During a Summit for Solutions hosted on Chicago’s West Side, Kola Community Solutions was tapped to research and present to community leaders a cooperative housing strategy to address the displacement and diminished affordability impacting many of their area residents. While our primary focus was consolidating key research points into a visually appealing, general purpose pitch deck, this project presented an opportunity to index source materials for use in other spaces throughout the city where a housing strategy oriented towards cooperatives and community land trusts would stabilize existing residents and build invaluable social cohesion within these newly structured anchor housing enterprises.
The standalone pitch deck is offered for perusal, but would be best understood with an accompanying presentation as part of a longer term cooperative education campaign. Kola Community Solutions is available to discuss scheduling a single event or series as part of our commitment to expand opportunities to communities throughout Chicago to learn more about cooperative principles and practices. Our theory of change holds social ownership and democratic governance of housing as a key strategy in democratizing the broader economy by decommodifying the land underneath our communities. Stable communities build stronger relationships among residents who are better able to analyze and address their social, economic, and political challenges.
“Affordable Housing Cooperatives: Their Conditions and Prospects In Chicago” was published in April 2004 through the combined efforts of Chicago Mutual Housing Network and Nathalie P. Vorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement. During this period, the publication documented an ongoing affordable housing crisis stemming from the demolition of pubic housing and expiring Section 8 housing which combined with the rising cost of housing in the city had created scarce few options for residents who sought to remain in the city. The recommendations offered here chart the history of cooperative housing and offer strategies which would prove timely even now fifteen years later as Chicago remains in the grip of a spreading crisis of affordability and displacement. The lead author of the document was Charles Daas who passed recently and represents a tremendous loss to the cooperative community in Chicago.Affordable Housing Cooperatives – Their Conditions and Prospects in Chicago
“Homebase: The Playbook for Cooperative Development” is authored by NCB (National Cooperative Bank) Capital Impact (now Capital Impact Partners), a non-profit affiliate of NCB providing financial services and technical assistance to the cooperative movement. This publication offers an in-depth technical analysis of the cooperative development process from the approach of a housing developer. While it may be a challenging perspective to engage for those who seek a tenant centered approach, it may be helpful to understand the type of process that you may encounter when leading a group through the process of collectively purchasing and governing a multi-stakeholder housing enterprise.HOMEBASE – The Playbook for Cooperative Development
“Cooperative Housing Toolbox: A Practical Guide for Cooperative Success” authored by Northcountry Cooperative Foundation provides an insightful member centered approach to understanding the process of developing the cooperative culture necessary to live and work together when managing cooperative housing as a body of members or board of directors. It offers a helpful training manual for all stakeholders to understand their role in the maintaining the success of the housing venture and should probably be part of any developing cooperatives research library.Cooperative Housing Toolbox
“Cooperative Housing Development Toolbox: A Guide for Successful Community Development” authored by Northcountry Cooperative Foundation is a development centered version of the previously mentioned guide. It has the distinct benefit of being slightly less technical in it approach than “Homebase: The Playbook for Cooperative Development”.Cooperative Housing Development Toolbox
“Communities Over Commodities” authored by Right To The City Alliance fills in the gaps which most of the technical manuals overlook in their presentation by offering communities a vision of what models are working and some common principles by which they have successfully operated. By addressing the imagination gap and helping us to stretch our minds on how housing can and should operate, Right To The City Alliance challenges us model housing to mirror an equitable economy and society.Communities Over Commodities
“Rooted In Home: Community-Based Alternatives To The Bay Area Housing Crisis” published by Urban Habitat and East Bay Community Law Center provides a regionally centered analysis from the Bay Area in California on how communities have responded to the housing crisis ranging from informal settlements to permanent real estate cooperatives. The models provide a vision of community response which foreground both resistance to displacement and build upon the democratization of land access and right of use.Rooted in Home
“Community + Land + Trust: Tools For Displacement Without Development” builds upon regional examples with Baltimore Housing Roundtable highlighting some of the challenges and responses residents in Baltimore are offering to inequitable development within the city which extends beyond housing and engages the quality of life residents can expect throughout their life within a community.Community Land Trust – Tools for Development Without Displacement
“Community Control Of Land & Housing” authored by Jarrid Green and Thomas Hanna for Democracy Collaborative is a comprehensive collection of case studies documenting strategies, policies, and practices for restoring the governance of land to communities who can best determine the use of that land. This publication choose to analyze both strategies that directly engage the land and those which force political officials and private developers to negotiate control over governance of land to local communities.Community Control of Land and Housing
“Elements of the Democratic Economy” is a set of publications by the Next System Project which provide several quick reads of solutions that foreground social ownership, ecological restoration, and democratic governance. The four elements highlighted here are all excellent teaching tools for spaces which are just beginning to imagine what land use strategies they might wish to pursue.EDE Combined
In 2008, National Community Land Trust Network (now Grounded Solutions Network) endeavored to develop and release a comprehensive technical manual covering the legal and operational aspects of community land trusts. This manual was based upon materials which had been originally released and workshopped by the Institute for Community Economics. The revisions started in 2008 resulted in the 2011 release of “The CLT Technical Manual” which involved a network of contributors far more expansive than previous releases of the material.The CLT Technical Manual
In 2010, Lincoln Institute for Land Policy released “The Community Land Trust Leader” edited by John Emmeus Davis who had done contemporary research and implementation for community land trust within the now defunct Institute for Community Economics. While “The CLT Technical Manual” provided legal and operational guidance, “The Community Land Trust Reader” offered greater philosophical and historical insights on community land trusts as a hedge against poverty, inequality, and community displacement. The two publications are inseparable as a tool for philosophically grounding this model as something beyond a tool for building a legal fence around common natural resources as occurs with privately held land trusts.The Community Land Trust Reader
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