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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Community Land Trusts Are Building Disaster-Resilient Neighborhoods

Community Land Trusts Are Building Disaster-Resilient Neighborhoods

In late September, Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful and costly storms to make landfall in the U.S., tore through southwest Florida and caused an estimated $67 billion in property damage. But on Big Pine Key, a community 100 miles southwest of Miami that saw flooding and storm surges up to five feet, 27 nearly-finished cottages were still standing, largely unharmed. “It was a good test,” said Maggie Whitcomb, who helped develop the cottages. “You never want to have a storm, but it’s good to know after a serious weather event just how strong your construction is.”  Built atop 12-foot tall white podiums with water-resistant finishes and low-energy utilities, the cottages were constructed with structural insulated panels (SIPs), a strong, airtight substance made from...

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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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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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The Collaborative Corner | Rachel Blakeman

The Collaborative Corner | Rachel Blakeman

https://youtu.be/0c9D5O_gZcs Our latest episode of "The Collaborative Corner" features an insightful conversation with Rachel Blakeman, Director of the Community Research Institute (CRI) at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Learn about CRI's efforts to broaden its...

Land Banks: How They Work, and Why Fort Wayne Needs One

Land Banks: How They Work, and Why Fort Wayne Needs One

“We need land banks everywhere.” Nate Howard, the Executive Director of Muncie Land Bank, has seen what positive changes can come from rehabilitating abandoned and vacant properties in his area. An empowered land bank can reduce blight and save taxpayers money, plus...

The Collaborative Corner | Rachel Blakeman

The Collaborative Corner | Zach Vessels

Meet the mastermind behind Creatorspace! In this episode of The Collaborative Corner, Zach Vessels shares how he built a thriving creative community from the ground up. Tune in to hear about his journey, the impact on local creators, and the power of collaboration in...