organic, vegetarian food spread out which you can help yourself to – all you can eat. There are a few meal plan options, thus the cost varies from $230/month to $380/month (for the first three months). The variance depends on how many meals are included. Residents can earn a discount of $45 to $100 monthly for taking on a weekly shift in the kitchen. After the first three months, residents can go down to the minimum meal plan, which is $52/month for two meals per week for adults. Rates are lower for children. You can learn more about the Dining and Cooking Program on our Resident Programs page.
Site Maintenance Fee: Each adult (18+) residing here pays $75/month for the Site Maintenance Fee. While rent covers your lodging space and even access to community spaces, it doesn’t cover collective care of those spaces. Costs associated with shared soaps, tp, paper towels, and cleaning supplies, for example. This also covers credits issued to residents participating in the HIVE program who do work for the collective care of our community, such as cleaning community spaces like shared bathrooms and kitchens, governance responsibilities, land management, etc. You can learn more about the HIVE Program on our Resident Programs page.
Internet Fee: Each adult (18+) residing here pays $15/month for the Internet Fee. There is wi-fi available to all facilities, including lodging spaces, across campus. To ensure the community can cover the cost of maintaining internet access, we all contribute. Some residents opt to pay an additional $10 ($25 total) for faster speeds.
Vehicle Storage: Each household may have one vehicle. There is a $25 extra vehicle fee for households with more than one vehicle. Solplex (an onsite apartment building) residents are allowed two vehicles per household. Storage of a Recreational Vehicle (RV) is $75/month.
Housing Swap: Residents wishing to move from one lodging space to another pay a $25 fee to cover associated administrative costs.
Utilities: For most spaces, rent includes utilities; for some spaces electric is a separate charge. If electric is included, rent changes depending on the number of occupants. There is no charge for water, though a number of our spaces do not have indoor plumbing. A few spaces have wood stoves, but wood is not provided. Propane for amenities included with the unit is no extra charge, if applicable.
Discounts: Participation in the Community Cooking Program earns a discount on the Lodge Dining Program. Doing a kitchen shift earns a discount of $50 or $100/month. Also, HIVE Program participants earn credits for services provided to the community. Most HIVE roles have a $30 to $50 monthly credit associated. Learn more on the Resident Programs page.
Transportation: The nearest bus stop is about 2.3 miles away. Many here don’t have cars, but chip in for gas to get rides or borrow another resident’s car. There is not currently a car co-op onsite and for most, it is necessary to go to town occasionally.
More food: most people want some food that’s not available in the lodge.
Prayer flags: not included.
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