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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Housing Cooperatives Build Stronger Communities

Housing Cooperatives Build Stronger Communities

Most housing falls into two categories: what you can rent, and what you can own. Renters are bound by leases, while owners are responsible for mortgage payments, insurance, and taxes on their properties. Rentals are maintained for the renters, while owners are on their own when it comes to maintenance and improvements. Still, each has its advantages.  Establishing or joining a housing cooperative, or co-op, offers a mix of these approaches. A housing cooperative represents corporate ownership of real estate, but with a twist. The residents (also called member-owners) own shares of the cooperative, which is democratically controlled by elected members who are also residents. Money stays within the corporation and does not leak out to a third-party investor. Cost savings are passed...

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The History of Community Land Trusts in the U.S.

The History of Community Land Trusts in the U.S.

After World War II, blacks in Georgia were vulnerable to predatory behavior of landlords. Some were evicted and then, because they did not have a stable address, were refused the right to vote. The goal in starting a community land trust was to ensure housing stability and secure their right to vote. In June 1968, a group of community leaders traveled to Israel to learn about developing homes and cooperatives on community-owned land. They collected legal agreements from Israel as a basis for what could be used in the US. This led to the creation of New Communities, Inc., which is considered to be the first community land trust in America. In 1969, they purchased 6,000 acres of land in Albany, Georgia, which was the largest black-owned landholding in the U.S. Slater King, Marion King,...

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Fort Wayne Homeownership by the Numbers

Fort Wayne Homeownership by the Numbers

Many Hoosiers aim to invest in a home of their own. However, affordability is a concern, especially in the current environment of high prices and rising interest rates. Consider this: The median income for Indiana households at $61,944 (2021); according to an online mortgage calculator, the median household could be financed for up to $189,000 at 7 percent, costing $1,257 per month. The median sale price of an Indiana home is $222,300, according to Redfin estimated based on January 2023 data. Investment experts recommend paying 20% of the purchase price when buying a home. A 20% down payment for the median sale price of $222,300 totals $44,460 and reduces the mortgage amount to $177,840. Saving $200 per week toward the down payment of $44,460 would take 222 payments, or over four years....

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Could We Create a Community Land Trust in Fort Wayne?

Could We Create a Community Land Trust in Fort Wayne?

Jason Webb of Grounded Solutions Network is part of the team creating a new community land trust in Indianapolis. In a recent webinar, he reflected on how living in a Community Land Trust (CLT) helps families build wealth, just not in the traditional way. “The generational wealth that homeownership can bring to future generations is more than just the dollars and cents that somebody could get from that real estate transaction. The wealth really comes from the stability of having a home, of not needing to go through the rent increases year after year.” The goal is for lease owners to be in a better situation than they’d be in if they rented, so that they can invest a larger portion of their disposable income into their businesses, retirement accounts, and families. A Community Land Trust...

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Building a Future for Young Adults Aged out of Foster Care

Building a Future for Young Adults Aged out of Foster Care

“When we were in foster care, we weren’t allowed to get a license, we weren’t allowed to have a bank account or a phone. We weren’t allowed to have anything.” A young woman in Fort Wayne’s young adult housing described the steep learning curve she encountered at age eighteen. The path to adulthood is fraught for any young person, but it presents additional challenges to those who age out of foster care without a support system in place. These kids are given $600 and a backpack on their eighteenth birthdays, but if they don’t have a birth certificate or a Social Security card, the next steps seem insurmountable. At The Courtyard on Home Avenue in Fort Wayne, most residents used to be foster children. The Courtyard is an apartment complex that houses young adults, usually between ages 18...

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The Collaborative Corner | Kara Hackett

The Collaborative Corner | Kara Hackett

Episode 2 - Co-Founder and Editor of The Local Fort Wayne, Kara Hackett Welcome to The Collaborative Corner, where we dive into the heartbeat of Northeast Indiana! In this episode we delve into the pressing issues shaping Northeast Indiana with Kara Hackett,...