Housing Cooperative News

Valone Calls on Congress For Co-ops, Condos CARES Relief

Council Member Paul A. Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) announced on Friday he will introduce a resolution calling on Congress and President Trump to expand the CARES Act and Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to include considerations for housing cooperatives and condominiums. Read more

Queens lawmaker introduces new legislation seeking to cancel rent and mortgage payments nationwide

As millions of tenants were unable to pay rent on April 1, and with no clear end to the COVID-19 crisis in sight, a Queens lawmaker is helping to introduce a new legislation to cancel rent and mortgage payments nationwide.

Congresswoman Grace Meng on April 20 announced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, which would constitute a full forgiveness of payment, with no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history. Read more

Confusion Over COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Programs

Government relief for homeowners facing difficulties paying their mortgages has been a slow and confusing process: thousands of homeowners are spending several hours waiting to speak with their mortgage service providers and the options given may not be suitable for a household suffering from the loss of a significant portion of their income due to the novel coronavirus epidemic, says the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a homeownership advocacy group. Read more

Ensuring Access to Needed Medications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

One of the challenges many people may face during the coronavirus pandemic is access to needed prescription and over-the-counter medications. Our tips below offer advice for how to get your medications, as well as find help affording them. Read more

Getting the Care You Need via Telemedicine

Keeping on top of your healthcare needs is now more important than ever, but due to the COVID-19 virus, you may be asked by your healthcare system or local physician’s office to avoid in-person visits. Avoiding in-person visits helps control the spread of the disease and ensures that the most critically ill receive frontline care. But just because you may not be able to see your healthcare provider in person does not mean that you should not seek out medical care. Read more

New York City’s affordable HDFC co-ops, explained

New York City’s affordable housing stock mostly consists of rental apartments, but for those who are in the market to buy, there is one reliable source for homeownership on a budget. Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives, better known as HDFC co-ops (which are also advertised as “income-restricted” or “restricted sale” apartments), are often priced much lower than a typical NYC apartment, but require buyers to meet certain income caps while also having significant financial assets on hand. Read more

Chicago: With East Garfield Park Ripe For Gentrification, Residents Draw Up Blueprint To Protect Themselves

The community-driven plan was created over the past year in response to rising rents and new development coming to the area.

The West Side may get a lot of bad press about gun violence and poverty, but legacy residents of East Garfield Park have always known their neighborhood is prime real estate. Just a 10-minute ride Downtown by the Green Line, the neighborhood is positioned within arm’s reach of the city’s major employment centers like the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, as well as some of Chicago’s best attractions like the United Center and the Garfield Park Conservatory. Read more

EEI Statement on Suspending Electric Service Disconnections

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn today announced that all EEI member companies are suspending electricity disconnects for nonpayment nationwide. Many companies already have made this commitment in their local service territories. Read on (PDF)

Bay Area governments fight displacement through tenant organization

On February 20, 2020, a crowd gathered around an apartment complex on 10th st. in West Berkeley for a press conference announcing Berkeley’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). The group included Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Dominique Walker of Moms4Housing, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), local land trusts (Bay Area Community Land Trust & Northern California Land Trusts), and tenants organizing against and affected by displacement. This is the first TOPA to be introduced, among many others soon to be announced, in the Bay Area and California. Read on

NY Eviction Bill Raises Concerns For Residential Owners

Highlights

  • A bill introduced in the New York State Senate would preclude the owners of cooperatives, condominiums, hotels and rental buildings from being able to evict a tenant, subtenant, or someone without a lease or other occupancy agreement (broadly defined as a “tenant”) unless the landlord can demonstrate good cause for the eviction.
  • If enacted, the legislation would fundamentally change how someone owning real estate could treat an occupant of space regardless of whether the occupant had a legal right to occupy the space, which would seriously damage the economic viability of residential real estate such as cooperatives, condominiums and hotels.
  • The legislation applies to all residential real estate except for rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments as well as single-family homes.

Read the article

Coronavirus: What Older Adults Need to Know

The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, and NCOA is taking proactive steps to share the best information we have to protect the public’s health, especially among older adults. Now is the time to stay informed and follow basic tips to protect yourself and those around you. Read more

Cook County Just Housing Ordinance affects associations

Cook County adopted the Just Housing Ordinance (JHO) on April 25, placing substantial restrictions on the use of criminal background checks in the tenant screening process. The Cook County rules that govern the JHO were finalized on Nov. 21. Those rules establish an entirely new procedure for tenant screening, with bifurcated background checks, numerous notices and disclosures to applicants, and an “individualized assessment” of applicants who have convictions within three years of the application date. Read more.

DC area stakeholders lift up Limited Equity Cooperatives as a solution to affordable housing crisis

Last week, Capital Impact Partners and the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) convened a meeting with Washington, DC-area lenders, cooperators and stakeholders to “review the D.C. Limited Equity Cooperative (LEC) Task Force recommendations and discuss some of the financing opportunities, challenges and solutions” the sector faces. Read more

Opinion: We Need Housing Guarantee for Brooklyn’s Working Families

In 1949, President Harry Truman signed the Housing Act to provide “a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family.” Now 70 years later, our country is in an affordable housing crisis and homeownership is at record lows. Access to housing is a human right and a quintessential part of the American Dream, and yet, for far too many Americans, rents are increasing at alarming rates and buying a home is completely out of reach. Read more

In second workshop for women, Bolinas residents discuss struggles and successes in finding homes

How have you made West Marin your home despite limited affordable housing? Women across four generations gathered in the Bolinas firehouse last Thursday night to swap their stories, share frustrations and find creative solutions at an event hosted by the Bolinas Community Land Trust and the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin. The trusts were among 11 groups to receive grants from the West Marin Fund in the last two years for programs aimed at empowering women and girls; CLAM organized Thursday’s workshop, following a similar one held in Point Reyes Station in November. Read more

Maine Voices: Portland should think creatively about affordable housing

Portland’s population has dropped from 66,882 in 2017 to 66,417 in 2018, despite affordable-housing incentives and policies implemented by the city’s Planning Board and designed to create and sustain affordable housing for local wage earners who are struggling to work and live in Portland. Read more

Opinion: Charlotte Pitts: Boulder should support housing programs that are racially and economically inclusive

If the newly elected Boulder City Council commits to work against racism in Boulder, it should consider placing fair housing at the top of its priority list. Our country’s history of housing discrimination is long and complicated, and Boulder’s urban fabric and housing agenda has reflected these discriminatory forces. Read more

Go to Democracy.io: https://democracy.io/#!/ and ask your Representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5337

Congress Reaches Tentative Deal on Final Spending Package

Dec 16, 2019 (National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

Congress announced a tentative final spending deal on December 12 for fiscal year 2020 (FY20). The House plans to begin voting on the series of spending packages, known as minibuses, starting on December 17. The current stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), will expire on December 20. Although congressional leaders hope to pass all twelve spending bills before this deadline, Congress may need to pass a short CR to finish all of the bills. The final deal provides $1.37 trillion to fund the government through the end of FY20, but the details of the funding levels for the various agencies are not yet public.

Letter Sent to Authorizing Committees Requesting Updates to HUD’s Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations 2019

Dec 16, 2019 (National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) sent a letter on December 10 requesting updates to HUD’s Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations 2019 to Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), leaders of the Senate Banking Committee, as well as Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), leaders of the House Financial Services Committee. Comprised of more than 70 organizations, CHCDF is an education, strategy, and action campaign led by NLIHC that works to ensure the highest allocation of resources possible to support affordable, accessible housing and community development.

HUD’s Contingency Plan provides the department guidance for continuing program operations and activities, navigating possible legal issues, and communicating with internal and external stakeholders in the event of an appropriations lapse due to a government shutdown. Last year’s historic 35-day shutdown of the federal government severely impacted HUD-run affordable housing and community development programs. HUD recently altered its Contingency Plan to include important provisions ensuring HUD programs can continue functioning in the event of an appropriations lapse, including allowing the continued release of Continuum of Care (CoC) funds, which help CoCs to continue providing vital services to people experiencing homelessness.

Housing advocates note HUD’s updated Contingency Plan still leaves urgent issues unaddressed, including: how HUD will maintain open lines of communication with external partners; whether HUD staff will be able to process repayment requests from public housing agencies (PHAs); whether tenants receiving voucher assistance are at risk of eviction if a PHA is unable to pay the portion of rent PHAs cover; and whether Service Coordinator contracts can be renewed for older adults living in units supported by the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.

CHCDF members urge members of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee to request HUD to update its Contingency Plan to address the issues discussed in the letter.

House Democrats Send Letter Opposing Proposed Changes to HUD Disparate Impact Rule

Dec 09, 2019 (National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) and committee Democrats sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson on November 22, expressing their concerns with the agency’s proposed  changes to the Disparate Impact Rule. The representatives urge Secretary Carson to rescind this proposal that would “silence victims of housing discrimination while protecting industry profits and shielding bad actors from accountability.”

The Disparate Impact rule codified a longstanding tool for identifying and remedying housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. The administration’s proposed changes to the rule would make it far more difficult for people experiencing various forms of discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities. As proposed, the current three-part “burden shifting” standard to show disparate impact would be radically changed to a five-component set of tests placing virtually all of the burden on people in “protected classes” as defined by the Fair Housing Act – people of color, women, immigrants, families with children, people with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and people of faith – who challenge discriminatory practices.

“We remind you that HUD’s mission includes building ‘inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination’,” the representatives write. “HUD’s ability to carry out this mission will be seriously compromised if it moves forward with this proposed rule.”

San Jose leaders split on how to spend housing tax revenue

San Jose lawmakers on Tuesday are expected to approve drafting an affordable housing tax measure for the March 2020 ballot, but differ on how to divvy up the funds that the tax will generate — a frequent dilemma among a City Council that is often at odds with one another. Read more

Do housing co-ops decommodify housing? It depends

Housing cooperatives have become nearly synonymous with affordable multi-unit housing in certain circles over the last few decades. However, the question remains, do housing cooperatives actually decommodify housing? And a related question do they always result in more affordable units than market-rate housing? The answer to this question is… it depends. Read more

Packed House Hears LWV Forum on Housing Discrimination, Community Housing Needs

It was nearing the end of the night and the packed house at Davis Community Church of more than 200 people remained for the most part, as Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law – a book on the manner in which the American government deliberately imposed racial segregation on housing – returned to the podium to take an audience question. Read more

Pols, residents call for co-op relief

Passage of the state’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act back in June was intended to protect tenants in traditional tenant-landlord relationships. But it also had the unintended consequence of harming tenant-shareholders of co-operative units, who are uniquely both tenants and landlords of their own homes. A pair of bills aimed at tweaking the law to mitigate the harm will be introduced by members of the Queens delegation to Albany when the new legislative session begins in January. Read more

How 2020 Can Be the Year of the Homeowner in New York

This year New York state government passed historic housing affordability reforms achieved by the pro-tenant Housing Stability and Tenant Protections Act of 2019, but a truly equitable approach to the state’s affordable housing landscape requires opportunities for working families to build equity. Now it is time for Albany to address the long-neglected affordable ownership sector of the housing continuum by passing a similar package of comprehensive legislation aimed at supporting existing affordable homes, as well as the creation of new low-to-moderate-income, first-time homebuyer opportunities. Read more

Albany should help landlords sell their buildings to tenants

Call 2019 the Year of the Renter. With the passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act in June, Albany helped ease the pressure on thousands of families who were at risk of losing their homes due to rising and unaffordable rents. Further, the new laws will help preserve the affordability of those apartments for generations of renters. Read more

City Building 9 Newhallville Homes

City-owned vacant lots at the corner of Thompson Street and Winchester Avenue will boast nine new affordable two-family homes in an initiative to build wealth and “opportunities for investment.” Read more

The Weirdest Bank You’ve Never Heard Of

Chuck Snyder’s biggest pet peeve is when the naysayers say a co-op failed just because it’s a co-op. “A regular corporation will fail and they’ll say it’s because it didn’t have the right products or markets changed or their service was crappy,” says Snyder, who’s CEO of National Cooperative Bank. “A co-op business will fail and the naysayers will say, ‘well, it failed because it was a co op.’ It drives me crazy.” Read more

NYC sued in affordable housing ‘scam,’ waiting lists ignored: lawsuit

Applicants to a federally funded affordable housing program have been routinely scratched from a waiting list in favor of well-connected candidates who are paying their way in while city managers look the other way, according to a new lawsuit. Read more

A New Kind of Cooperative in Oakland Fights Against Speculative Development

Displacement pressures are intense and affordable housing is in high demand in San Francisco’s market. The San Francisco Community Land Trust pioneered a method of keeping people in housing they can afford: Buying small multi-unit buildings and turning them into cooperatives. The city now has a system of preserving housing based on this concept, known as the Small Sites Program. Bruce Wolfe, president of the land trust’s board, explains how the method works and how it has evolved. Read more

Nadler, Rouzer, Cunningham, Zeldin, Engel, and King Introduce Disaster Assistance Equity Act

Washington, December 6, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) introduced H.R. 5337, the Disaster Assistance Equity Act, along with Representatives David Rouzer (NC-7), Joe Cunningham (SC-1), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), Eliot Engel (NY-16), and Peter King (NY-2). This bipartisan legislation will ensure that common interest communities, including co-ops and condominiums, are eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners.

The bill accomplishes this by making two key changes to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act:

Makes essential common elements of a common interest community (such as a roof, exterior wall, heating and cooling equipment, elevator, stairwell, utility access, plumbing, and electricity) eligible under FEMA’s Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program;

Makes common interest communities eligible under FEMA’s requirements for the removal of debris in the aftermath of a major disaster.=

“Seven years ago, thousands of New Yorkers and other Americans were shocked to learn that FEMA’s eligibility rules left them with no way of restoring their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Since that time, common interest communities across the country have faced similar hardships. This is simply unacceptable. A natural disaster doesn’t care what type of home you live in, and FEMA should treat all homeowners equally. I am proud to join Representatives Rouzer, Cunningham, Zeldin, Engel, and King in re-introducing this critical bill, which will ensure that every American can rebuild their home after a natural disaster.”

“Folks in the Lowcountry know firsthand that hurricanes don’t discriminate between different types of communities,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham.  “When disaster strikes, South Carolinians in planned communities deserve the same access to federal disaster assistances as everyone else. I’m proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to right this wrong.”

Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “Superstorm Sandy devastated New York’s coastal communities and businesses, and too many New Yorkers learned the hard way that FEMA was unable to treat all homeowners equally. Condos, co-ops, and homeowners associations don’t have the same access to federal disaster assistance as single family homeowners, which made it difficult for all Long Islanders to rebuild their homes and their lives. I’m proud to come together with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make the necessary reforms to ensure all Long Islanders are able to recover after a natural disaster.”

“I’m proud to once again cosponsor this bipartisan bill which would fix a clear mistake in current federal law that adversely effects co-op and condo owners,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “We saw after Superstorm Sandy how vital it is for FEMA funds to be accessible to all homeowners, not just some or even most. These owners should not be treated as an afterthought by FEMA, especially in that difficult time after a natural disaster hits. My colleagues and I will work hard to ensure its swift passage.”

“In the aftermath of any disaster, residents of condominiums and cooperatives should be eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance just as other home owners are,” said Congressman Peter King. “This legislation will correct that inequity.”

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Rep. Nadler and Local Leaders Commemorate Superstorm Sandy Anniversary, Announce Legislation to Expand Access to FEMA Disaster Assistance

November 1, 2019 – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined local elected officials and community groups to commemorate the 7th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall, the impact of which many communities in New York are still recovering from. At the press conference, Congressman Nadler also introduced his legislation, the Disaster Equity Assistance Act, which would make common interest communities eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners. Read more.

‘Fighting Forward’ with Cooperative Power in the Bronx

The Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative’s headquarters are on a side street off Fordham Road, the borough’s main shopping strip. It’s a low-rise, working-class area of clothing stores — Kids World, Danica, Urban Classic — cell-phone and eyeglass shops, and bank branches, prosperous enough so that there are no vacant storefronts, poor enough so that more than 50 people are waiting on the lunch-hour line at a church food pantry. Almost all the shoppers and workers are Latino or black, as are more than 80 percent of the Bronx’s 1.4 million people. Read more.

A Bay Area housing solution with worker empowerment built in

As housing crises heat up across American cities, the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing an extreme disparity: in 2017, it added three times as many jobs as it did new housing units for those workers. Read more.

Why Co-Op Senior Housing Is Ready for Primetime

Cooperative housing remains a niche within senior living, but the model is slowly growing. It has become a competitive option in some markets, and may gain further traction by addressing several pressures facing the industry. Read more

Co-Op Rises From The Brink

A 46-year-old housing cooperative is replacing two ancient hot water tanks with energy-efficient substitutes — and putting its own financial and physical house in order. Read more.

Officials to Announce Funding Details

Officials to Announce Affordable Housing in Baltimore

City officials are expected to announce their vision for Baltimore’s new $20 million Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) at a meeting at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) headquarters on Tuesday, August 27. A DHCD spokesperson confirmed to The Real News the agency will present details about the fund. Read more

Legal Services Corporation Awards $4.3 Million in Pro Bono Innovation Grants

The grants, including more than $500,000 to legal aid organizations in the Washington area, will support new ways to assist low-income clients.

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Developers see plenty of growth in senior housing market

Sally and Tom Kopacek are walking through the lobby of Applewood Pointe, pointing out the many amenities that attracted them to the Eagan senior living cooperative. Read more

Mark your Calendars: September 24 is National Voter Registration Day

Affordable homes are built with ballots every bit as much as they are built with bricks and drywall. To elevate affordable rental housing as a top priority for policymakers, it is critical to increase voter registration, turnout, and education among low-income renters and their allies. Every year, however, millions of people are unable to vote because they have not registered, missed the registration deadline, or forgotten to update their registration with their current address.

Join organizations and volunteers across the country on Tuesday, September 24 to increase awareness about voter registration. National Voter Registration Day is a great opportunity to kick off your organization’s nonpartisan voter-registration work to ensure everyone has the opportunity to vote.

Visit the National Voter Registration Day website for information on a broad array of September 24 activities.

Nonprofit Vote has materials about how to get started with voter engagement and voter registration activities, including a checklist to help you decide on your organization’s approach.

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Legal Services Corporation Awards $4.3 Million in Pro Bono Innovation Grants

LSC said the grant will be used for the group’s “housing cooperative preservation initiative” that services low equity cooperatives. Read more.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway considering strategies to prevent gentrification, displacement

In response to a city report highlighting gentrification in Madison and confirming many residents’ housing challenges, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is considering including solutions for keeping housing affordable and accessible in the 2020 budget. Read more.

The Three Essential Building Blocks of Equitable Development

Can you preserve housing affordability and help communities stave off the pressures of gentrification? The answer, as NPQ has noted before, is yes, even in places where success may seem unlikely, like in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, but a coordinated approach is needed. Writing in Shelterforce, editor Miriam Axel-Lute, provides a very useful outline of what such an approach requires. Read more.

Will Banning Single-Family Zoning Make for More Affordable Homes?

Nothing captures the housing affordability crisis as well as this fact: In no single city, state, or other municipality in the U.S. can someone earning minimum wage afford a two-bedroom apartment. This is compounded by the fact that housing prices continue to rise, and cities don’t have the ability (and in some cases, the physical space) to add more affordable housing to help keep costs down. Read more.

Will Banning Single-Family Housing Make for More Affordable Homes?

Minneapolis effectively eliminated single-family zoning in order to undo decades of segregation and create more affordable housing options. Other states are watching closely. Read more.

Only the federal government can fix the affordable housing crisis. Where’s the pressure?

National shortage of affordable housing calls for federal action and resources. There’s bipartisan support for proven solutions, so let’s get it done. Read more.

Cities Addressing the Loss of Low-Rent Affordable Housing

As city leaders pointed out last week at the release of NLC’s Housing Task Force report, American cities, towns and villages are experiencing a severe shortage of housing for low-income residents. Read more

Nothing Is Certain After a Co-op Shareholder’s Death

The proprietary leases in most housing cooperatives outline what should happen in the event of a shareholder’s death. The terms of those leases, as well as the shareholder’s will (if they left one), determine how to proceed with a post-mortem transfer of shares in the co-op corporation. Read more

Oakland’s Bold Investment to Address Displacement 

In 2017, when Norma Sanchez of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment received notice of a $1,400 rent increase for her Eastmont home, she worried there weren’t many options available to stay. Yet, rather than settling for displacement, Norma organized tenants in three neighboring properties undergoing the same astronomical rent increases. As a result of her and her neighbors’ organizing, they beat back rent increases, and a pilot effort to fund affordable housing preservation enabled the Oakland Community Land Trust to purchase and preserve three of the homes. Read more

Oakland Council Adopts Kaplan’s $3.2 Billion Budget

Voting Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council adopted a two-year, $3.2 billion budget, partially resolving the ongoing political fight with Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administration over how much of the city’s income will be directed toward services for residents and wages for the city workers who deliver many of those services. Read more

A tale of three developments: Unlikely allies resist Ridgewood’s rezoning

While rent may have dipped this past year in Ridgewood, make no mistake, rent inflation is coming rapidly to the Queens side of the Brooklyn border. Ridgewood is the next stop for development on the L train route aimed at millennials pushed further down the transit corridor by slightly cheaper rent. Read more

The Florida Legislature Can’t Seem to Leave the Housing Trust Fund Alone

The Tampa Bay Times said it. The Palm Beach Post said it. The Miami Herald, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel all said it too: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should leave the Sadowski Fund intact. Read more

Poor Neighborhoods Need More Than “Investment”

Where some of us see distressed neighborhoods — where families endure poverty and homes fall into disrepair — others see dollar signs. In fact, the Trump administration now brands them “opportunity zones,” offering tax breaks to investors who invest capital there. Read more 

Affordable’ Plan To Replace Chelsea Buildings Sparks Debate

City Planning held a hearing for a long-awaited project to replace four rundown buildings with 26 below-market-rate cooperatives in Chelsea. Read more

The shield and the sword: Two tools to address the housing crisis

My daughter’s fifth grade teacher had a salary so disconnected from the reality of the San Francisco Bay Area housing market that it could barely cover her rent, much less provide her with the savings to one day live the dream of having a family and owning her own home. So in a pattern repeated by many others, she packed up and moved back to Michigan, where housing prices were much more affordable.

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How advocates are fighting tax laws that hinder cooperative housing

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, community activists jumped in when a 21-unit building housing low-income tenants was threatened with demolition. But even after they pulled together financing to buy the building and convert it to a housing cooperative, they faced a major bureaucratic hurdle: persuading city leaders to tax it differently than commercial rental property.

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City Council enacts building bonuses to boost affordable housing

The Austin City Council has enacted a citywide program that encourages developers to build more affordable housing by allowing them to operate under relaxed building codes on some projects.

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Council passes affordable housing density bonus program

In keeping with its previous support of Council Member Greg Casar’s proposed density bonus program, City Council unanimously approved the Affordability Unlocked bonus program Thursday evening, an ordinance amending city code by loosening site restrictions and promoting construction of more units in affordable and mixed-income housing developments.

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New Study Evaluates Shared Equity Housing Program Performance, Nationwide Impact

33-Year Report Highlights Economic Benefits, Lasting Affordability for Lower-Income Households of Color

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and WASHINGTON, May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Shared equity homeownership promotes sustainable wealth-building opportunities and lasting affordability for lower-income households, according to new research published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in partnership with Grounded Solutions Network.

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Co-ops and condos can’t take this mandate: A new climate change bill would sock ordinary New Yorkers with thousands of dollars in fine

Climate change is a real threat to our future, one that demands collective, forceful action by all New Yorkers in every aspect of their daily lives. The City Council is considering legislation that seeks to meet citywide goals solely by imposing rigid caps on greenhouse gas emissions from most buildings over 25,000 square feet. Unfortunately, the legislation is unfair and promotes an inequitable way to address this grave, shared problem.

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Real estate and unions slam green-building bill

An alliance of property owners and unions claims that the city’s vision for fighting global warming needs to come down to earth.

In a letter to Queens Councilman Costa Constantinides and several members of the committee he chairs, the industry-labor coalition critiques his bill to slash carbon emissions from buildings. The signatories include major property interests—the Rent Stabilization Association, the Real Estate Board of New York and the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums—and several labor organizations, including 32BJ SEIU, Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Local 1 of the United Association of Plumbers.

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Housing America part 5: Cooperatives — taking the profit out of shelter

Housing cooperatives essentially represent the “third way” between renting and owning a property. This model once formed part of the bedrock of affordable shelter provisions in New York, but more recently has been rapidly disappearing.

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Collaborating to Advance Justice for Women: Solidago Foundation

Solidago Foundation might only have $5 million in assets, but you wouldn’t know it from their leadership among social justice funders, especially when it comes to supporting women at the grassroots.

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Condo and Co-Op Conversion: Not Out of Time, Not Out of Luck

Many cooperatives and condominiums have overlooked, for decades, potent statutory rights enabling them to recapture building amenities currently under long-term, unfavorable leases with their developers. Because those rights were first promulgated during the 1980s’ cooperative and condominium conversion boom, they are often discounted as stale or forgotten altogether. But recent litigation may offer new hope for deploying those robust rights.

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Who will be Madison’s next mayor?

Soglin aims to hold on to position, Rhodes-Conway pushing for a change

We asked the candidates running to be Madison’s mayor the same five questions to understand their vision for the future of Madison. The answers we received show differences in scope, detail, and logic for where the candidates think Madison is, and where the city is going.

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The Village Cooperative of Loveland offers seniors more than just a place to retire

The Village Cooperative provides active adults (55+) a new housing option that offers them home ownership-and all the financial and tax benefits that go with it.

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Paul Soglin says he’s fixing housing shortage; Satya Rhodes-Conway says it’s not enough

A lot of housing is being built in Madison, but experts say it’s far from enough …. And she backs housing cooperatives and creation of more tiny house villages for the homeless and support for tenants. Read more 

Better Buildings Financing Navigator

There are many ways to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in buildings that you own or occupy. The Navigator helps you cut through this complexity to secure financing that works for you. Learn more

Analyzing The 2020 Presidential Contenders’ Housing Policies

By Henry Kraemer (@HenryKraemer) and Pete Harrison (@PeteHarrisonNYC)

Data for Progress is keeping a running tab of housing policy proposals for announced or likely 2020 Presidential contenders. This play-by-play policy analysis, ideological context, and suggestions to improve candidates’ policies are intended to help both campaigns and voters get to the best American housing policy. Read more

A Green New Deal for Housing

A Green New Deal can’t deliver economic or environmental justice without tackling the housing crisis. We should go big and build 10 million beautiful, public, no-carbon homes over the next 10 years. Read more

Upper Manhattan Co-op Complex Pulls in $55M Refi

A major cooperative apartment complex in Upper Manhattan has landed a $55.2 million refinancing from National Cooperative Bank, according to records filed with the New York City Department of Finance today. Read more

In Oakland, a radical approach to housing shortage

A new housing coop seeks to keep buildings permanently affordable

While housing cooperatives have long worked to purchase individual properties and retain them as affordable housing stock, EB PREC is hoping its model can grow into a network of properties that can begin to effect lasting change. Read more

Housing cooperatives are more than an economic no-brainer. They offer our a communities a better future.

Housing cooperatives make economic sense. This benefit of cooperative housing is well documented. The research group Housing Futures, which will publish its recommendations on 8th December at an event in Manchester, emphasise how cooperatives can meet the affordability needs of low-income communities. Read more

HPD Seeks Urban Development Action Area Designation for Two City-Owned Properties in East Village

Approval of the proposed project will provide housing to families that have been displaced for over ten years. On December 5, 2018, the City Planning Commission heard an application that would allow for the demolition of existing buildings on two City-owned lots and development of ten co-operative units at 204 Avenue A and eleven one-bedroom rental units at 535 East 12th Street in Manhattan. The lots are located on the same block in the East Village, bounded by Avenue A, East 12th Street, East 13th Street, and Avenue B. Read more

Financing the Future of Cooperative Low-Income Housing

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, New York City went through a devastating financial crisis. Buildings in neighborhoods across the city were essentially abandoned by their landlords. In some cases, tenants banded together to take over managing their buildings. Clusters of such buildings emerged in some neighborhoods, including Manhattan’s Lower East Side, East Village, and Harlem. The city created the Housing Development Fund Corporation program, offering reduced property taxes to cooperatively-owned buildings reserved for low- and moderate-income residents, known as limited-equity cooperatives. Read more

Why city halls should look to Vienna, not big developers, to solve their affordable housing crises

OPINION: The dilemma that faces many local governments in cities around the world is how to finance regeneration schemes when their central government does not offer sufficient support and land prices are high. Cities like Vienna and Hamburg have found a solution that doesn’t price out their own citizens. London has not. Read more

Museums, Neighborhoods, and Gentrification: Lessons from the Nation’s Capital

For the first time in human history, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, a shift that is resulting in new challenges. The Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum, with its 50th anniversary exhibition, A Right to The City, addresses many of these in the context of its home city of Washington, DC. Read more

After promising renovations, city drops Harlem tenants from homeownership program

One resident died awaiting opportunity to move back home from temporary housing

A decade after the city promised a group of Harlem tenants a building would be renovated and turned into an affordable co-op, the residents are still living in temporary apartments, the property remains boarded up, and the de Blasio administration now plans to sell it to a private owner, a recent lawsuit alleges. Read more

Luxury Development Is Making Our Housing Crisis Worse

Rent control. It was on the ballot in California yesterday, as tenant campaigns picked up steam across the country and revive an old refrain: “The rent is too damn high!” The real estate industry’s biggest argument in opposition? Rent control will hurt new construction. And – as the developers would have us believe – the only way to pull ourselves out of our dire housing shortage would be by building new construction. Read more

Cooperatives and Neighborhood Development

Local conference focuses on combatting displacement with diversity

It’s no secret downtown Indianapolis is seeing rapid growth in neighborhoods long-dismissed by developers as undesirable.

It’s also no secret that the development is having negative effects on many long-term residents of those areas who are being displaced in the name of progress.

Gentrification is the word that is often thrown around to describe the displacement, mostly by people who also throw up their hands at the injustice of it all rather than roll up their sleeves and do any work to undo or prevent it from happening in the first place.

Mat Davis is not one of those people.

For the last several years, Davis has been working with a variety of groups around the city to bring a human rights approach to development. Read more

How Washington, DC Residents are Tackling Rising Rents

Affordable housing is proving difficult to come by in the nation’s fast-developing capital. But some residents are finding a solution through housing cooperatives where tenants can collectively purchase their building, enabling low-income earners to remain within city limits. Read more

Is the Co-op/Condo Abatement Under Attack?

I read with dismay the July 13th Daily News op-ed in which the Citizens Housing Planning Council proposed to “kill” the Property Tax Abatement program for homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums, a program that enables thousands of New Yorkers to afford their apartments. It is dramatic to dwell on the fact that Donald Trump’s luxury apartment once qualified for this abatement, but this is a red herring; kindly consider instead the thousands of ordinary New Yorkers who rely on the abatement program to bring their carrying charges to a level that they can afford. At a moment when New York City housing prices are soaring and when virtually no ‘affordable housing’ is available – we find shortsighted your suggestion to destroy completely this abatement program which makes the dream of homeownership possible for so many! While I very much admire and support your efforts to improve the lives of New Yorkers in NYCHA housing, I urge the Citizens Housing Planning Council to reconsider the consequences of the proposal that you have made. Read more

Lack of housing supply, high building costs boosting Boise real estate market

Boise’s hot real estate market is an inescapable topic these days. No matter if you are looking to purchase your first home, searching for an affordable apartment or just looking at your property tax bill, skyrocketing real estate prices have likely made an impact on your bottom line. Read more

How the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is pioneering a model for equitable housing

he East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is an impressive burgeoning commons legal institution that’s aimed at the decommodification of housing. It is pioneering a new legal institution for how we can own homes more equitably, collaboratively, and in such a way that they’re permanently off the speculative market. Read more

Carpinteria City Council Passes Ordinance Banning Co-Op Apartment Conversions

The Carpinteria City Council on Monday passed an emergency ordinance that prevents converting apartment buildings into cooperatives.

The vote was 4-0, with Councilman Brad Stein absent.

“The concern has to do with protecting apartment housing in Carpinteria,” Carpinteria City Manager Dave Durflinger said during the meeting. Read more

In Iowa City, a co-housing movement blends living large with living small

While we all debate the merits of the behemoth, but traditional and profit-driven, Pentacrest Gardens, why don’t we move that spotlight a little to the left, to the growing concept of “co-living”?

Because there, we’ll find a philosophical place where community-building, efficiency and shared responsibility come before a developer’s zoning needs, negotiated financial incentives and price per square foot. Read more

How the Ultra-Rich Can Help Fix the Affordable Housing Crisis

A growing number of people invest in real estate they never intend to occupy and push up prices for the rest of us. Cities should make them pay.

Down the street from my office, a luxury residential tower is rising, the fifth such project in Boston in the last decade. The 61-story “One Dalton Place” is being marketed as “New England’s tallest and most luxurious residential building.”

Across the coastal cities of North America, cranes are rising to construct similar stunning new glass towers of both residential and commercial properties. Real estate in existing neighborhoods is being bid up by investors and wealthy buyers, pushing up the cost of land and housing for everyone else. Read more

Enterprise’s New York Market Assists with Resiliency Initiative

An article in Next City highlights the work Enterprise’s New York market has conducted to support FloodHelpNY, a post-Hurricane Sandy project that identifies resiliency improvements in multifamily affordable housing and co-ops in designated flood zones. The New York market assists owners in signing up for free resiliency audits and educates residents on the benefits of the various resiliency measures. The FloodHelpNY initiative was established by the Center for New City Neighborhoods and is funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and New York Rising. Read more.

Can NYC’s Affordable Housing Co-Ops Survive the Next Big Storm?

The brick apartment building at 414 East 10th Street, in the East Village of Manhattan, is in Ana Ruiz’s blood. Her family moved there in the 1950s. In 1998, she helped convert the building into an HDFC cooperative, creating affordable homeownership opportunities for the building’s tenants. As part of the conversion, she personally oversaw a two-year renovation process, which required each existing tenant to take turns vacating their apartments, then ensured they had the opportunity to buy into the converted co-op, at just $250 per unit. She remains a shareholder and serves as property manager. Read more

Some in St. Paul’s Frogtown worry it’s gentrifying

The last housing crisis left many properties vacant and in disrepair. Crime remains a major concern. But Frogtown is changing fast. As housing costs rise, residents worry they’ll get priced out.

The offer was enticing.

If residents of St. Paul’s Wilder Square Co-op voted “yes,” each of the 163 units would get spruced-up kitchens and bathrooms, new air conditioning, carpeting, vinyl floors, sliding doors and a fresh coat of paint. Best of all, each household would also receive at least $4,000 in cash, part of a package of $3.3 million in improvements proposed by the would-be buyers, Real Estate Equities. Read more

Co-op makes rooftop solar panels possible in Kent

The house on Franklin Avenue in Kent with 14 rooftop solar panels is home to a group of musicians.

The solar panel system cuts their monthly electric bill down to $10.

The panels were purchased by Kent Housing Cooperative, which formed in 1981 to provide low-cost housing to students. In 2012, the co-op voted to install the panels to take advantage of state and federal tax credits, but also to show the community how everyday people can pull together to use renewable energy. Read more

Advocating for Residents

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

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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.” Read more

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.

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. Read more

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.” Read more

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

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.” Read more

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). Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more.

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.

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Housing Cooperative News

Valone Calls on Congress For Co-ops, Condos CARES Relief

Council Member Paul A. Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) announced on Friday he will introduce a resolution calling on Congress and President Trump to expand the CARES Act and Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to include considerations for housing cooperatives and condominiums. Read more

Queens lawmaker introduces new legislation seeking to cancel rent and mortgage payments nationwide

As millions of tenants were unable to pay rent on April 1, and with no clear end to the COVID-19 crisis in sight, a Queens lawmaker is helping to introduce a new legislation to cancel rent and mortgage payments nationwide.

Congresswoman Grace Meng on April 20 announced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, which would constitute a full forgiveness of payment, with no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history. Read more

Confusion Over COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Programs

Government relief for homeowners facing difficulties paying their mortgages has been a slow and confusing process: thousands of homeowners are spending several hours waiting to speak with their mortgage service providers and the options given may not be suitable for a household suffering from the loss of a significant portion of their income due to the novel coronavirus epidemic, says the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a homeownership advocacy group. Read more

Ensuring Access to Needed Medications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

One of the challenges many people may face during the coronavirus pandemic is access to needed prescription and over-the-counter medications. Our tips below offer advice for how to get your medications, as well as find help affording them. Read more

Getting the Care You Need via Telemedicine

Keeping on top of your healthcare needs is now more important than ever, but due to the COVID-19 virus, you may be asked by your healthcare system or local physician’s office to avoid in-person visits. Avoiding in-person visits helps control the spread of the disease and ensures that the most critically ill receive frontline care. But just because you may not be able to see your healthcare provider in person does not mean that you should not seek out medical care. Read more

New York City’s affordable HDFC co-ops, explained

New York City’s affordable housing stock mostly consists of rental apartments, but for those who are in the market to buy, there is one reliable source for homeownership on a budget. Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives, better known as HDFC co-ops (which are also advertised as “income-restricted” or “restricted sale” apartments), are often priced much lower than a typical NYC apartment, but require buyers to meet certain income caps while also having significant financial assets on hand. Read more

Chicago: With East Garfield Park Ripe For Gentrification, Residents Draw Up Blueprint To Protect Themselves

The community-driven plan was created over the past year in response to rising rents and new development coming to the area.

The West Side may get a lot of bad press about gun violence and poverty, but legacy residents of East Garfield Park have always known their neighborhood is prime real estate. Just a 10-minute ride Downtown by the Green Line, the neighborhood is positioned within arm’s reach of the city’s major employment centers like the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, as well as some of Chicago’s best attractions like the United Center and the Garfield Park Conservatory. Read more

EEI Statement on Suspending Electric Service Disconnections

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn today announced that all EEI member companies are suspending electricity disconnects for nonpayment nationwide. Many companies already have made this commitment in their local service territories. Read on (PDF)

Bay Area governments fight displacement through tenant organization

On February 20, 2020, a crowd gathered around an apartment complex on 10th st. in West Berkeley for a press conference announcing Berkeley’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). The group included Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Dominique Walker of Moms4Housing, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), local land trusts (Bay Area Community Land Trust & Northern California Land Trusts), and tenants organizing against and affected by displacement. This is the first TOPA to be introduced, among many others soon to be announced, in the Bay Area and California. Read on

NY Eviction Bill Raises Concerns For Residential Owners

Highlights

  • A bill introduced in the New York State Senate would preclude the owners of cooperatives, condominiums, hotels and rental buildings from being able to evict a tenant, subtenant, or someone without a lease or other occupancy agreement (broadly defined as a “tenant”) unless the landlord can demonstrate good cause for the eviction.
  • If enacted, the legislation would fundamentally change how someone owning real estate could treat an occupant of space regardless of whether the occupant had a legal right to occupy the space, which would seriously damage the economic viability of residential real estate such as cooperatives, condominiums and hotels.
  • The legislation applies to all residential real estate except for rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments as well as single-family homes.

Read the article

Coronavirus: What Older Adults Need to Know

The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, and NCOA is taking proactive steps to share the best information we have to protect the public’s health, especially among older adults. Now is the time to stay informed and follow basic tips to protect yourself and those around you. Read more

Cook County Just Housing Ordinance affects associations

Cook County adopted the Just Housing Ordinance (JHO) on April 25, placing substantial restrictions on the use of criminal background checks in the tenant screening process. The Cook County rules that govern the JHO were finalized on Nov. 21. Those rules establish an entirely new procedure for tenant screening, with bifurcated background checks, numerous notices and disclosures to applicants, and an “individualized assessment” of applicants who have convictions within three years of the application date. Read more.

DC area stakeholders lift up Limited Equity Cooperatives as a solution to affordable housing crisis

Last week, Capital Impact Partners and the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) convened a meeting with Washington, DC-area lenders, cooperators and stakeholders to “review the D.C. Limited Equity Cooperative (LEC) Task Force recommendations and discuss some of the financing opportunities, challenges and solutions” the sector faces. Read more

Opinion: We Need Housing Guarantee for Brooklyn’s Working Families

In 1949, President Harry Truman signed the Housing Act to provide “a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family.” Now 70 years later, our country is in an affordable housing crisis and homeownership is at record lows. Access to housing is a human right and a quintessential part of the American Dream, and yet, for far too many Americans, rents are increasing at alarming rates and buying a home is completely out of reach. Read more

In second workshop for women, Bolinas residents discuss struggles and successes in finding homes

How have you made West Marin your home despite limited affordable housing? Women across four generations gathered in the Bolinas firehouse last Thursday night to swap their stories, share frustrations and find creative solutions at an event hosted by the Bolinas Community Land Trust and the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin. The trusts were among 11 groups to receive grants from the West Marin Fund in the last two years for programs aimed at empowering women and girls; CLAM organized Thursday’s workshop, following a similar one held in Point Reyes Station in November. Read more

Maine Voices: Portland should think creatively about affordable housing

Portland’s population has dropped from 66,882 in 2017 to 66,417 in 2018, despite affordable-housing incentives and policies implemented by the city’s Planning Board and designed to create and sustain affordable housing for local wage earners who are struggling to work and live in Portland. Read more

Opinion: Charlotte Pitts: Boulder should support housing programs that are racially and economically inclusive

If the newly elected Boulder City Council commits to work against racism in Boulder, it should consider placing fair housing at the top of its priority list. Our country’s history of housing discrimination is long and complicated, and Boulder’s urban fabric and housing agenda has reflected these discriminatory forces. Read more

Go to Democracy.io: https://democracy.io/#!/ and ask your Representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5337

Congress Reaches Tentative Deal on Final Spending Package

Dec 16, 2019 (National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

Congress announced a tentative final spending deal on December 12 for fiscal year 2020 (FY20). The House plans to begin voting on the series of spending packages, known as minibuses, starting on December 17. The current stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), will expire on December 20. Although congressional leaders hope to pass all twelve spending bills before this deadline, Congress may need to pass a short CR to finish all of the bills. The final deal provides $1.37 trillion to fund the government through the end of FY20, but the details of the funding levels for the various agencies are not yet public.

Letter Sent to Authorizing Committees Requesting Updates to HUD’s Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations 2019

Dec 16, 2019 (National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) sent a letter on December 10 requesting updates to HUD’s Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations 2019 to Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), leaders of the Senate Banking Committee, as well as Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), leaders of the House Financial Services Committee. Comprised of more than 70 organizations, CHCDF is an education, strategy, and action campaign led by NLIHC that works to ensure the highest allocation of resources possible to support affordable, accessible housing and community development.

HUD’s Contingency Plan provides the department guidance for continuing program operations and activities, navigating possible legal issues, and communicating with internal and external stakeholders in the event of an appropriations lapse due to a government shutdown. Last year’s historic 35-day shutdown of the federal government severely impacted HUD-run affordable housing and community development programs. HUD recently altered its Contingency Plan to include important provisions ensuring HUD programs can continue functioning in the event of an appropriations lapse, including allowing the continued release of Continuum of Care (CoC) funds, which help CoCs to continue providing vital services to people experiencing homelessness.

Housing advocates note HUD’s updated Contingency Plan still leaves urgent issues unaddressed, including: how HUD will maintain open lines of communication with external partners; whether HUD staff will be able to process repayment requests from public housing agencies (PHAs); whether tenants receiving voucher assistance are at risk of eviction if a PHA is unable to pay the portion of rent PHAs cover; and whether Service Coordinator contracts can be renewed for older adults living in units supported by the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.

CHCDF members urge members of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee to request HUD to update its Contingency Plan to address the issues discussed in the letter.

House Democrats Send Letter Opposing Proposed Changes to HUD Disparate Impact Rule

Dec 09, 2019 (National Low-Income Housing Coalition)

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) and committee Democrats sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson on November 22, expressing their concerns with the agency’s proposed  changes to the Disparate Impact Rule. The representatives urge Secretary Carson to rescind this proposal that would “silence victims of housing discrimination while protecting industry profits and shielding bad actors from accountability.”

The Disparate Impact rule codified a longstanding tool for identifying and remedying housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. The administration’s proposed changes to the rule would make it far more difficult for people experiencing various forms of discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities. As proposed, the current three-part “burden shifting” standard to show disparate impact would be radically changed to a five-component set of tests placing virtually all of the burden on people in “protected classes” as defined by the Fair Housing Act – people of color, women, immigrants, families with children, people with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and people of faith – who challenge discriminatory practices.

“We remind you that HUD’s mission includes building ‘inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination’,” the representatives write. “HUD’s ability to carry out this mission will be seriously compromised if it moves forward with this proposed rule.”

San Jose leaders split on how to spend housing tax revenue

San Jose lawmakers on Tuesday are expected to approve drafting an affordable housing tax measure for the March 2020 ballot, but differ on how to divvy up the funds that the tax will generate — a frequent dilemma among a City Council that is often at odds with one another. Read more

Do housing co-ops decommodify housing? It depends

Housing cooperatives have become nearly synonymous with affordable multi-unit housing in certain circles over the last few decades. However, the question remains, do housing cooperatives actually decommodify housing? And a related question do they always result in more affordable units than market-rate housing? The answer to this question is… it depends. Read more

Packed House Hears LWV Forum on Housing Discrimination, Community Housing Needs

It was nearing the end of the night and the packed house at Davis Community Church of more than 200 people remained for the most part, as Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law – a book on the manner in which the American government deliberately imposed racial segregation on housing – returned to the podium to take an audience question. Read more

Pols, residents call for co-op relief

Passage of the state’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act back in June was intended to protect tenants in traditional tenant-landlord relationships. But it also had the unintended consequence of harming tenant-shareholders of co-operative units, who are uniquely both tenants and landlords of their own homes. A pair of bills aimed at tweaking the law to mitigate the harm will be introduced by members of the Queens delegation to Albany when the new legislative session begins in January. Read more

How 2020 Can Be the Year of the Homeowner in New York

This year New York state government passed historic housing affordability reforms achieved by the pro-tenant Housing Stability and Tenant Protections Act of 2019, but a truly equitable approach to the state’s affordable housing landscape requires opportunities for working families to build equity. Now it is time for Albany to address the long-neglected affordable ownership sector of the housing continuum by passing a similar package of comprehensive legislation aimed at supporting existing affordable homes, as well as the creation of new low-to-moderate-income, first-time homebuyer opportunities. Read more

Albany should help landlords sell their buildings to tenants

Call 2019 the Year of the Renter. With the passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act in June, Albany helped ease the pressure on thousands of families who were at risk of losing their homes due to rising and unaffordable rents. Further, the new laws will help preserve the affordability of those apartments for generations of renters. Read more

City Building 9 Newhallville Homes

City-owned vacant lots at the corner of Thompson Street and Winchester Avenue will boast nine new affordable two-family homes in an initiative to build wealth and “opportunities for investment.” Read more

The Weirdest Bank You’ve Never Heard Of

Chuck Snyder’s biggest pet peeve is when the naysayers say a co-op failed just because it’s a co-op. “A regular corporation will fail and they’ll say it’s because it didn’t have the right products or markets changed or their service was crappy,” says Snyder, who’s CEO of National Cooperative Bank. “A co-op business will fail and the naysayers will say, ‘well, it failed because it was a co op.’ It drives me crazy.” Read more

NYC sued in affordable housing ‘scam,’ waiting lists ignored: lawsuit

Applicants to a federally funded affordable housing program have been routinely scratched from a waiting list in favor of well-connected candidates who are paying their way in while city managers look the other way, according to a new lawsuit. Read more

A New Kind of Cooperative in Oakland Fights Against Speculative Development

Displacement pressures are intense and affordable housing is in high demand in San Francisco’s market. The San Francisco Community Land Trust pioneered a method of keeping people in housing they can afford: Buying small multi-unit buildings and turning them into cooperatives. The city now has a system of preserving housing based on this concept, known as the Small Sites Program. Bruce Wolfe, president of the land trust’s board, explains how the method works and how it has evolved. Read more

Nadler, Rouzer, Cunningham, Zeldin, Engel, and King Introduce Disaster Assistance Equity Act

Washington, December 6, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) introduced H.R. 5337, the Disaster Assistance Equity Act, along with Representatives David Rouzer (NC-7), Joe Cunningham (SC-1), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), Eliot Engel (NY-16), and Peter King (NY-2). This bipartisan legislation will ensure that common interest communities, including co-ops and condominiums, are eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners.

The bill accomplishes this by making two key changes to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act:

Makes essential common elements of a common interest community (such as a roof, exterior wall, heating and cooling equipment, elevator, stairwell, utility access, plumbing, and electricity) eligible under FEMA’s Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program;

Makes common interest communities eligible under FEMA’s requirements for the removal of debris in the aftermath of a major disaster.=

“Seven years ago, thousands of New Yorkers and other Americans were shocked to learn that FEMA’s eligibility rules left them with no way of restoring their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Since that time, common interest communities across the country have faced similar hardships. This is simply unacceptable. A natural disaster doesn’t care what type of home you live in, and FEMA should treat all homeowners equally. I am proud to join Representatives Rouzer, Cunningham, Zeldin, Engel, and King in re-introducing this critical bill, which will ensure that every American can rebuild their home after a natural disaster.”

“Folks in the Lowcountry know firsthand that hurricanes don’t discriminate between different types of communities,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham.  “When disaster strikes, South Carolinians in planned communities deserve the same access to federal disaster assistances as everyone else. I’m proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to right this wrong.”

Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “Superstorm Sandy devastated New York’s coastal communities and businesses, and too many New Yorkers learned the hard way that FEMA was unable to treat all homeowners equally. Condos, co-ops, and homeowners associations don’t have the same access to federal disaster assistance as single family homeowners, which made it difficult for all Long Islanders to rebuild their homes and their lives. I’m proud to come together with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make the necessary reforms to ensure all Long Islanders are able to recover after a natural disaster.”

“I’m proud to once again cosponsor this bipartisan bill which would fix a clear mistake in current federal law that adversely effects co-op and condo owners,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “We saw after Superstorm Sandy how vital it is for FEMA funds to be accessible to all homeowners, not just some or even most. These owners should not be treated as an afterthought by FEMA, especially in that difficult time after a natural disaster hits. My colleagues and I will work hard to ensure its swift passage.”

“In the aftermath of any disaster, residents of condominiums and cooperatives should be eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance just as other home owners are,” said Congressman Peter King. “This legislation will correct that inequity.”

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Rep. Nadler and Local Leaders Commemorate Superstorm Sandy Anniversary, Announce Legislation to Expand Access to FEMA Disaster Assistance

November 1, 2019 – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined local elected officials and community groups to commemorate the 7th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall, the impact of which many communities in New York are still recovering from. At the press conference, Congressman Nadler also introduced his legislation, the Disaster Equity Assistance Act, which would make common interest communities eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners. Read more.

‘Fighting Forward’ with Cooperative Power in the Bronx

The Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative’s headquarters are on a side street off Fordham Road, the borough’s main shopping strip. It’s a low-rise, working-class area of clothing stores — Kids World, Danica, Urban Classic — cell-phone and eyeglass shops, and bank branches, prosperous enough so that there are no vacant storefronts, poor enough so that more than 50 people are waiting on the lunch-hour line at a church food pantry. Almost all the shoppers and workers are Latino or black, as are more than 80 percent of the Bronx’s 1.4 million people. Read more.

A Bay Area housing solution with worker empowerment built in

As housing crises heat up across American cities, the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing an extreme disparity: in 2017, it added three times as many jobs as it did new housing units for those workers. Read more.

Why Co-Op Senior Housing Is Ready for Primetime

Cooperative housing remains a niche within senior living, but the model is slowly growing. It has become a competitive option in some markets, and may gain further traction by addressing several pressures facing the industry. Read more

Co-Op Rises From The Brink

A 46-year-old housing cooperative is replacing two ancient hot water tanks with energy-efficient substitutes — and putting its own financial and physical house in order. Read more.

Officials to Announce Funding Details

Officials to Announce Affordable Housing in Baltimore

City officials are expected to announce their vision for Baltimore’s new $20 million Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) at a meeting at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) headquarters on Tuesday, August 27. A DHCD spokesperson confirmed to The Real News the agency will present details about the fund. Read more

Legal Services Corporation Awards $4.3 Million in Pro Bono Innovation Grants

The grants, including more than $500,000 to legal aid organizations in the Washington area, will support new ways to assist low-income clients.

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Developers see plenty of growth in senior housing market

Sally and Tom Kopacek are walking through the lobby of Applewood Pointe, pointing out the many amenities that attracted them to the Eagan senior living cooperative. Read more

Mark your Calendars: September 24 is National Voter Registration Day

Affordable homes are built with ballots every bit as much as they are built with bricks and drywall. To elevate affordable rental housing as a top priority for policymakers, it is critical to increase voter registration, turnout, and education among low-income renters and their allies. Every year, however, millions of people are unable to vote because they have not registered, missed the registration deadline, or forgotten to update their registration with their current address.

Join organizations and volunteers across the country on Tuesday, September 24 to increase awareness about voter registration. National Voter Registration Day is a great opportunity to kick off your organization’s nonpartisan voter-registration work to ensure everyone has the opportunity to vote.

Visit the National Voter Registration Day website for information on a broad array of September 24 activities.

Nonprofit Vote has materials about how to get started with voter engagement and voter registration activities, including a checklist to help you decide on your organization’s approach.

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Legal Services Corporation Awards $4.3 Million in Pro Bono Innovation Grants

LSC said the grant will be used for the group’s “housing cooperative preservation initiative” that services low equity cooperatives. Read more.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway considering strategies to prevent gentrification, displacement

In response to a city report highlighting gentrification in Madison and confirming many residents’ housing challenges, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is considering including solutions for keeping housing affordable and accessible in the 2020 budget. Read more.

The Three Essential Building Blocks of Equitable Development

Can you preserve housing affordability and help communities stave off the pressures of gentrification? The answer, as NPQ has noted before, is yes, even in places where success may seem unlikely, like in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, but a coordinated approach is needed. Writing in Shelterforce, editor Miriam Axel-Lute, provides a very useful outline of what such an approach requires. Read more.

Will Banning Single-Family Zoning Make for More Affordable Homes?

Nothing captures the housing affordability crisis as well as this fact: In no single city, state, or other municipality in the U.S. can someone earning minimum wage afford a two-bedroom apartment. This is compounded by the fact that housing prices continue to rise, and cities don’t have the ability (and in some cases, the physical space) to add more affordable housing to help keep costs down. Read more.

Will Banning Single-Family Housing Make for More Affordable Homes?

Minneapolis effectively eliminated single-family zoning in order to undo decades of segregation and create more affordable housing options. Other states are watching closely. Read more.

Only the federal government can fix the affordable housing crisis. Where’s the pressure?

National shortage of affordable housing calls for federal action and resources. There’s bipartisan support for proven solutions, so let’s get it done. Read more.

Cities Addressing the Loss of Low-Rent Affordable Housing

As city leaders pointed out last week at the release of NLC’s Housing Task Force report, American cities, towns and villages are experiencing a severe shortage of housing for low-income residents. Read more

Nothing Is Certain After a Co-op Shareholder’s Death

The proprietary leases in most housing cooperatives outline what should happen in the event of a shareholder’s death. The terms of those leases, as well as the shareholder’s will (if they left one), determine how to proceed with a post-mortem transfer of shares in the co-op corporation. Read more

Oakland’s Bold Investment to Address Displacement 

In 2017, when Norma Sanchez of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment received notice of a $1,400 rent increase for her Eastmont home, she worried there weren’t many options available to stay. Yet, rather than settling for displacement, Norma organized tenants in three neighboring properties undergoing the same astronomical rent increases. As a result of her and her neighbors’ organizing, they beat back rent increases, and a pilot effort to fund affordable housing preservation enabled the Oakland Community Land Trust to purchase and preserve three of the homes. Read more

Oakland Council Adopts Kaplan’s $3.2 Billion Budget

Voting Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council adopted a two-year, $3.2 billion budget, partially resolving the ongoing political fight with Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administration over how much of the city’s income will be directed toward services for residents and wages for the city workers who deliver many of those services. Read more

A tale of three developments: Unlikely allies resist Ridgewood’s rezoning

While rent may have dipped this past year in Ridgewood, make no mistake, rent inflation is coming rapidly to the Queens side of the Brooklyn border. Ridgewood is the next stop for development on the L train route aimed at millennials pushed further down the transit corridor by slightly cheaper rent. Read more

The Florida Legislature Can’t Seem to Leave the Housing Trust Fund Alone

The Tampa Bay Times said it. The Palm Beach Post said it. The Miami Herald, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel all said it too: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should leave the Sadowski Fund intact. Read more

Poor Neighborhoods Need More Than “Investment”

Where some of us see distressed neighborhoods — where families endure poverty and homes fall into disrepair — others see dollar signs. In fact, the Trump administration now brands them “opportunity zones,” offering tax breaks to investors who invest capital there. Read more 

Affordable’ Plan To Replace Chelsea Buildings Sparks Debate

City Planning held a hearing for a long-awaited project to replace four rundown buildings with 26 below-market-rate cooperatives in Chelsea. Read more

The shield and the sword: Two tools to address the housing crisis

My daughter’s fifth grade teacher had a salary so disconnected from the reality of the San Francisco Bay Area housing market that it could barely cover her rent, much less provide her with the savings to one day live the dream of having a family and owning her own home. So in a pattern repeated by many others, she packed up and moved back to Michigan, where housing prices were much more affordable.

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How advocates are fighting tax laws that hinder cooperative housing

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, community activists jumped in when a 21-unit building housing low-income tenants was threatened with demolition. But even after they pulled together financing to buy the building and convert it to a housing cooperative, they faced a major bureaucratic hurdle: persuading city leaders to tax it differently than commercial rental property.

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City Council enacts building bonuses to boost affordable housing

The Austin City Council has enacted a citywide program that encourages developers to build more affordable housing by allowing them to operate under relaxed building codes on some projects.

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Council passes affordable housing density bonus program

In keeping with its previous support of Council Member Greg Casar’s proposed density bonus program, City Council unanimously approved the Affordability Unlocked bonus program Thursday evening, an ordinance amending city code by loosening site restrictions and promoting construction of more units in affordable and mixed-income housing developments.

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New Study Evaluates Shared Equity Housing Program Performance, Nationwide Impact

33-Year Report Highlights Economic Benefits, Lasting Affordability for Lower-Income Households of Color

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and WASHINGTON, May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Shared equity homeownership promotes sustainable wealth-building opportunities and lasting affordability for lower-income households, according to new research published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in partnership with Grounded Solutions Network.

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Co-ops and condos can’t take this mandate: A new climate change bill would sock ordinary New Yorkers with thousands of dollars in fine

Climate change is a real threat to our future, one that demands collective, forceful action by all New Yorkers in every aspect of their daily lives. The City Council is considering legislation that seeks to meet citywide goals solely by imposing rigid caps on greenhouse gas emissions from most buildings over 25,000 square feet. Unfortunately, the legislation is unfair and promotes an inequitable way to address this grave, shared problem.

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Real estate and unions slam green-building bill

An alliance of property owners and unions claims that the city’s vision for fighting global warming needs to come down to earth.

In a letter to Queens Councilman Costa Constantinides and several members of the committee he chairs, the industry-labor coalition critiques his bill to slash carbon emissions from buildings. The signatories include major property interests—the Rent Stabilization Association, the Real Estate Board of New York and the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums—and several labor organizations, including 32BJ SEIU, Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Local 1 of the United Association of Plumbers.

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Housing America part 5: Cooperatives — taking the profit out of shelter

Housing cooperatives essentially represent the “third way” between renting and owning a property. This model once formed part of the bedrock of affordable shelter provisions in New York, but more recently has been rapidly disappearing.

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Collaborating to Advance Justice for Women: Solidago Foundation

Solidago Foundation might only have $5 million in assets, but you wouldn’t know it from their leadership among social justice funders, especially when it comes to supporting women at the grassroots.

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Condo and Co-Op Conversion: Not Out of Time, Not Out of Luck

Many cooperatives and condominiums have overlooked, for decades, potent statutory rights enabling them to recapture building amenities currently under long-term, unfavorable leases with their developers. Because those rights were first promulgated during the 1980s’ cooperative and condominium conversion boom, they are often discounted as stale or forgotten altogether. But recent litigation may offer new hope for deploying those robust rights.

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Who will be Madison’s next mayor?

Soglin aims to hold on to position, Rhodes-Conway pushing for a change

We asked the candidates running to be Madison’s mayor the same five questions to understand their vision for the future of Madison. The answers we received show differences in scope, detail, and logic for where the candidates think Madison is, and where the city is going.

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The Village Cooperative of Loveland offers seniors more than just a place to retire

The Village Cooperative provides active adults (55+) a new housing option that offers them home ownership-and all the financial and tax benefits that go with it.

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Paul Soglin says he’s fixing housing shortage; Satya Rhodes-Conway says it’s not enough

A lot of housing is being built in Madison, but experts say it’s far from enough …. And she backs housing cooperatives and creation of more tiny house villages for the homeless and support for tenants. Read more 

Better Buildings Financing Navigator

There are many ways to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in buildings that you own or occupy. The Navigator helps you cut through this complexity to secure financing that works for you. Learn more

Analyzing The 2020 Presidential Contenders’ Housing Policies

By Henry Kraemer (@HenryKraemer) and Pete Harrison (@PeteHarrisonNYC)

Data for Progress is keeping a running tab of housing policy proposals for announced or likely 2020 Presidential contenders. This play-by-play policy analysis, ideological context, and suggestions to improve candidates’ policies are intended to help both campaigns and voters get to the best American housing policy. Read more

A Green New Deal for Housing

A Green New Deal can’t deliver economic or environmental justice without tackling the housing crisis. We should go big and build 10 million beautiful, public, no-carbon homes over the next 10 years. Read more

Upper Manhattan Co-op Complex Pulls in $55M Refi

A major cooperative apartment complex in Upper Manhattan has landed a $55.2 million refinancing from National Cooperative Bank, according to records filed with the New York City Department of Finance today. Read more

In Oakland, a radical approach to housing shortage

A new housing coop seeks to keep buildings permanently affordable

While housing cooperatives have long worked to purchase individual properties and retain them as affordable housing stock, EB PREC is hoping its model can grow into a network of properties that can begin to effect lasting change. Read more

Housing cooperatives are more than an economic no-brainer. They offer our a communities a better future.

Housing cooperatives make economic sense. This benefit of cooperative housing is well documented. The research group Housing Futures, which will publish its recommendations on 8th December at an event in Manchester, emphasise how cooperatives can meet the affordability needs of low-income communities. Read more

HPD Seeks Urban Development Action Area Designation for Two City-Owned Properties in East Village

Approval of the proposed project will provide housing to families that have been displaced for over ten years. On December 5, 2018, the City Planning Commission heard an application that would allow for the demolition of existing buildings on two City-owned lots and development of ten co-operative units at 204 Avenue A and eleven one-bedroom rental units at 535 East 12th Street in Manhattan. The lots are located on the same block in the East Village, bounded by Avenue A, East 12th Street, East 13th Street, and Avenue B. Read more

Financing the Future of Cooperative Low-Income Housing

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, New York City went through a devastating financial crisis. Buildings in neighborhoods across the city were essentially abandoned by their landlords. In some cases, tenants banded together to take over managing their buildings. Clusters of such buildings emerged in some neighborhoods, including Manhattan’s Lower East Side, East Village, and Harlem. The city created the Housing Development Fund Corporation program, offering reduced property taxes to cooperatively-owned buildings reserved for low- and moderate-income residents, known as limited-equity cooperatives. Read more

Why city halls should look to Vienna, not big developers, to solve their affordable housing crises

OPINION: The dilemma that faces many local governments in cities around the world is how to finance regeneration schemes when their central government does not offer sufficient support and land prices are high. Cities like Vienna and Hamburg have found a solution that doesn’t price out their own citizens. London has not. Read more

Museums, Neighborhoods, and Gentrification: Lessons from the Nation’s Capital

For the first time in human history, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, a shift that is resulting in new challenges. The Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum, with its 50th anniversary exhibition, A Right to The City, addresses many of these in the context of its home city of Washington, DC. Read more

After promising renovations, city drops Harlem tenants from homeownership program

One resident died awaiting opportunity to move back home from temporary housing

A decade after the city promised a group of Harlem tenants a building would be renovated and turned into an affordable co-op, the residents are still living in temporary apartments, the property remains boarded up, and the de Blasio administration now plans to sell it to a private owner, a recent lawsuit alleges. Read more

Luxury Development Is Making Our Housing Crisis Worse

Rent control. It was on the ballot in California yesterday, as tenant campaigns picked up steam across the country and revive an old refrain: “The rent is too damn high!” The real estate industry’s biggest argument in opposition? Rent control will hurt new construction. And – as the developers would have us believe – the only way to pull ourselves out of our dire housing shortage would be by building new construction. Read more

Cooperatives and Neighborhood Development

Local conference focuses on combatting displacement with diversity

It’s no secret downtown Indianapolis is seeing rapid growth in neighborhoods long-dismissed by developers as undesirable.

It’s also no secret that the development is having negative effects on many long-term residents of those areas who are being displaced in the name of progress.

Gentrification is the word that is often thrown around to describe the displacement, mostly by people who also throw up their hands at the injustice of it all rather than roll up their sleeves and do any work to undo or prevent it from happening in the first place.

Mat Davis is not one of those people.

For the last several years, Davis has been working with a variety of groups around the city to bring a human rights approach to development. Read more

How Washington, DC Residents are Tackling Rising Rents

Affordable housing is proving difficult to come by in the nation’s fast-developing capital. But some residents are finding a solution through housing cooperatives where tenants can collectively purchase their building, enabling low-income earners to remain within city limits. Read more

Is the Co-op/Condo Abatement Under Attack?

I read with dismay the July 13th Daily News op-ed in which the Citizens Housing Planning Council proposed to “kill” the Property Tax Abatement program for homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums, a program that enables thousands of New Yorkers to afford their apartments. It is dramatic to dwell on the fact that Donald Trump’s luxury apartment once qualified for this abatement, but this is a red herring; kindly consider instead the thousands of ordinary New Yorkers who rely on the abatement program to bring their carrying charges to a level that they can afford. At a moment when New York City housing prices are soaring and when virtually no ‘affordable housing’ is available – we find shortsighted your suggestion to destroy completely this abatement program which makes the dream of homeownership possible for so many! While I very much admire and support your efforts to improve the lives of New Yorkers in NYCHA housing, I urge the Citizens Housing Planning Council to reconsider the consequences of the proposal that you have made. Read more

Lack of housing supply, high building costs boosting Boise real estate market

Boise’s hot real estate market is an inescapable topic these days. No matter if you are looking to purchase your first home, searching for an affordable apartment or just looking at your property tax bill, skyrocketing real estate prices have likely made an impact on your bottom line. Read more

How the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is pioneering a model for equitable housing

he East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is an impressive burgeoning commons legal institution that’s aimed at the decommodification of housing. It is pioneering a new legal institution for how we can own homes more equitably, collaboratively, and in such a way that they’re permanently off the speculative market. Read more

Carpinteria City Council Passes Ordinance Banning Co-Op Apartment Conversions

The Carpinteria City Council on Monday passed an emergency ordinance that prevents converting apartment buildings into cooperatives.

The vote was 4-0, with Councilman Brad Stein absent.

“The concern has to do with protecting apartment housing in Carpinteria,” Carpinteria City Manager Dave Durflinger said during the meeting. Read more

In Iowa City, a co-housing movement blends living large with living small

While we all debate the merits of the behemoth, but traditional and profit-driven, Pentacrest Gardens, why don’t we move that spotlight a little to the left, to the growing concept of “co-living”?

Because there, we’ll find a philosophical place where community-building, efficiency and shared responsibility come before a developer’s zoning needs, negotiated financial incentives and price per square foot. Read more

How the Ultra-Rich Can Help Fix the Affordable Housing Crisis

A growing number of people invest in real estate they never intend to occupy and push up prices for the rest of us. Cities should make them pay.

Down the street from my office, a luxury residential tower is rising, the fifth such project in Boston in the last decade. The 61-story “One Dalton Place” is being marketed as “New England’s tallest and most luxurious residential building.”

Across the coastal cities of North America, cranes are rising to construct similar stunning new glass towers of both residential and commercial properties. Real estate in existing neighborhoods is being bid up by investors and wealthy buyers, pushing up the cost of land and housing for everyone else. Read more

Enterprise’s New York Market Assists with Resiliency Initiative

An article in Next City highlights the work Enterprise’s New York market has conducted to support FloodHelpNY, a post-Hurricane Sandy project that identifies resiliency improvements in multifamily affordable housing and co-ops in designated flood zones. The New York market assists owners in signing up for free resiliency audits and educates residents on the benefits of the various resiliency measures. The FloodHelpNY initiative was established by the Center for New City Neighborhoods and is funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and New York Rising. Read more.

Can NYC’s Affordable Housing Co-Ops Survive the Next Big Storm?

The brick apartment building at 414 East 10th Street, in the East Village of Manhattan, is in Ana Ruiz’s blood. Her family moved there in the 1950s. In 1998, she helped convert the building into an HDFC cooperative, creating affordable homeownership opportunities for the building’s tenants. As part of the conversion, she personally oversaw a two-year renovation process, which required each existing tenant to take turns vacating their apartments, then ensured they had the opportunity to buy into the converted co-op, at just $250 per unit. She remains a shareholder and serves as property manager. Read more

Some in St. Paul’s Frogtown worry it’s gentrifying

The last housing crisis left many properties vacant and in disrepair. Crime remains a major concern. But Frogtown is changing fast. As housing costs rise, residents worry they’ll get priced out.

The offer was enticing.

If residents of St. Paul’s Wilder Square Co-op voted “yes,” each of the 163 units would get spruced-up kitchens and bathrooms, new air conditioning, carpeting, vinyl floors, sliding doors and a fresh coat of paint. Best of all, each household would also receive at least $4,000 in cash, part of a package of $3.3 million in improvements proposed by the would-be buyers, Real Estate Equities. Read more

Co-op makes rooftop solar panels possible in Kent

The house on Franklin Avenue in Kent with 14 rooftop solar panels is home to a group of musicians.

The solar panel system cuts their monthly electric bill down to $10.

The panels were purchased by Kent Housing Cooperative, which formed in 1981 to provide low-cost housing to students. In 2012, the co-op voted to install the panels to take advantage of state and federal tax credits, but also to show the community how everyday people can pull together to use renewable energy. Read more

Advocating for Residents

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

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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.” Read more

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.

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. Read more

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.” Read more

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

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.” Read more

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). Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more.

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.