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Coop Community

Housing insecurity — has been actively dismantled even as the national housing crisis builds. Public housing has been one of the best examples of truly affordable permanent housing in this country, allowing families and seniors to pay no more than one-third of their income to the house, with rent adjustments as employment and incomes change.  But neither U.S. federal nor state governments have supported public housing programs sufficiently to maintain either the quantity or quality that is necessary, and decades of disinvestment and demolition means fewer and fewer low-income people benefit from public housing. Today, the reality of public housing includes long waiting lists, inadequate upkeep, lack of resident control in decision-making, and often, barriers for undocumented immigrants and formerly incarcerated people. And some politicians and developers have found a convenient target in public housing, using racist stereotypes of public housing to justify further funding cuts and elimination of the housing to make way for gentrification.

Resources

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Communities Over Commodities

We see community control as the linchpin upon which all the other principles are made possible. For us, community control requires both community ownership and democratic control by those who live in the community. However, community control alone is not enough. We have countless examples throughout history where community control has led to injustice. For example, white communities in cities throughout the United States like Chicago and New York used their control and privilege to carry out their racist beliefs and practices, removing and excluding Black families from their communities using harassment and violence.4

Sound Advice for Functions & Events

This booklet was developed from what we at the Nonprofit Insurance Alliance Group have learned about claims against nonprofits from the fundraisers and other special events that they have held. It is not an exhaustive list of everything you need to know to hold safe events. It is simply a brief overview of some ideas that we hope will help you plan your events and that will also minimize the chance that those attending one of your events will be injured.

Instilling a Corporate Culture

Corporate culture can be described as the beliefs and behaviors that determine how volunteers and staff interact and handle decisions. Some nonprofit boards refute the idea of corporate culture. Association executives ask, “Are you suggesting we adopt a business model?” The answer is a resounding, “YES.” From the perspective of volunteer leaders I’ve heard some unique replies, “We are an association – not a corporation.” Or, “We are nonprofit so I don’t think a corporate culture would benefit us.”

Early Forms Of Cooperation

People have always co-operated by working together in groups to meet shared goals, this has been a collective human activity since the beginning of time. In fact, there have even been many co-operative organizations which only pre-date the Rochdale Pioneers by a few decades. However, many of these experiments with co-operative organising didn't survive very long and historical records of their activities are scarce or have been lost to history. Nevertheless, it is fascinating to find out that these organizations existed, demonstrating the appetite for collective solutions to shared problems in the century prior to the Rochdale Pioneers.

Keys to Successful Cooperative Housing

Successful housing cooperatives usually have key operating practices and philosophies in common. These include a need for understanding some basic cooperative concepts such as the joint ownership and user-owner nature of the cooperative form of business, as well as at-cost operation and democratic control processes. In addition, a sound background in management, operational, and financial aspects of cooperatives aids in ensuring the success of new or existing housing cooperatives.

The Impact of New Generation Cooperatives on Their Communities

Development of rural communities has benefited greatly from the resurgence of interest in the cooperative form of business. Well-planned business development is often the throttle for vibrant community development. As user-owned organizations, cooperatives have been used as a model for individual self-help and empowerment that strengthens bonds leading to greater community awareness and involvement.

Creating Cooperatives, Shaping Communities

The co-op retained the non-profit as their management agent. As the co-op performed well financially, the non-profit began actively pursuing other housing development opportunities. In 1995, this resulted in the purchase and creation of a second leasehold cooperative for students

The Cooperative Society

They identify major eras of economic development – hunting and gathering, simple agriculture, and large organizations providing most every type of product and service. They boldly suggest that the next era will be the cooperative society, wherein people work together locally, at smaller scale, with greater democratic participation, generating less inequality, with reduced environmental degradation. Indeed, the authors suggest

Promotion Of Cooperatives

Incorporating the International Cooperative Alliance’s 1995 definition of cooperatives, the new recommendation emphasizes the autonomy of cooperatives while stressing the crucial role of governments in establishing the appropriate political, legal and institutional framework. The social partners and cooperative organizations are also seen as vital to cooperative development. Through this recommendation and the steps taken to disseminate it, the ILO hopes to influence changes in national laws for providing better support to cooperatives.

A Guide for Successful Community Development

Cooperative housing offers an affordable housing solution. Although housing co-ops have been around since the mid-19th century, few people really understand how the cooperative housing model works. Even fewer people appreciate how effectively cooperative housing can serve as a viable affordable housing solution. As a result of work being done by organizations like Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF), cooperative housing is gaining increased attention as a viable model for affordable housing.

The Power of Cooperative Action

The cooperative model can be an effective way for people to meet a common set of economic or social needs. Often a cooperative is organized in response to some adversity - individual farmers face falling dairy prices, for example, or a community loses its grocery store. Instead of operating to maximize investment returns, a cooperative operates to maximize member benefit by meeting member needs in a financially sustainable way.

A Housing Alternative For Rural America

In a housing cooperative, people join to form a cooperative corporation that owns the buildings in which they live. Purchasing a share in the cooperative entitles each member to lease and occupy a dwelling unit from the cooperative and to participate in its operation. Each member pays a share of the cooperative’s monthly expenses. Housing cooperatives are democratically controlled, meaning that each member has one vote in deciding the affairs of the cooperative .

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