State Issues

DSIRE – Find Policies & Incentives By State

DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. View the database of policies and incentives for renewable energy by state.

UHAB – National Co-op Research

The national coop research project is working to compile an up-to-date census of shared-equity housing cooperatives.  In addition, the research aims to identify the organizations and institutions that work to develop, manage and sustain housing coops. To stay abreast of this research and to connect to a valuable source of information about the national shared-equity coop community, please see the first update.

To see more, including the coop community map, please click here.

Open States

Open States is a collection of tools that make it possible for citizens to track what is happening in their state’s capitol by aggregating information from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Using the site is simple: enter a U.S. address or select a state to start to research bills, review voting records, contact elected officials and more. Check out this Sunlight Academy tutorial to see how Open States can help citizens, journalists and activists learn more about their state government. Sort by state and always input the key search term cooperative when researching information tied to your local bills, records, etc. Learn more here.

Open States

Open States is a collection of tools that make it possible for citizens to track what is happening in their state’s capitol by aggregating information from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Using the site is simple: enter a U.S. address or select a state to start to research bills, review voting records, contact elected officials and more. Check out this Sunlight Academy tutorial to see how Open States can help citizens, journalists and activists learn more about their state government. Sort by state and always input the key search term cooperative when researching information tied to your local bills, records, etc. Learn more here.

Cooperatives redefine Workspaces and Housing in Athens, Ohio

When the ceiling began to collapse at 23 Elliott St., the residents didn’t have to call their landlord and wait to get it fixed. Instead, they voted at their weekly meeting and used their house funds to solve the problem themselves. Read full article.

Homework: Solving Asheville’s Affordable Housing Crisis

It’s no secret: The shortage of affordable housing in the Asheville area is one of our community’s biggest problems.

Contributing factors include a growing population, the high demand for both apartments and houses, the particular challenges of building in the mountains and the low wages paid by many local employers.

Earlier this summer, Xpress decided to take a different tack in exploring the issue. We approached experts from various segments of the community to answer a deceptively simple question: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem?” Read full article.

New York – Co-op residents want change in city’s tax policy

by Megan Brockett

Residents of two housing units in Binghamton are calling for a change to the way their homes are taxed under the city’s two-tiered property tax system.

Under a state provision adopted by the city in 1993, cooperatives, or co-ops, in Binghamton are taxed at the rate established for commercial properties instead of the rate meant for residential ones.

Critics say the measure, known as the Homestead Tax Option, means about 150 households in Binghamton face a higher tax rate than the rest of the city’s homeowners.

Last year, the city’s tax rate for nonresidential properties was 41.67, while the residential tax rate was 23.25.

Charles Westgate, a resident of 5 Riverside Towers and president of the cooperative’s board, said the net result for his building is an average extra assessment of $1,300 or more per unit annually.

The 5 Riverside Towers cooperative receives a single tax bill, which it divides among its residents, adding to their monthly maintenance fee.

“The additional taxes we pay result in a higher … maintenance fee than we deserve,” Westgate said. “In the long term, in my opinion, (that will) diminish the value of our homes and place a financial burden on our cooperative.”

Under the Homestead Tax Option, local governments are able to create separate tax rates for residential and non-residential properties, a measure meant to protect residential property owners against large increases in their share of the tax burden after property re-evaluations.

One-, two- and three-family residential dwellings are classified as “homestead” properties and qualify for the lower, residential tax rate, as do farm homes, mobile homes and most condominiums.

But cooperatives are technically owned by a corporation, and when residents purchase a unit in a co-op, they are actually purchasing shares of the corporation rather than direct ownership of the unit.

Read full article here.

Boston, Massachusetts

We are working with Boston, MA housing cooperatives to help defeat legislation that would eliminate the right of a cooperative to screen new members. The local group is well-organized, particularly in meeting with elected officials to make them more aware of the devastating precedent this legislation would set on all cooperatives.

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State Issues

DSIRE – Find Policies & Incentives By State

DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. View the database of policies and incentives for renewable energy by state.

UHAB – National Co-op Research

The national coop research project is working to compile an up-to-date census of shared-equity housing cooperatives.  In addition, the research aims to identify the organizations and institutions that work to develop, manage and sustain housing coops. To stay abreast of this research and to connect to a valuable source of information about the national shared-equity coop community, please see the first update.

To see more, including the coop community map, please click here.

Open States

Open States is a collection of tools that make it possible for citizens to track what is happening in their state’s capitol by aggregating information from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Using the site is simple: enter a U.S. address or select a state to start to research bills, review voting records, contact elected officials and more. Check out this Sunlight Academy tutorial to see how Open States can help citizens, journalists and activists learn more about their state government. Sort by state and always input the key search term cooperative when researching information tied to your local bills, records, etc. Learn more here.

Open States

Open States is a collection of tools that make it possible for citizens to track what is happening in their state’s capitol by aggregating information from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Using the site is simple: enter a U.S. address or select a state to start to research bills, review voting records, contact elected officials and more. Check out this Sunlight Academy tutorial to see how Open States can help citizens, journalists and activists learn more about their state government. Sort by state and always input the key search term cooperative when researching information tied to your local bills, records, etc. Learn more here.

Cooperatives redefine Workspaces and Housing in Athens, Ohio

When the ceiling began to collapse at 23 Elliott St., the residents didn’t have to call their landlord and wait to get it fixed. Instead, they voted at their weekly meeting and used their house funds to solve the problem themselves. Read full article.

Homework: Solving Asheville’s Affordable Housing Crisis

It’s no secret: The shortage of affordable housing in the Asheville area is one of our community’s biggest problems.

Contributing factors include a growing population, the high demand for both apartments and houses, the particular challenges of building in the mountains and the low wages paid by many local employers.

Earlier this summer, Xpress decided to take a different tack in exploring the issue. We approached experts from various segments of the community to answer a deceptively simple question: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem?” Read full article.

New York – Co-op residents want change in city’s tax policy

by Megan Brockett

Residents of two housing units in Binghamton are calling for a change to the way their homes are taxed under the city’s two-tiered property tax system.

Under a state provision adopted by the city in 1993, cooperatives, or co-ops, in Binghamton are taxed at the rate established for commercial properties instead of the rate meant for residential ones.

Critics say the measure, known as the Homestead Tax Option, means about 150 households in Binghamton face a higher tax rate than the rest of the city’s homeowners.

Last year, the city’s tax rate for nonresidential properties was 41.67, while the residential tax rate was 23.25.

Charles Westgate, a resident of 5 Riverside Towers and president of the cooperative’s board, said the net result for his building is an average extra assessment of $1,300 or more per unit annually.

The 5 Riverside Towers cooperative receives a single tax bill, which it divides among its residents, adding to their monthly maintenance fee.

“The additional taxes we pay result in a higher … maintenance fee than we deserve,” Westgate said. “In the long term, in my opinion, (that will) diminish the value of our homes and place a financial burden on our cooperative.”

Under the Homestead Tax Option, local governments are able to create separate tax rates for residential and non-residential properties, a measure meant to protect residential property owners against large increases in their share of the tax burden after property re-evaluations.

One-, two- and three-family residential dwellings are classified as “homestead” properties and qualify for the lower, residential tax rate, as do farm homes, mobile homes and most condominiums.

But cooperatives are technically owned by a corporation, and when residents purchase a unit in a co-op, they are actually purchasing shares of the corporation rather than direct ownership of the unit.

Read full article here.

Boston, Massachusetts

We are working with Boston, MA housing cooperatives to help defeat legislation that would eliminate the right of a cooperative to screen new members. The local group is well-organized, particularly in meeting with elected officials to make them more aware of the devastating precedent this legislation would set on all cooperatives.