Full House: Generations of Families Share Homes and Lives

Full House: Generations of Families Share Homes and Lives

What happens when the adult kids come home to ride out the Covid lockdown and then settle in? Where can Mom or Dad go when they can’t live on their own anymore? Oftentimes, to conserve money and other resources, adult family members consolidate into one household. Due to the sharp jump in housing prices in Northeast Indiana and elsewhere within the past few years, this trend is increasing. According to the 2020 census, 7.2% of US homes were multigenerational. These homes were most common in the southern US and across the eastern seaboard as well as in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. By this measure, Indiana was only slightly below the national average, with the share of multigenerational households in most counties between four and seven percent. Similar trends were noted for children...

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Mobile Home Living in Fort Wayne: Get Grounded on the Rules, Rights, and Regulations

Mobile Home Living in Fort Wayne: Get Grounded on the Rules, Rights, and Regulations

Roiann Smolinski of Fort Wayne lived in a mobile home with her family about 40 years ago, and remembers it well.  “We had a small court, maybe only 30 homes, in a convenient location close to work. The court got plowed out early from snow. We had three bedrooms and two baths, and a nice sized kitchen. It served our purpose for living, until we bought a house six years later. My dad lived in the same court, so that was a bonus.” Smolinski also noted a few drawbacks, such as no access to covered or reserved parking spaces. Smolinski paid $135 for the home plus $190 for lot rent per month, which included landscaping and snow plowing but not utilities.  Despite the arctic chills that visit Fort Wayne each winter, their mobile home stayed cozy. “We didn't have any trouble with...

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Home Free: How the Forty Percent Live

Home Free: How the Forty Percent Live

Fort Wayne homeowner Kate was surprised to discover how she felt when she made the last mortgage payment on her home. “I thought the day I paid off the house would be the best day ever, but it is really the next month, when you don’t have to make that payment and you suddenly realize how much money you have to spend on something else.”  At first she devoted her extra money to fixing up her house, but once those tasks were done, her options expanded. “Now we have money to go on vacations and relax and look toward retirement with less stress. My husband says that this house is our guarantee that we won’t have to eat cat food,” she joked. Their home has nearly tripled in value since they purchased it in 1996. She recommended making a full commitment to the home and its location to make...

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Time for Change in Michigan, Legislature to Protect Renters Being Worked On 

Time for Change in Michigan, Legislature to Protect Renters Being Worked On 

Nearly 20% of Michigan renters will face the threat of eviction this year. In a state with over 1 million renters, this leaves about 200,000 citizens at risk of losing their homes. But there is legislation in the works to try to solve this.  Michigan RentersInfogram In 2022, Ann Arbor, a city where over half the households are renters, passed Section 8:531 of the housing code, the right to renew. This law requires Ann Arbor landlords make a “good faith” offer to renew a lease 180 days before a tenant’s lease is up.  Relocation is expensive and time consuming. Apartment hunting, packing, cleaning, along with security deposits and first- and last-month rent payments add up fast. If a tenant is offered an opportunity to renew, this can save them from being placed farther back...

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Housing Crisis: A Growing Problem in Central Ohio 

Housing Crisis: A Growing Problem in Central Ohio 

As housing costs continue to increase across the nation, so does the stress on lower income and middle-class families in Columbus, Ohio. The problem? Too many residents, not enough affordable places to live.  A recent report found over half of homeowners in Central Ohio are spending most of their income on housing costs. To be considered affordable, housing expenses should represent no more than 30% of a household’s income, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Carlie Boos, executive director of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, says the area’s housing supply is struggling to keep pace with the population.  This very underbuilding of housing is one of the key drivers of housing costs. As of August 2023, Columbus home prices were...

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Renting in the State of Kentucky

Renting in the State of Kentucky

Andrea Zang hopes for a world where there are no limits to who can access sustainable and truly affordable housing.  “It’s a rent crisis,” said Zang, a Kentucky resident, member of KY Tenants and a leader with the Homes Guarantee campaign. “People are making decisions to not buy food, to not buy medical care because they have to make rent.”  Homes Guarantee is led by tenants and aims to ensure everyone has the ability to find comfortable, safe, and affordable places to live. Over 250 tenant-led organizations have contributed to this cause and are working to meet with White House officials. According to data from InvestFourMore, a blog started by Colorado landlord and real estate agent Mark Ferguson, Kentucky is the second-most landlord-friendly state in the U.S. with a ranking...

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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 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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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...