About Us

The mission of the Fort Wayne Media Collaborative is to bring together Fort Wayne’s media resources to address complex community challenges by creating and disseminating solid, evidence-based journalism. We envision transforming the nature of local journalism in Fort Wayne and giving our community greater access to solutions-oriented news that encourages civic engagement.

Renting in Cool Blue Illinois: Protections, Freedoms, and Support

Renting in Cool Blue Illinois: Protections, Freedoms, and Support

What a difference a border makes! Illinois, known for its Democratic leanings in the heart of the more Republican Midwest, has set up some of its laws to protect both renters and landlords. However, with an increasing demand for affordable housing, Illinois’ housing market continues to be competitive and expensive. Illinois Rules and Laws Protections for landlords and tenants start with the laws that govern them. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office publishes the “Landlord and Tenant Rights and Laws” to help navigate these roles. According to the AG, some protections that Illinois renters have are: They can ask that necessary repairs be made, and use this as a viable defense against eviction if they withhold a portion of their rent when the landlord has not paid for the...

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3 Fountains Cooperative with Board President Lynda Rogers

https://youtu.be/bfT1e6LF5NY Living in a cooperative makes you part of a community, because everyone there owns a share of the building or the property. Cooperative living can create opportunities for those who earn a living but cannot afford, or do not wish to live in, market-rate housing. Shareowners share in the risks and the rewards of living in a cooperative, so it isn’t like leasing an apartment. If you plan to live in an area for a few years, you may want to invest in a cooperative there!

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3 Fountains Fort Wayne Cooperative with Property Manager Kia Langston

https://youtu.be/IGNr9do0E9o Living in a cooperative makes you part of a community, because everyone there owns a share of the building or the property. Cooperative living can create opportunities for those who earn a living but cannot afford, or do not wish to live in, market-rate housing. Shareowners share in the risks and the rewards of living in a cooperative, so it isn’t like leasing an apartment. If you plan to live in an area for a few years, you may want to invest in a cooperative there!

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Indiana Cooperative Development Center How Cooperatives Work

https://youtu.be/yCoCn7qetJM Child care. Housing. Businesses. Agriculture. Energy. Food. These are some needs that can be met-and maximized-through the cooperative model. In this video, Deb Trocha of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center shares the costs and benefits of setting up businesses in the cooperative model. Cooperatives are owned by the people who use them and benefit from them, which excludes investors and third parties. The Fort Wayne Media Collaborative concentrates its reporting on housing, with a goal of empowering people to figure out their best solutions to the ongoing problem of housing affordability. Find out more about cooperatives and how to start a corporation for a new housing cooperative, or a co-op of any kind, at our website, fwmediacollaborative.com.

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Indiana Cooperative Development Center Cooperatives defined

https://youtu.be/y3LkL8usIGY In this age of skyrocketing real estate prices, it’s time to look at affordable housing from a new perspective. What if there was a solution to the high prices you’re paying for housing, groceries, child care, and so on? In this video, Deb Trocha explains how cooperatives can provide solutions for people who are willing to collaborate in order to solve problems. The Fort Wayne Media Collaborative concentrates its reporting on housing, with a goal of empowering people to figure out their best solutions to the ongoing problem of housing affordability. To find out more about cooperatives and how to start a corporation for a new housing cooperative, or a co-op of any kind, visit fwmediacollaborative.com.

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Indiana Cooperative Development Center Indiana Cooperatives

https://youtu.be/CLa9MjSDDK4 With a lack of legal protections for renters and rising rents here in Indiana, most Hoosiers can’t afford to buy a home of their own. However, they may be able to purchase a home in a cooperative, or start a housing cooperative from scratch with the help of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center. In this video, Deb Trocha of the ICDC talks about Indiana cooperatives and what her organization can do to help those who want to start cooperatives of any kind—such as those related to housing, child care, business, energy, and food—here in Indiana. For more information visit fwmediacollaborative.com

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FWMC Housing Update Fall 2023

https://youtu.be/e2eUep2dBa8 Our reporter, Gabi Lorino, has shared some data about the housing market and how the prices have gone up, up, and up some more over the past few years. Home prices in Fort Wayne have doubled in the past decade as rents reach new heights, both nationally and here in Northeast Indiana. Affordable housing remains a challenge as we move forward. For more information visit fwmediacollaborative.com

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Foreclosures on the Rise in Indiana and Across the US

Foreclosures on the Rise in Indiana and Across the US

Rising interest rates, home prices at never-before-seen levels, and inflation all play into the recent jump in foreclosures. Foreclosures happen when a homeowner stops making payments toward a property, and the institution (such as a bank) that financed the property steps in through legal action to take over the property and then sell it to recover all or a portion of its investment.  Some foreclosures are known as Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. They have gone into foreclosure, didn’t sell at auction, and are now owned by the original banker or lender. Other foreclosures come from government agencies. HUD homes, which are owned by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), result from mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that go into...

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Fort Wayne’s Affordable Housing Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities

Fort Wayne’s Affordable Housing Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities

“Fair housing is all about taking the stigma out of affordable housing.” Sarah Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Fort Wayne Housing Authority (FWHA), spoke at the Fair Housing Summit in April about the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The housing authority’s efforts so far include: A total of 295 landlords participate in the voucher program. Their 2,600 affordable housing units house about 6,000 people.  Over half of voucher beneficiaries are children (under age 17). This means that more than 3,000 kids benefit from housing vouchers in Fort Wayne. Adults make up 47% of voucher beneficiaries.  However, the demand for affordable housing has grown. “We need more. We are doing great, but we need more.” Several factors contribute to this need.  The national poverty rate averages...

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How to Start a Corporation for a Housing Cooperative

How to Start a Corporation for a Housing Cooperative

After gathering with like-minded folks and agreeing on a common goal for cooperative housing, what does it take to set up a corporation for a co-op?  Figure out the structure of the corporation first. Consulting an attorney and an accountant can give you a picture of the best way to set up the corporation for your cooperative. Tap additional resources, such as the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), as needed. A resource list is provided on Fort Wayne’s Community Development website.  Deb Trocha of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center is open to talking with Hoosiers who are interested in setting up a cooperative. She sees significant opportunities for areas like Fort Wayne to improve housing market options for residents.  In the startup...

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