TLDR: Lots of people in EA need housing for the summer and maybe beyond, so I made a slack that maybe could coordinate this centrally, and I hope both people who need housing and people who know something about where to find housing can use it. Here is a link.

A lot of people in EA are looking for housing

I've heard many people say they need housing for the summer in cities they don't usually live in and may never have even been to. Some of these people would like to live with other people involved in EA, but don't know where to find such people.

A possible solution: the EA Housing Slack

I made a slack where people can coordinate finding housing for the summer. The point of the slack isn't necessarily to directly find people; I imagine a lot of it will just be "oh, you're in this location? You should join these Facebook groups" or something like that. But the good thing about a slack is that it could be somewhat self-organizing, and people can make use of it in whatever way seems useful.

I'm not going to be moderating this slack and I don't have the time to do so, but I don't think moderation is necessary for it to have some value.

If you know anything about housing in your location, join the slack

If the slack only has new people looking for housing, it could still be useful, but probably less useful. If you know some details for how to find housing in a particular location, you should join the slack, find or create a channel for your location, and post the information. This would be really useful for many people!

Does this already exist?

Some locations have various facebook groups, some city groups have slacks, etc., but there's still the coordination problem of finding these links in the first place. Lastly, I suspect there are probably some locations where there isn't very much existing EA infrastructure to support this.

There are some groups listed here, but I feel that facebook groups are significantly harder to organize meta things like this because there's no ability to have channels for different locations. This group is probably the closest, and maybe is a good complement to the slack. Couchsurfing exists for very short term things, and EA houses exists for finding existing houses that people can stay in for various periods of time. But there doesn’t seem to be a useful slack-like thing for just “I’m going to be living in this place, who can I find housing with?” Various people I talked to seem to think this slack would still be useful despite these existing groups.

Is living with other EAs always a good idea?

Maybe not. You should make sure that's what you actually want to do, and maybe discuss it with others who have done it before.

This slack is not moderated

Treat it like you would treat any other public housing group, and use discretion! Don’t expect everyone on it to be trustworthy or somebody who you should be living with. If you have a community health concern related to this slack, please contact Julia Wise or Catherine Low in the slack (note they are also not actively moderating the slack).

Also note that this slack is only for people 18 or older.

If this slack has little use, I’ll shut it down

If almost nobody is using this group after a few months, which is possible, then I will shut it down and direct people to whatever seems like the most useful alternative, so as to not add to the clutter of little-used slacks. I’ll tentatively review this group on August 31st and subjectively decide whether or not to do this.

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Would this not work better as a channel on another slack group like “global ea discussion”

The idea is for there to be a channel for each location in the slack (e.g. Oxford, Berkeley, etc.). I think that would be unwieldy as part of another slack.

Spitballing, I think it could be fine to have 1 channel with threads for each location pinned to the top where people could comment, or have 1 main channel that links to sub channels or something like this.

Yes, it's possible that would be better (though I can see pros and cons to both approaches). I just saw a need and wanted to fill it, and the people I talked to about this idea beforehand seemed generally happy about it (none suggested this idea which I agree could work!).

 

That being said, I'm not attached to it. If you think this would be better and people on the slack seem to agree then I wouldn't be opposed to shutting down the slack.

That makes sense I think. But if it proves too much to maintain a whole slack maybe a channel in another slack with threads for each city would be an intermediate option.

But there doesn’t seem to be a useful slack-like thing for just “I’m going to be living in this place, who can I find housing with?”

Seems to me like EA Houses is doing that. What problem would the slack channel be solving that EAH isn't?

That's for EAs offering their homes. This slack can also coordinate finding housing with other EAs.

Yes, this is what I had in mind.