Housing Cooperative News

Three community-oriented alternatives to Sacramento’s historic housing crisis

In Europe, some publicly-owned housing developments are made into cooperatives with their own governing boards, meaning control over one’s housing is hyper-local and accountable. What is most important, though, is that these developments are open to people of all income levels.

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Advocating for Residents Organizations Go to Bat for Shareholders/Owners

Successfully running a condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association is no small task. A board and/or management must consider the interests of its residents when making sweeping decisions to benefit the property and those who call it home. On top of that, the association must keep abreast of codes, laws, regulations, and rules at local, state and federal levels that may impact how they conduct their business, maintain their buildings, and screen potential applicants – just to name a few important factors. Taking into account that a board is likely made up of volunteers, some or all of whom have full-time jobs that have nothing at all to do with real estate or finance, it seems like a tall order.

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Does Ann Arbor need a new tax to fund affordable housing?

Ann Arbor is struggling to make progress on its goal of significantly expanding the supply of affordable housing, which has local officials discussing whether more funding is needed.

Leaders from the Ann Arbor Housing Commission and Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development are recommending a new property tax to help pay for the creation of more subsidized apartments for low-income people in Ann Arbor.

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City taking troublesome landlord to court over code compliance

The city of Rochester is gearing up to take to court a problematic landlord whose rental properties have racked up hundreds of recent code violations and whose tenants have already embarked on a rent strike.

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The Rent Is Too Damn High, and Progressives Need to Do Something

Ben Carson is on a mission to shred the federal housing safety net. As secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carson has actively undermined desegregation and LGBT protections in government-subsidized housing, and has proposed raising rents threefold for many families. The Trump administration’s approach to housing policy would be comical if it didn’t have real effects on real people: Trump picked his personal event planner, who had no relevant experience, to run the biggest regional housing office in HUD. This allowed Trump to gut affordable housing in New York and New Jersey, the very same place his son-in-law Jared Kushner illegally skirted rent-stabilization rules.

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Sustainable by Design: Increasing Water Efficiency and Reducing Cost in Affordable Housing

This case study looks at lessons learned from the Chicago Water-Efficiency Pilot led by Enterprise Community Partners and Elevate Energy. The study demonstrates how investing in water efficiency can cut costs and increase the financial stability of affordable housing developments.

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MSU Student Combats Climate Change One Solar Panel at a Time

After listening to the audiobook, “Unstoppable” by Bill Nye, Sam Berndt, a Michigan State University graduate student studying computer science, was inspired to become a force against climate change. After moving into the David Bowie Memorial Cooperative in August 2016, he knew that he wanted to find sustainable energy solutions to work towards making all cooperatives 100-percent carbon neutral.

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Beecher City Resident Attends College Conference on Cooperatives

Every year National Farmers Union hosts a College Conference on Cooperatives, where students from various states learn about the role and function of cooperative businesses.

Joining participants from Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Montana and Colorado recently was Illinois Farmers Union member Talena Zacha. Zacha, a resident of Beecher City and an agriculture student at Lake Land College, traveled to Minneapolis-St. Paul to attend the conference with both fellow students and cooperative leaders from all across the spectrum.

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Ashland Co-op expansion Could Include Housing

The space-cramped Ashland Food Co-op is on the verge of buying a 1.8-acre piece of bare land 100 yards north of its busy First Street shop — a spot that could be developed into a bigger store or become a second co-op.

The lot on Clear Creek Drive behind Ashland Lumber might also be used to build workforce or cooperative housing, which would put the 36-year-old, 10,000-member food store in a radically new business, providing affordable housing in a town that lacks it.

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An 800-Family Chicago Housing Co-op Enters its Second Half-Century Going Strong

As Nneka McGuire and Nicholas Padiak note in the Chicago Tribune, “Co-ops hold a unique place in the history of combating housing discrimination and, for that matter, in the history of the United States too.” Hilary Silver, chair of the department of sociology at George Washington University, who specializes in the study of housing and homelessness, notes that the housing co-op idea “was, let’s cooperate and we’ll cut out the landlord, who was living off of our rents. It was like quasi-ownership. It was like creating a workers’ republic, almost. Let’s cut out the capitalists.”

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New Village Cooperative Senior Housing Coming To Colorado Springs, CO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — On Tuesday, April 17th , 2018, Real Estate Equities Development, LLC announced plans for its newest Village Cooperative community, which will be the first owner-occupied senior housing cooperative in Colorado Springs, CO. Senior cooperative housing communities originally began in Minnesota in the 1970s and have had a successful track record with over 120 communities, primarily in the Midwest. Real Estate Equities Development, LLC in Eagan, MN is the developer for the Village Cooperative and now has 32 Village Cooperative communities that are either operating, under construction, or scheduled for construction in the next year and can be found in seven different states.

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Residents buy manufactured-home park

BARRINGTON — Homeowners in Ambleside Mobile Home Park closed April 16 on the purchase of their 69-unit park, making it New Hampshire’s 124th resident-owned manufactured-home community.

Using training and technical assistance from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s ROC-NH program, residents organized and formed Lee Oak Cooperative last December to buy their privately owned manufactured-home park.

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Jackson Rising

In June 2017, the young black attorney Chokwe Antar Lumumba was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, with 93 per cent of the vote. He pledged to make the capital of this former slave state ‘the most radical city on the planet’. Kali Akuno describes the grassroots mobilisation that launched him to office

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Owner-Occupied Senior Cooperative Rising in Colorado Springs

Real Estate Equities Development has announced plans for their new Village Cooperative of Briargate property in Colorado Springs, Colo., aimed at adults 62 and over. The development will be the first 100 percent owner-occupied senior housing community in the city.

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Riverton Community Housing expands presence near campus

The developer will open its newest co-op style apartments in Southeast Como next year.

Despite an influx of luxury apartments near the University of Minnesota, a local developer has expanded its campus presence by building more affordable, cooperative housing complexes.

Riverton Community Housing offers cooperative housing options throughout the Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como and Seward neighborhoods. The nonprofit currently owns six different buildings, five of which are co-ops. A seventh in Southeast Como is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, and is slated to open in August of 2019.

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New book explores DC’s equity housing cooperatives—and may offers some lessons for SF.

LIT Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C. “explores the practice of urban ‘commoning’ in Washington, DC, through an investigation of the city’s equity housing cooperatives.” Author Amanda Huron draws insight and lessons from organizing against displacement that are relevant for any major US cities. Huron teaches at the University of the District of Columbia and plays drums with the band Puff Pieces. We spoke with Huron ahead of her Wed/2, 7pm, appearance at Green Arcade.

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Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.

An affordable cooperative housing development is slated to bring home ownership to dozens of families in the north Bronx.

In Williamsbridge, Habitat for Humanity New York City broke ground on Friday, March 16 on the largest multi-family development under one roof that any Habitat affiliate has every attempted.

Development partners are Almat Group, with city and state agencies. The new development is called Sydney House.

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Groundbreaking set for Montana’s first housing cooperative in Hamilton

Work will get underway next week on Montana’s first housing cooperative. It’s a day that’s been long in coming for Paul Travitz, executive director of the Ravalli County Council on Aging. For the last 12 years, Travitz and others focused on helping people age independently have been dreaming of the day the 8.5 acres adjacent to the council’s headquarters would be transformed into a vibrant community for people over the age of 55.

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Carving Out the Commons

By now, you could be forgiven for assuming that “the commons” refers to another cocktail bar or coffee shop in yet another neighborhood people used to be able to afford. In Chicago, the Commons Co-op is a co-working space inside a cocktail lounge inside a Virgin-branded boutique hotel. In Brooklyn, Common is a property management start-up (backed by $65 million in venture capital) that specializes in something called “co-living.” For just $1,400 a month, Common tenants in New York City get a private bedroom and share amenities like a bathroom, kitchen, and free coffee: an Instagrammable SRO. Common calls this “city living made better.”

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Johnnie St. Vrain: What is a residential co-op?

Dear Johnnie: I saw Tuesday that the SWAT team was using an old farm house where a residential co-op is going to be built. My question is: What is a residential co-op? I am familiar with an agriculture co-op. Is this what this is? Is it some kind of government price controlled homes or …? — Just Curious

Dear Just Curious: The housing cooperative planned for that parcel specifically will be for residents ages 62 and older. And it’s a private, not a public, development.

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Cooperatives offer one lifestyle; caring for aging parents at home is another

Judi and Randy Johnson have lived at Gramercy Park Cooperative at Lake Shore Drive in Richfield since the 12-story, 160-unit building was constructed in 2000.

“We bought when it was still a hole in the ground,” Judi said. “We knew nothing about the area. We had lived in Columbia Heights.”

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URBAN AGENDA: Averting the Impending Subsidized Housing Crisis

Mitchell-Lama housing was a pillar in the New York City campaign to provide affordable housing to low and moderate-income families. The program, first introduced in 1955, was among an array of multiple government efforts to develop rental apartments and cooperatives that over the decades provided a pathway for its residents into the middle class.

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Willits educator seeks 3rd District Mendocino County Board of Supervisors seat

Educator Shawna Jeavons says her upbringing in a rural area – she grew up 25 minutes out of town on Pine Mountain – helped shape her political views.

The Willits High School teacher is running for 3rd District supervisor. She said she is familiar with Mendocino County’s needs, by virtue of having lived in the area nearly her whole life, with few exceptions like going away to college.

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Report: Amid Housing Crisis, NY Must Rethink How Land is Owned

A new report released Thursday takes a wide look at the nation’s housing system and calls for a shift to alternative models that “reconceptualiz[e] housing as something beyond a source of profit.”

The report, entitled “Communities Over Commodities: People-Driven Solutions to an Unjust Housing System,” can be viewed here. Authored by the Right to The City Alliance, a national coalition of social-justice organizations concerned about displacement, as part of the organization’s Homes for All Campaign, it presents four alternative housing models from the United States and elsewhere “where communities have taken charge of housing needs through cooperative and collective arrangements.”

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Council backs tenant ‘right of refusal’ bill, so long as Cambridge gets to alter it to fit

“right of first refusal” bill to give tenants first shot at buying their unit when a building’s owner sells won City Council support 7-2 on Monday, but even councillors voting in favor want a guaranteed right to change its specifics to fit the needs of Cambridge.

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Westchester May Speed Up Co-op Purchase Applications

For years, people have been trying to speed up and remove the mystery from the buying of cooperative apartments in New York City. Last year, once again, a raft of proposed bills in the city and in Albany inspired stiff resistance from co-op advocates. As in years past, the bills were all shelved. Now the battle has spilled into Westchester County.

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Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.

An affordable cooperative housing development is slated to bring home ownership to dozens of families in the north Bronx.

In Williamsbridge, Habitat for Humanity New York City broke ground on Friday, March 16 on the largest multi-family development under one roof that any Habitat affiliate has every attempted.

Development partners are Almat Group, with city and state agencies. The new development is called Sydney House.

Read more.

Homeless shelter board looking at permanent housing

DAYTONA BEACH — The board that’s overseeing creation of a new homeless shelter hoped to open by the summer of 2019 is starting to plan for what will be done to help people after they leave the refuge for the unsheltered west of Interstate 95.

At their meeting Monday night, members of the First Step Shelter Board had a lengthy conversation via Skype with three top officials of a Massachusetts-based program that provides homes to the homeless.

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Walker signs bill inspired by cabin-owners’ court fight

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Just five months after an adverse ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court had her in tears, Donna Murr was celebrating Monday after Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a bill that gives Wisconsin property owners more rights.

The Murr family fought for more than a dozen years, and all the way to the Supreme Court, for the ability to sell undeveloped land next to their cottage along scenic Lake St. Croix in western Wisconsin.

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Community associations expand reach as planned neighborhoods, condo villages spring up

The term may be vague, but there’s more than a one in five chance your residential enclave counts as one. Moreover, its meetings may be standing-room-only affairs. And what happens at those gatherings impacts the entire area. These places are community associations. According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, they also go by such names as planned communities, homeowners or property owners associations, condominium communities and housing cooperatives.

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(BPRW) L.A. Housing: Over 40 L.A. Groups Unite for a Summit to Fight Gentrification LEIMERT PARK, Saturday, December 2nd 8am to 6pm

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Saturday, December 2nd, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Housing is a Human Right project and over 40 tenant rights, civil rights, faith-based and social justice organizations are coming together for the Resist Gentrification Action Summit to combat California’s ongoing housing crisis.

Across the state, people are struggling to stay in their homes as developers, corporate landlords and Wall Street speculators transform stable neighborhoods into high-priced markets at the expense of working-class communities. The summit seeks to address this through plenaries and breakout panels focusing on combating gentrification, promoting community wealth-building, and demanding development without displacement. The summit takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Audubon Middle School in Leimert Park (4120 11th Ave., Los Angeles, CA).

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Mobile homes offer an affordable roof, but tenants struggle when the land disappears beneath them

Clay Bren, his wife, Pearl, and their two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Geronimo holed up in their manufactured home late on a rainy November morning, watching true crime programs on their flat screen television. Bren wanted to meet at his home rather than the Hillside Homeowners Cooperative’s office space — a building that is, as of yet, uninsulated and lacks heat. It’s one of many things that Bren and the other members of the homeownership cooperative are looking to change about their community, a 45-unit manufactured-home park within spitting distance of Centralia, Washington.

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Co-ops are a big part of Davis’ Main Street

In a world seemingly gone “global,” most people do not know that local member-owned cooperatives in the United States have assets of $1 trillion. Those co-op funds back the economy of Main Street, not Wall Street. For an example of the role of co-ops on Main Street, USA, let’s look at the co-ops in Davis.

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City Offers $250M to Mitchell-Lama Complexes — If They Stay Affordable

CLINTON HILL — As part of his expanded affordable housing plan, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is setting aside $250 million for one purpose: persuading Mitchell-Lama complexes to stay affordable, at least for another 20 years.

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How to buy into a limited-equity housing cooperative

When you think of co-ops, you might envision luxury condos where super-rich, celebrities or politicians live. But what if you could you buy one for less than the market rate rent? You can if you buy into a limited-equity housing cooperative (LEC).

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Condo or co-op: Deciding what’s best for you

If you’re on the hunt to buy an apartment, one thing is crucial before beginning your search: decide if a condo and cooperative is right for you.

“Working with a client, it’s important to immediately define the difference,” says Brian Lewis, an agent with Halstead’s New York office. Because the ownership structures of condos and co-ops are vastly different, all the financial and legal matters of buying one will dramatically differ, too.

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2017 Programs of HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Announces Programs of HUD including, Major Mortgage, Grant, Assistance and Regulatory Programs.

Download the Complete PDF

Hurricane Planning Tips

This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

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Austin, TX, City resolution expands city housing financial aid to co-ops

Austin is in the process of allowing housing cooperatives to apply for city housing financial aid in an effort to expand housing options and reduce rent for members of co-ops.

In a resolution passed unanimously by the Austin City Council on Aug. 17, the city manager is now tasked with finding ways to allow co-ops to become eligible for financial aid through the city’s affordable housing initiatives.

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Co-op and Condo Group Resists Mandatory Smoking Policies

There is a short stack of legislative proposals before the New York City Council and the state General Assembly that seek to change the way co-op boards determine who buys into housing cooperatives. Some of these proposals would limit the amount of time boards have to notify a potential purchaser that his or her application is complete; others would limit the amount of time boards have to accept or reject a completed application; and others would require boards to provide their reasons for rejecting a purchase application, something they are not currently required to do. Co-op advocates have spoken out, vociferously, against the proposals, arguing that they’re unnecessary impediments to the conduct of co-op board business, which is, in their opinion, largely expeditious and free of discrimination.

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Blog Focuses on Lead Poisoning of Children in Communities of Color

A blog post in HealthAffairs by Emily Benfer, a senior fellow and distinguished visiting scholar at the Yale Law School, describes the extent to which minority children are disproportionately affected by lead-based paint hazards and the prevalence of lead-based paint hazards in HUD-assisted homes, and it criticizes a limitation of HUD’s recently revised lead-based paint rule.

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Study Finds Airbnb Increases Rents

A new study by Kyle Barron, Edward Kung, and Davide Prosperpio, The Sharing Economy and Housing Affordability: Evidence from Airbnb, finds that a 10% increase in Airbnb listings in a neighborhood leads to a 0.39% increase in rents. Airbnb’s impact is stronger in neighborhoods with more absentee landlords and weaker in neighborhoods with more owner-occupants. The findings suggest that Airbnb incentivizes absentee landlords to remove their properties from the long-term rental market and rent them to short-term tenants, causing rents for long-term leases to increase.

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Rebuilding Together gets grant to improve properties

Rebuilding Together, Saratoga County received a $300,000 grant from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Affordable Home Ownership Development Program.

The grant will be used to assist with the home improvement of approximately 15 units throughout Saratoga County.

The amount of homes the grant will help varies depending on applications Rebuilding Together receives.

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Funding announced to rehabilitate 271 homes in NY

The New York Governor’s Office announced $7.4 million in funding to construct and rehabilitate 271 owner-occupied homes in the state.

The funding was awarded through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Affordable Home Ownership Development Program. The programs has already awarded nearly $192 million to create or improve more than 9,700 homes across the state.

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Westchester Company To Pay $125K In Damages, Penalties After Settlement

A Westchester County property management company and co-op building has agreed in federal court to pay more than $100,000 in damages following a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability.

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FIXING A ‘MESS’

Accessory dwelling units, or “granny flats,” and housing cooperatives are something else he expects to be a topic of interest, along with the potential for “tiny houses,” which are typically 400 square feet or smaller.

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Another Way Forward: Communities Battle Against Gentrification

As real-estate markets are increasingly subjected to the pressures of globalization, gentrification has become an almost universal woe of capitalist cities around the world. Today in Berlin, the city is instituting the Milieuschutz Laws, which we outlined in the first installment of two-part series as being some of the most progressive municipal policies in the world meant to curb gentrification in historically affordable areas. While these are positive steps, the history of the affordable housing struggle in Berlin stretches back decades, and was traditionally led not by city government, but by students, artists and immigrants.

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NCB’s Charles E. Snyder Honored with the Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award from Consumer Federation of America

Charles E. Snyder, National Cooperative Bank’s President and CEO, was awarded the 2017 Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award at the Consumer Federation of America’s 47th Annual Awards Dinner held on June 14, 2017 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

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City of Boulder to Begin Accepting Applications for Cooperative Housing on June 1

On June 1, the City of Boulder will begin accepting applications for Cooperative Housing licenses. The first licenses will be issued on or before July 17. Applications will be available at 1739 Broadway on the third floor or online. An outline of the application and approval process, along with a list of frequently asked questions, is available online as a reference.

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Housing co-ops a potential affordable housing solution

Providing affordable housing options is a tough nut to crack — especially in a booming housing market like Asheville’s. While city voters approved $25 million in spending on affordable housing as part of a 2015 bond referendum totaling $74 million, the question remains: What’s the best way to spend money to support affordable housing solutions?.

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Bank Partnership Spurs Resident-Owned Manufactured Housing

With more than 50,000 manufactured housing communities in the United States—roughly six percent of the overall housing market—borrowers are drawn to manufactured homes, as they often cost significantly less than new site-built housing. As such, manufactured housing remains a critical source of affordable housing for many consumers—particularly the elderly, low- to moderate-income families and those living in rural communities.

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Zillow Examines Food Deserts in Metropolitan Areas

An analysis by Zillow shows that 20 percent of the nation’s non-rural population, or 47.3 million people, have low incomes and low access to fresh food, which is defined as being located a half mile or more from the nearest fresh, whole food source.

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Co-ops back in U.S. Census after 20-year absence

NCBA CLUSA is thrilled to announce that a decades-long absence of federally-reported data on co-ops in the U.S. will end with the 2017 Economic Census. The Office of Management and Budget on Friday approved without change or question the main 2017 Economic Census.

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Cody Curtis: Nevada City must commit to affordable housing

For many of us who have come to contribute to the life of this place, the cost of housing is draining our energies and driving us away.

On April 20, the Nevada City Planning Commission will review a housing project called “The Grove” which would be the largest development in Nevada City’s recent history. This presents a much-needed opportunity to increase the city’s housing stock.

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City Encourages Organizations to Apply to Be Expert Cooperative Housing Organizations

The City of Boulder is requesting applications from qualified organizations to serve as Expert Cooperative Housing Organizations (ECHO). An ECHO is an organization recognized by the city manager as having experience and expertise in the formation, operation and organization of cooperative housing units. The role of these organizations will be to train, verify legitimacy and provide recommendations to city staff regarding prospective housing cooperatives that have applied for a license from the city.

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Will Toor: Time for Boulder to step up on housing

I am proud to live in a town that is making it clear that it will stand up to Donald Trump’s attacks on American values. In November, our mayor joined mayors across the country in a letter to Mr. Trump making it clear that cities will continue to act on climate change even if the president tries to throw up obstacles. In January, the council made it clear that Boulder will not cooperate with efforts to deport undocumented residents and break up families.

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The Rich History of African American Cooperatives

Last month I had the great privilege of attending the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) Institute with two fellow CU Boulder students and seven additional members of the Boulder community.

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Are Co-Ops the Answer to Expensive Housing?

Living with roommates is no longer just for college kids and Denver’s expanding millennial population. As builders struggle to keep up with the Mile High City’s housing demand.

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Savvy Seniors Financial Education

For many disadvantaged older adults, the path to economic security begins with basic money management. Learning how to budget, avoid scams, apply for benefits.

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Sarah Dawn Haynes: Co-ops: Don’t Repeat Mistakes of the Past (Boulder, CO)

After months of public debate — including many Mr. Rogers references — last week City Council took a big step forward and dove into substantive discussion of the cooperative housing ordinance. Council asked City Attorney Tom Carr to re-write large portions of the complex draft law.

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Designing A San Francisco With The 100,000 New Housing Units The City Needs

To bring down San Francisco’s out-of-control rents, the city’s chief economist estimated that it needs to build an extra 100,000 housing units in the next few decades.

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New commission might help SF housing crisis

A recent op-ed by Supervisor Mark Farrell in the San Francisco Examiner — “New, costly ‘Peskin Commission’ is not the answer to the housing crisis” (Aug. 9) — that opposed the creation of a commission having oversight over the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development was a classic ad hominem attack.

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Co-ops can be part of solution

As Boulder housing prices continue to rise, with the cost of an average home now over $1 million, the City Council has begun evaluating a variety of options to maintain a middle class of people able to live inside city limits.

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Settlement sets stage for new chapter at Parade Park Homes near 18th and Vine

A Jackson County judge gleefully approved a mediated settlement Tuesday to a contentious lawsuit over the potential redevelopment of the Parade Park Homes residential complex near the 18th and Vine Jazz District.

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More openness needed at co-ops

Co-op members and board members may find interesting some guidance from Robert Szold, the attorney who created the legal foundation for Amalgamated Houses, Park Reservoir, and many other New York cooperatives.  It is taken from “The Functions and Duties of Directors of a Housing Cooperative,” a statement delivered by Robert Szold in 1956.

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Affordable housing demands creative thinking and action

Some 40 million American households are paying more than a third of their incomes on rent, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. This is particularly disconcerting given that the number had been trending downward in recent years. It infers a continuing rental affordability crisis due in no small part to a deepening income inequality across the U.S. Add to that a growing shortage in appropriate housing to meet the needs of our aging population (by 2030, one in every five Americans will be 65 or older), and it’s clear that the time for communities to address affordable and alternative strategies is now.

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A forever home: Co-op veterans take communal

Gabrielle Hinahara has lived at Ambrosia Co-op for three years. While she’s loved the communal living experience Madison Community Cooperative houses offer, Hinahara wants something a little more settled.

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Minneapolis may open door to more communal living

One City Council member seeks to change rules that limit the number of unrelated people who can live under the same roof.

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The Decades Long Battle to Bring Reverse Mortgages to NYC Co-Ops

Many seniors living in housing cooperatives are largely shutout of the ability to tap into their housing wealth using a reverse mortgage. But while there has been little movement from regulators to expand reverse mortgage access to co-ops, there are several organizations who—even after 16 years—are not giving up the fight just yet.

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Discover NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program®

Join us for a webinar on June 28 to discover all of the elective courses now being offered through NCOA’s unique Aging Mastery Program® (AMP)—and get a sneak peek at classes in development. AMP is a fun, innovative, and person-centered education program that empowers older adults to embrace their gift of longevity by spending more time each day doing things that are good for themselves and for others.

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Longtime residents of an affordable housing cooperative near Kansas City’s historic jazz district are concerned a $76 million redevelopment plan will force them out of their homes

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Archie Williams has lived in the Parade Park Homes complex just east of 18th and Vine for 41 years and savors the neighborhood’s proud African-American heritage.

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Court hears dispute over Parade Park Homes

A three-day hearing started Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court over the future of the Parade Park Homes complex near the 18th and Vine Jazz District.

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Advocate wants to turn parking lots into housing

Some of the most successful cities in the country are in a housing crisis, and advocates want to see the focus change from preservation to affordability.

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Mortgages for co-op owners

If you’re 62 or older and own your own private home or certain approved condominium — and want money to pay off your mortgage, supplement your income or pay for healthcare expenses — you may be able to consider a reverse mortgage.

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Senior Housing Cooperatives Sweeping the Midwest

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — On Friday, May 13, 2016, Real Estate Equities Development, LLC, a senior housing cooperative developer, announced plans for multiple Village Cooperative senior housing communities coming soon to the Northland area in Kansas City.

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Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Action Agenda for Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging Begins at Home, a report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, outlines an actionable policy agenda to accommodate America’s older adults.

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Sheetrocker Brings It All Back Home

Darren Smith found his way back to the old Dwight Co-ops with a drill and a T-square in hand so he could help give his childhood housing complex a second chance — along with his own carpentry dreams.

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UrbaNerd: Some Numbers on Abandoned Property and Affordable Housing

In an article City Limits published Monday, reporter Abigail Savitch-Lew wrote a little about the city’s Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) program and Third Party Transfer programs. Abby’s article was about community land trusts, one of the newish ideas that some advocates hope the city will embrace as it aims to preserve 120,000 units of affordable housing and construct 80,000 over a decade.

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City Slow to Embrace Land Trusts as Housing Tool

Across New York City, from the Far Rockaways to the South Bronx and from Bushwick to East Harlem, low-income communities are showing increasing fascination with the community land trust model. One might even call it a movement.

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Minneapolis may open door to more communal living

One City Council member seeks to change rules that limit the number of unrelated people who can live under the same roof. A Minneapolis City Council member is looking to change the city’s rules about what makes a family — at least for the purposes of deciding who can legally live under one roof.

Funding Available To Assist Housing For Low Income

ALBANY—A total of $59 million is available to construct, rehabilitate, and improve the homes of income-eligible families across New York State.

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SF Land Trust Acquires Another SoMa Building, Thwarting Future Evictions

Representatives from the San Francisco Land Trust, the city and a handful of Central SoMa neighborhood organizations gathered this morning outside 568-570 Natoma St. to celebrate the trust’s acquisition of the five-unit, rent-controlled building.

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City’s Housing Plan Moves Away from Bolstering Homeownership

In a city with skyrocketing rents, homeownership can seem like the ultimate prize, a guard against displacement and a fast way to accrue wealth. Yet New York continues to be a city of renters: Only 31 percent of city households own homes, as opposed to 64 percent nationwide—and no city-sponsored policy is about to make that change.

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Savvy Senior

Savvy Senior is a nationally syndicated information column devoted to older adults and the families who support them. Researched and written by senior advocate, author and NBC Today show contributor Jim Miller, Savvy Senior is published in more than 400 newspapers and magazines nationwide.

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The Case for Co-ops

There’s something odd about 13th and Olive. Better known as Crap, er, Capstone, it’s a pretty blunt edition to downtown Eugene. But something about it just doesn’t quite make sense. A handful of the first-floor rooms are completely uninhabited, and yet they’re all done up: televisions turned on, beds made, journals on the desks and one or two lone T-shirts hanging in the closet.

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Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance is a cooperative that exists to serve our co-op members and also a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to growing the cooperative economy.

Coalitions and Cooperation

NAHC regularly participates with coalitions of multi-family affordable housing organizations, cooperative organizations including the National Cooperative Bank, the National Cooperative Business Association and Credit Unions as well as consumer organizations including the Consumer Federation of America, in support of federal initiatives to benefit our members.

NAHC has joined coalitions in signing letters of support particularly to maintain (or increase) funding for affordable housing.


 

Buying a Co-op with ‘Dummy Money’

Ask Real Estate is a weekly column that answers questions from across the New York region. 

Padding the Coffers

My fiancé and I bid on an apartment in the Bronx that requires us to have at least two years of mortgage and maintenance in savings, which we could borrow from a bank.

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Residents buy two Rockland-area mobile home parks

ROCKLAND, Maine — Nearly 100 families have more secure housing after two mobile home parks were purchased by their residents.

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 New Video: How Not to Shop for Medicare

Choosing your Medicare coverage is not a “one-size-fits-all” decision. What works for one person may be totally different than what would work for you.

Rather than going with the first plan you hear about from your friend or coworker, it’s important to evaluate all of your options and find the best fit for your needs (and potentially save hundreds of dollars a year, or get access to higher quality care).

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Tax Escalation Clauses Save Money

Want to maximize commercial rents without affecting your tax status? Until the end of 2007, the so-called “80/20 rule“ of the federal tax code limited the rents that many cooperatives could collect for commercial space (only 20 percent of a co-op’s income could be non-shareholder). When the 80/20 rule was liberalized in 2007, it was suddenly possible for many cooperatives to adopt new techniques used by commercial landlords to collect more rent.

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Dealing with Illegal Hotel Rooms and Short-Term Rentals

Take one commentator from our online forum, Board Talk. She writes: “If a prop[rietary] lease permits ‘sublets,’ can the board decide that sublets must be for a minimum of one-year?” By way of example, “Lessee submits an application for a 3-day sublet over the Memorial Day weekend. And an application for a 7-day sublet over July 4th holiday. Another application for a 3-day sublet in August. Must the Board treat these as sublet applications? Or do these short-term rentals not count as sublets?”

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Housing Cooperative News

Three community-oriented alternatives to Sacramento’s historic housing crisis

In Europe, some publicly-owned housing developments are made into cooperatives with their own governing boards, meaning control over one’s housing is hyper-local and accountable. What is most important, though, is that these developments are open to people of all income levels.

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Advocating for Residents Organizations Go to Bat for Shareholders/Owners

Successfully running a condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association is no small task. A board and/or management must consider the interests of its residents when making sweeping decisions to benefit the property and those who call it home. On top of that, the association must keep abreast of codes, laws, regulations, and rules at local, state and federal levels that may impact how they conduct their business, maintain their buildings, and screen potential applicants – just to name a few important factors. Taking into account that a board is likely made up of volunteers, some or all of whom have full-time jobs that have nothing at all to do with real estate or finance, it seems like a tall order.

Read more.

Does Ann Arbor need a new tax to fund affordable housing?

Ann Arbor is struggling to make progress on its goal of significantly expanding the supply of affordable housing, which has local officials discussing whether more funding is needed.

Leaders from the Ann Arbor Housing Commission and Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development are recommending a new property tax to help pay for the creation of more subsidized apartments for low-income people in Ann Arbor.

Read more.

City taking troublesome landlord to court over code compliance

The city of Rochester is gearing up to take to court a problematic landlord whose rental properties have racked up hundreds of recent code violations and whose tenants have already embarked on a rent strike.

Read more.

The Rent Is Too Damn High, and Progressives Need to Do Something

Ben Carson is on a mission to shred the federal housing safety net. As secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carson has actively undermined desegregation and LGBT protections in government-subsidized housing, and has proposed raising rents threefold for many families. The Trump administration’s approach to housing policy would be comical if it didn’t have real effects on real people: Trump picked his personal event planner, who had no relevant experience, to run the biggest regional housing office in HUD. This allowed Trump to gut affordable housing in New York and New Jersey, the very same place his son-in-law Jared Kushner illegally skirted rent-stabilization rules.

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Sustainable by Design: Increasing Water Efficiency and Reducing Cost in Affordable Housing

This case study looks at lessons learned from the Chicago Water-Efficiency Pilot led by Enterprise Community Partners and Elevate Energy. The study demonstrates how investing in water efficiency can cut costs and increase the financial stability of affordable housing developments.

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MSU Student Combats Climate Change One Solar Panel at a Time

After listening to the audiobook, “Unstoppable” by Bill Nye, Sam Berndt, a Michigan State University graduate student studying computer science, was inspired to become a force against climate change. After moving into the David Bowie Memorial Cooperative in August 2016, he knew that he wanted to find sustainable energy solutions to work towards making all cooperatives 100-percent carbon neutral.

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Beecher City Resident Attends College Conference on Cooperatives

Every year National Farmers Union hosts a College Conference on Cooperatives, where students from various states learn about the role and function of cooperative businesses.

Joining participants from Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Montana and Colorado recently was Illinois Farmers Union member Talena Zacha. Zacha, a resident of Beecher City and an agriculture student at Lake Land College, traveled to Minneapolis-St. Paul to attend the conference with both fellow students and cooperative leaders from all across the spectrum.

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Ashland Co-op expansion Could Include Housing

The space-cramped Ashland Food Co-op is on the verge of buying a 1.8-acre piece of bare land 100 yards north of its busy First Street shop — a spot that could be developed into a bigger store or become a second co-op.

The lot on Clear Creek Drive behind Ashland Lumber might also be used to build workforce or cooperative housing, which would put the 36-year-old, 10,000-member food store in a radically new business, providing affordable housing in a town that lacks it.

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An 800-Family Chicago Housing Co-op Enters its Second Half-Century Going Strong

As Nneka McGuire and Nicholas Padiak note in the Chicago Tribune, “Co-ops hold a unique place in the history of combating housing discrimination and, for that matter, in the history of the United States too.” Hilary Silver, chair of the department of sociology at George Washington University, who specializes in the study of housing and homelessness, notes that the housing co-op idea “was, let’s cooperate and we’ll cut out the landlord, who was living off of our rents. It was like quasi-ownership. It was like creating a workers’ republic, almost. Let’s cut out the capitalists.”

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New Village Cooperative Senior Housing Coming To Colorado Springs, CO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — On Tuesday, April 17th , 2018, Real Estate Equities Development, LLC announced plans for its newest Village Cooperative community, which will be the first owner-occupied senior housing cooperative in Colorado Springs, CO. Senior cooperative housing communities originally began in Minnesota in the 1970s and have had a successful track record with over 120 communities, primarily in the Midwest. Real Estate Equities Development, LLC in Eagan, MN is the developer for the Village Cooperative and now has 32 Village Cooperative communities that are either operating, under construction, or scheduled for construction in the next year and can be found in seven different states.

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Residents buy manufactured-home park

BARRINGTON — Homeowners in Ambleside Mobile Home Park closed April 16 on the purchase of their 69-unit park, making it New Hampshire’s 124th resident-owned manufactured-home community.

Using training and technical assistance from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s ROC-NH program, residents organized and formed Lee Oak Cooperative last December to buy their privately owned manufactured-home park.

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Jackson Rising

In June 2017, the young black attorney Chokwe Antar Lumumba was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, with 93 per cent of the vote. He pledged to make the capital of this former slave state ‘the most radical city on the planet’. Kali Akuno describes the grassroots mobilisation that launched him to office

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Owner-Occupied Senior Cooperative Rising in Colorado Springs

Real Estate Equities Development has announced plans for their new Village Cooperative of Briargate property in Colorado Springs, Colo., aimed at adults 62 and over. The development will be the first 100 percent owner-occupied senior housing community in the city.

Read more.

Riverton Community Housing expands presence near campus

The developer will open its newest co-op style apartments in Southeast Como next year.

Despite an influx of luxury apartments near the University of Minnesota, a local developer has expanded its campus presence by building more affordable, cooperative housing complexes.

Riverton Community Housing offers cooperative housing options throughout the Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como and Seward neighborhoods. The nonprofit currently owns six different buildings, five of which are co-ops. A seventh in Southeast Como is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, and is slated to open in August of 2019.

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New book explores DC’s equity housing cooperatives—and may offers some lessons for SF.

LIT Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C. “explores the practice of urban ‘commoning’ in Washington, DC, through an investigation of the city’s equity housing cooperatives.” Author Amanda Huron draws insight and lessons from organizing against displacement that are relevant for any major US cities. Huron teaches at the University of the District of Columbia and plays drums with the band Puff Pieces. We spoke with Huron ahead of her Wed/2, 7pm, appearance at Green Arcade.

Read more.

Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.

An affordable cooperative housing development is slated to bring home ownership to dozens of families in the north Bronx.

In Williamsbridge, Habitat for Humanity New York City broke ground on Friday, March 16 on the largest multi-family development under one roof that any Habitat affiliate has every attempted.

Development partners are Almat Group, with city and state agencies. The new development is called Sydney House.

Read more.

Groundbreaking set for Montana’s first housing cooperative in Hamilton

Work will get underway next week on Montana’s first housing cooperative. It’s a day that’s been long in coming for Paul Travitz, executive director of the Ravalli County Council on Aging. For the last 12 years, Travitz and others focused on helping people age independently have been dreaming of the day the 8.5 acres adjacent to the council’s headquarters would be transformed into a vibrant community for people over the age of 55.

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Carving Out the Commons

By now, you could be forgiven for assuming that “the commons” refers to another cocktail bar or coffee shop in yet another neighborhood people used to be able to afford. In Chicago, the Commons Co-op is a co-working space inside a cocktail lounge inside a Virgin-branded boutique hotel. In Brooklyn, Common is a property management start-up (backed by $65 million in venture capital) that specializes in something called “co-living.” For just $1,400 a month, Common tenants in New York City get a private bedroom and share amenities like a bathroom, kitchen, and free coffee: an Instagrammable SRO. Common calls this “city living made better.”

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Johnnie St. Vrain: What is a residential co-op?

Dear Johnnie: I saw Tuesday that the SWAT team was using an old farm house where a residential co-op is going to be built. My question is: What is a residential co-op? I am familiar with an agriculture co-op. Is this what this is? Is it some kind of government price controlled homes or …? — Just Curious

Dear Just Curious: The housing cooperative planned for that parcel specifically will be for residents ages 62 and older. And it’s a private, not a public, development.

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Cooperatives offer one lifestyle; caring for aging parents at home is another

Judi and Randy Johnson have lived at Gramercy Park Cooperative at Lake Shore Drive in Richfield since the 12-story, 160-unit building was constructed in 2000.

“We bought when it was still a hole in the ground,” Judi said. “We knew nothing about the area. We had lived in Columbia Heights.”

Read more.

URBAN AGENDA: Averting the Impending Subsidized Housing Crisis

Mitchell-Lama housing was a pillar in the New York City campaign to provide affordable housing to low and moderate-income families. The program, first introduced in 1955, was among an array of multiple government efforts to develop rental apartments and cooperatives that over the decades provided a pathway for its residents into the middle class.

Read more.

Willits educator seeks 3rd District Mendocino County Board of Supervisors seat

Educator Shawna Jeavons says her upbringing in a rural area – she grew up 25 minutes out of town on Pine Mountain – helped shape her political views.

The Willits High School teacher is running for 3rd District supervisor. She said she is familiar with Mendocino County’s needs, by virtue of having lived in the area nearly her whole life, with few exceptions like going away to college.

Read more.

Report: Amid Housing Crisis, NY Must Rethink How Land is Owned

A new report released Thursday takes a wide look at the nation’s housing system and calls for a shift to alternative models that “reconceptualiz[e] housing as something beyond a source of profit.”

The report, entitled “Communities Over Commodities: People-Driven Solutions to an Unjust Housing System,” can be viewed here. Authored by the Right to The City Alliance, a national coalition of social-justice organizations concerned about displacement, as part of the organization’s Homes for All Campaign, it presents four alternative housing models from the United States and elsewhere “where communities have taken charge of housing needs through cooperative and collective arrangements.”

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Council backs tenant ‘right of refusal’ bill, so long as Cambridge gets to alter it to fit

“right of first refusal” bill to give tenants first shot at buying their unit when a building’s owner sells won City Council support 7-2 on Monday, but even councillors voting in favor want a guaranteed right to change its specifics to fit the needs of Cambridge.

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Westchester May Speed Up Co-op Purchase Applications

For years, people have been trying to speed up and remove the mystery from the buying of cooperative apartments in New York City. Last year, once again, a raft of proposed bills in the city and in Albany inspired stiff resistance from co-op advocates. As in years past, the bills were all shelved. Now the battle has spilled into Westchester County.

Read more.

Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.

An affordable cooperative housing development is slated to bring home ownership to dozens of families in the north Bronx.

In Williamsbridge, Habitat for Humanity New York City broke ground on Friday, March 16 on the largest multi-family development under one roof that any Habitat affiliate has every attempted.

Development partners are Almat Group, with city and state agencies. The new development is called Sydney House.

Read more.

Homeless shelter board looking at permanent housing

DAYTONA BEACH — The board that’s overseeing creation of a new homeless shelter hoped to open by the summer of 2019 is starting to plan for what will be done to help people after they leave the refuge for the unsheltered west of Interstate 95.

At their meeting Monday night, members of the First Step Shelter Board had a lengthy conversation via Skype with three top officials of a Massachusetts-based program that provides homes to the homeless.

Read more.

Walker signs bill inspired by cabin-owners’ court fight

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Just five months after an adverse ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court had her in tears, Donna Murr was celebrating Monday after Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a bill that gives Wisconsin property owners more rights.

The Murr family fought for more than a dozen years, and all the way to the Supreme Court, for the ability to sell undeveloped land next to their cottage along scenic Lake St. Croix in western Wisconsin.

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Community associations expand reach as planned neighborhoods, condo villages spring up

The term may be vague, but there’s more than a one in five chance your residential enclave counts as one. Moreover, its meetings may be standing-room-only affairs. And what happens at those gatherings impacts the entire area. These places are community associations. According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, they also go by such names as planned communities, homeowners or property owners associations, condominium communities and housing cooperatives.

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(BPRW) L.A. Housing: Over 40 L.A. Groups Unite for a Summit to Fight Gentrification LEIMERT PARK, Saturday, December 2nd 8am to 6pm

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Saturday, December 2nd, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Housing is a Human Right project and over 40 tenant rights, civil rights, faith-based and social justice organizations are coming together for the Resist Gentrification Action Summit to combat California’s ongoing housing crisis.

Across the state, people are struggling to stay in their homes as developers, corporate landlords and Wall Street speculators transform stable neighborhoods into high-priced markets at the expense of working-class communities. The summit seeks to address this through plenaries and breakout panels focusing on combating gentrification, promoting community wealth-building, and demanding development without displacement. The summit takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Audubon Middle School in Leimert Park (4120 11th Ave., Los Angeles, CA).

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Mobile homes offer an affordable roof, but tenants struggle when the land disappears beneath them

Clay Bren, his wife, Pearl, and their two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Geronimo holed up in their manufactured home late on a rainy November morning, watching true crime programs on their flat screen television. Bren wanted to meet at his home rather than the Hillside Homeowners Cooperative’s office space — a building that is, as of yet, uninsulated and lacks heat. It’s one of many things that Bren and the other members of the homeownership cooperative are looking to change about their community, a 45-unit manufactured-home park within spitting distance of Centralia, Washington.

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Co-ops are a big part of Davis’ Main Street

In a world seemingly gone “global,” most people do not know that local member-owned cooperatives in the United States have assets of $1 trillion. Those co-op funds back the economy of Main Street, not Wall Street. For an example of the role of co-ops on Main Street, USA, let’s look at the co-ops in Davis.

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City Offers $250M to Mitchell-Lama Complexes — If They Stay Affordable

CLINTON HILL — As part of his expanded affordable housing plan, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is setting aside $250 million for one purpose: persuading Mitchell-Lama complexes to stay affordable, at least for another 20 years.

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How to buy into a limited-equity housing cooperative

When you think of co-ops, you might envision luxury condos where super-rich, celebrities or politicians live. But what if you could you buy one for less than the market rate rent? You can if you buy into a limited-equity housing cooperative (LEC).

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Condo or co-op: Deciding what’s best for you

If you’re on the hunt to buy an apartment, one thing is crucial before beginning your search: decide if a condo and cooperative is right for you.

“Working with a client, it’s important to immediately define the difference,” says Brian Lewis, an agent with Halstead’s New York office. Because the ownership structures of condos and co-ops are vastly different, all the financial and legal matters of buying one will dramatically differ, too.

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2017 Programs of HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Announces Programs of HUD including, Major Mortgage, Grant, Assistance and Regulatory Programs.

Download the Complete PDF

Hurricane Planning Tips

This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

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Austin, TX, City resolution expands city housing financial aid to co-ops

Austin is in the process of allowing housing cooperatives to apply for city housing financial aid in an effort to expand housing options and reduce rent for members of co-ops.

In a resolution passed unanimously by the Austin City Council on Aug. 17, the city manager is now tasked with finding ways to allow co-ops to become eligible for financial aid through the city’s affordable housing initiatives.

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Co-op and Condo Group Resists Mandatory Smoking Policies

There is a short stack of legislative proposals before the New York City Council and the state General Assembly that seek to change the way co-op boards determine who buys into housing cooperatives. Some of these proposals would limit the amount of time boards have to notify a potential purchaser that his or her application is complete; others would limit the amount of time boards have to accept or reject a completed application; and others would require boards to provide their reasons for rejecting a purchase application, something they are not currently required to do. Co-op advocates have spoken out, vociferously, against the proposals, arguing that they’re unnecessary impediments to the conduct of co-op board business, which is, in their opinion, largely expeditious and free of discrimination.

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Blog Focuses on Lead Poisoning of Children in Communities of Color

A blog post in HealthAffairs by Emily Benfer, a senior fellow and distinguished visiting scholar at the Yale Law School, describes the extent to which minority children are disproportionately affected by lead-based paint hazards and the prevalence of lead-based paint hazards in HUD-assisted homes, and it criticizes a limitation of HUD’s recently revised lead-based paint rule.

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Study Finds Airbnb Increases Rents

A new study by Kyle Barron, Edward Kung, and Davide Prosperpio, The Sharing Economy and Housing Affordability: Evidence from Airbnb, finds that a 10% increase in Airbnb listings in a neighborhood leads to a 0.39% increase in rents. Airbnb’s impact is stronger in neighborhoods with more absentee landlords and weaker in neighborhoods with more owner-occupants. The findings suggest that Airbnb incentivizes absentee landlords to remove their properties from the long-term rental market and rent them to short-term tenants, causing rents for long-term leases to increase.

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Rebuilding Together gets grant to improve properties

Rebuilding Together, Saratoga County received a $300,000 grant from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Affordable Home Ownership Development Program.

The grant will be used to assist with the home improvement of approximately 15 units throughout Saratoga County.

The amount of homes the grant will help varies depending on applications Rebuilding Together receives.

Learn More.

Funding announced to rehabilitate 271 homes in NY

The New York Governor’s Office announced $7.4 million in funding to construct and rehabilitate 271 owner-occupied homes in the state.

The funding was awarded through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Affordable Home Ownership Development Program. The programs has already awarded nearly $192 million to create or improve more than 9,700 homes across the state.

Learn More.

Westchester Company To Pay $125K In Damages, Penalties After Settlement

A Westchester County property management company and co-op building has agreed in federal court to pay more than $100,000 in damages following a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability.

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FIXING A ‘MESS’

Accessory dwelling units, or “granny flats,” and housing cooperatives are something else he expects to be a topic of interest, along with the potential for “tiny houses,” which are typically 400 square feet or smaller.

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Another Way Forward: Communities Battle Against Gentrification

As real-estate markets are increasingly subjected to the pressures of globalization, gentrification has become an almost universal woe of capitalist cities around the world. Today in Berlin, the city is instituting the Milieuschutz Laws, which we outlined in the first installment of two-part series as being some of the most progressive municipal policies in the world meant to curb gentrification in historically affordable areas. While these are positive steps, the history of the affordable housing struggle in Berlin stretches back decades, and was traditionally led not by city government, but by students, artists and immigrants.

Learn More.

NCB’s Charles E. Snyder Honored with the Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award from Consumer Federation of America

Charles E. Snyder, National Cooperative Bank’s President and CEO, was awarded the 2017 Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award at the Consumer Federation of America’s 47th Annual Awards Dinner held on June 14, 2017 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

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City of Boulder to Begin Accepting Applications for Cooperative Housing on June 1

On June 1, the City of Boulder will begin accepting applications for Cooperative Housing licenses. The first licenses will be issued on or before July 17. Applications will be available at 1739 Broadway on the third floor or online. An outline of the application and approval process, along with a list of frequently asked questions, is available online as a reference.

Learn More.

Housing co-ops a potential affordable housing solution

Providing affordable housing options is a tough nut to crack — especially in a booming housing market like Asheville’s. While city voters approved $25 million in spending on affordable housing as part of a 2015 bond referendum totaling $74 million, the question remains: What’s the best way to spend money to support affordable housing solutions?.

Read More.

Bank Partnership Spurs Resident-Owned Manufactured Housing

With more than 50,000 manufactured housing communities in the United States—roughly six percent of the overall housing market—borrowers are drawn to manufactured homes, as they often cost significantly less than new site-built housing. As such, manufactured housing remains a critical source of affordable housing for many consumers—particularly the elderly, low- to moderate-income families and those living in rural communities.

Read More.

Zillow Examines Food Deserts in Metropolitan Areas

An analysis by Zillow shows that 20 percent of the nation’s non-rural population, or 47.3 million people, have low incomes and low access to fresh food, which is defined as being located a half mile or more from the nearest fresh, whole food source.

Read More.

Co-ops back in U.S. Census after 20-year absence

NCBA CLUSA is thrilled to announce that a decades-long absence of federally-reported data on co-ops in the U.S. will end with the 2017 Economic Census. The Office of Management and Budget on Friday approved without change or question the main 2017 Economic Census.

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Cody Curtis: Nevada City must commit to affordable housing

For many of us who have come to contribute to the life of this place, the cost of housing is draining our energies and driving us away.

On April 20, the Nevada City Planning Commission will review a housing project called “The Grove” which would be the largest development in Nevada City’s recent history. This presents a much-needed opportunity to increase the city’s housing stock.

Read more.

City Encourages Organizations to Apply to Be Expert Cooperative Housing Organizations

The City of Boulder is requesting applications from qualified organizations to serve as Expert Cooperative Housing Organizations (ECHO). An ECHO is an organization recognized by the city manager as having experience and expertise in the formation, operation and organization of cooperative housing units. The role of these organizations will be to train, verify legitimacy and provide recommendations to city staff regarding prospective housing cooperatives that have applied for a license from the city.

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Will Toor: Time for Boulder to step up on housing

I am proud to live in a town that is making it clear that it will stand up to Donald Trump’s attacks on American values. In November, our mayor joined mayors across the country in a letter to Mr. Trump making it clear that cities will continue to act on climate change even if the president tries to throw up obstacles. In January, the council made it clear that Boulder will not cooperate with efforts to deport undocumented residents and break up families.

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The Rich History of African American Cooperatives

Last month I had the great privilege of attending the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) Institute with two fellow CU Boulder students and seven additional members of the Boulder community.

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Are Co-Ops the Answer to Expensive Housing?

Living with roommates is no longer just for college kids and Denver’s expanding millennial population. As builders struggle to keep up with the Mile High City’s housing demand.

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Savvy Seniors Financial Education

For many disadvantaged older adults, the path to economic security begins with basic money management. Learning how to budget, avoid scams, apply for benefits.

Read more.

Sarah Dawn Haynes: Co-ops: Don’t Repeat Mistakes of the Past (Boulder, CO)

After months of public debate — including many Mr. Rogers references — last week City Council took a big step forward and dove into substantive discussion of the cooperative housing ordinance. Council asked City Attorney Tom Carr to re-write large portions of the complex draft law.

Read more.

Designing A San Francisco With The 100,000 New Housing Units The City Needs

To bring down San Francisco’s out-of-control rents, the city’s chief economist estimated that it needs to build an extra 100,000 housing units in the next few decades.

Read more.

New commission might help SF housing crisis

A recent op-ed by Supervisor Mark Farrell in the San Francisco Examiner — “New, costly ‘Peskin Commission’ is not the answer to the housing crisis” (Aug. 9) — that opposed the creation of a commission having oversight over the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development was a classic ad hominem attack.

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Co-ops can be part of solution

As Boulder housing prices continue to rise, with the cost of an average home now over $1 million, the City Council has begun evaluating a variety of options to maintain a middle class of people able to live inside city limits.

Read more.

Settlement sets stage for new chapter at Parade Park Homes near 18th and Vine

A Jackson County judge gleefully approved a mediated settlement Tuesday to a contentious lawsuit over the potential redevelopment of the Parade Park Homes residential complex near the 18th and Vine Jazz District.

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More openness needed at co-ops

Co-op members and board members may find interesting some guidance from Robert Szold, the attorney who created the legal foundation for Amalgamated Houses, Park Reservoir, and many other New York cooperatives.  It is taken from “The Functions and Duties of Directors of a Housing Cooperative,” a statement delivered by Robert Szold in 1956.

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Affordable housing demands creative thinking and action

Some 40 million American households are paying more than a third of their incomes on rent, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. This is particularly disconcerting given that the number had been trending downward in recent years. It infers a continuing rental affordability crisis due in no small part to a deepening income inequality across the U.S. Add to that a growing shortage in appropriate housing to meet the needs of our aging population (by 2030, one in every five Americans will be 65 or older), and it’s clear that the time for communities to address affordable and alternative strategies is now.

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A forever home: Co-op veterans take communal

Gabrielle Hinahara has lived at Ambrosia Co-op for three years. While she’s loved the communal living experience Madison Community Cooperative houses offer, Hinahara wants something a little more settled.

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Minneapolis may open door to more communal living

One City Council member seeks to change rules that limit the number of unrelated people who can live under the same roof.

Read more.

The Decades Long Battle to Bring Reverse Mortgages to NYC Co-Ops

Many seniors living in housing cooperatives are largely shutout of the ability to tap into their housing wealth using a reverse mortgage. But while there has been little movement from regulators to expand reverse mortgage access to co-ops, there are several organizations who—even after 16 years—are not giving up the fight just yet.

Read more.

Discover NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program®

Join us for a webinar on June 28 to discover all of the elective courses now being offered through NCOA’s unique Aging Mastery Program® (AMP)—and get a sneak peek at classes in development. AMP is a fun, innovative, and person-centered education program that empowers older adults to embrace their gift of longevity by spending more time each day doing things that are good for themselves and for others.

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Longtime residents of an affordable housing cooperative near Kansas City’s historic jazz district are concerned a $76 million redevelopment plan will force them out of their homes

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Archie Williams has lived in the Parade Park Homes complex just east of 18th and Vine for 41 years and savors the neighborhood’s proud African-American heritage.

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Court hears dispute over Parade Park Homes

A three-day hearing started Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court over the future of the Parade Park Homes complex near the 18th and Vine Jazz District.

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Advocate wants to turn parking lots into housing

Some of the most successful cities in the country are in a housing crisis, and advocates want to see the focus change from preservation to affordability.

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Mortgages for co-op owners

If you’re 62 or older and own your own private home or certain approved condominium — and want money to pay off your mortgage, supplement your income or pay for healthcare expenses — you may be able to consider a reverse mortgage.

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Senior Housing Cooperatives Sweeping the Midwest

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — On Friday, May 13, 2016, Real Estate Equities Development, LLC, a senior housing cooperative developer, announced plans for multiple Village Cooperative senior housing communities coming soon to the Northland area in Kansas City.

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Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Action Agenda for Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging Begins at Home, a report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, outlines an actionable policy agenda to accommodate America’s older adults.

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Sheetrocker Brings It All Back Home

Darren Smith found his way back to the old Dwight Co-ops with a drill and a T-square in hand so he could help give his childhood housing complex a second chance — along with his own carpentry dreams.

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UrbaNerd: Some Numbers on Abandoned Property and Affordable Housing

In an article City Limits published Monday, reporter Abigail Savitch-Lew wrote a little about the city’s Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) program and Third Party Transfer programs. Abby’s article was about community land trusts, one of the newish ideas that some advocates hope the city will embrace as it aims to preserve 120,000 units of affordable housing and construct 80,000 over a decade.

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City Slow to Embrace Land Trusts as Housing Tool

Across New York City, from the Far Rockaways to the South Bronx and from Bushwick to East Harlem, low-income communities are showing increasing fascination with the community land trust model. One might even call it a movement.

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Minneapolis may open door to more communal living

One City Council member seeks to change rules that limit the number of unrelated people who can live under the same roof. A Minneapolis City Council member is looking to change the city’s rules about what makes a family — at least for the purposes of deciding who can legally live under one roof.

Funding Available To Assist Housing For Low Income

ALBANY—A total of $59 million is available to construct, rehabilitate, and improve the homes of income-eligible families across New York State.

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SF Land Trust Acquires Another SoMa Building, Thwarting Future Evictions

Representatives from the San Francisco Land Trust, the city and a handful of Central SoMa neighborhood organizations gathered this morning outside 568-570 Natoma St. to celebrate the trust’s acquisition of the five-unit, rent-controlled building.

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City’s Housing Plan Moves Away from Bolstering Homeownership

In a city with skyrocketing rents, homeownership can seem like the ultimate prize, a guard against displacement and a fast way to accrue wealth. Yet New York continues to be a city of renters: Only 31 percent of city households own homes, as opposed to 64 percent nationwide—and no city-sponsored policy is about to make that change.

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Savvy Senior

Savvy Senior is a nationally syndicated information column devoted to older adults and the families who support them. Researched and written by senior advocate, author and NBC Today show contributor Jim Miller, Savvy Senior is published in more than 400 newspapers and magazines nationwide.

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The Case for Co-ops

There’s something odd about 13th and Olive. Better known as Crap, er, Capstone, it’s a pretty blunt edition to downtown Eugene. But something about it just doesn’t quite make sense. A handful of the first-floor rooms are completely uninhabited, and yet they’re all done up: televisions turned on, beds made, journals on the desks and one or two lone T-shirts hanging in the closet.

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Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance is a cooperative that exists to serve our co-op members and also a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to growing the cooperative economy.

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Coalitions and Cooperation

NAHC regularly participates with coalitions of multi-family affordable housing organizations, cooperative organizations including the National Cooperative Bank, the National Cooperative Business Association and Credit Unions as well as consumer organizations including the Consumer Federation of America, in support of federal initiatives to benefit our members.

NAHC has joined coalitions in signing letters of support particularly to maintain (or increase) funding for affordable housing.


 

Buying a Co-op with ‘Dummy Money’

Ask Real Estate is a weekly column that answers questions from across the New York region. 

Padding the Coffers

My fiancé and I bid on an apartment in the Bronx that requires us to have at least two years of mortgage and maintenance in savings, which we could borrow from a bank.

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Residents buy two Rockland-area mobile home parks

ROCKLAND, Maine — Nearly 100 families have more secure housing after two mobile home parks were purchased by their residents.

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 New Video: How Not to Shop for Medicare

Choosing your Medicare coverage is not a “one-size-fits-all” decision. What works for one person may be totally different than what would work for you.

Rather than going with the first plan you hear about from your friend or coworker, it’s important to evaluate all of your options and find the best fit for your needs (and potentially save hundreds of dollars a year, or get access to higher quality care).

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Tax Escalation Clauses Save Money

Want to maximize commercial rents without affecting your tax status? Until the end of 2007, the so-called “80/20 rule“ of the federal tax code limited the rents that many cooperatives could collect for commercial space (only 20 percent of a co-op’s income could be non-shareholder). When the 80/20 rule was liberalized in 2007, it was suddenly possible for many cooperatives to adopt new techniques used by commercial landlords to collect more rent.

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Dealing with Illegal Hotel Rooms and Short-Term Rentals

Take one commentator from our online forum, Board Talk. She writes: “If a prop[rietary] lease permits ‘sublets,’ can the board decide that sublets must be for a minimum of one-year?” By way of example, “Lessee submits an application for a 3-day sublet over the Memorial Day weekend. And an application for a 7-day sublet over July 4th holiday. Another application for a 3-day sublet in August. Must the Board treat these as sublet applications? Or do these short-term rentals not count as sublets?”

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