Reframing Co-ops to Address Current Housing Issues
The co-op movement needs a contemporary nudge. A design touch? A hip angle? We are proposing a more proactive, design-focused campaign that embraces other relevant sectors - including affordable housing, community & economic development, policy, real estate, design and technology. It needs a marketing strategy and tools to make it easier for people to start exploring. Read more about the little-known benefits of housing co-ops.
What We Are Doing to Reframe
Our contribution includes a number of initiatives:
- Creating personalized vision boards to envision basic goals (see below)
- Creating visual diagrams to illustrate the process, making it easier to understand (see below)
- Maintaining a facebook group that curates related articles/events and allows people to connect
- Providing custom design services for co-op units, using a competitive bid process to lower costs
But Our Proudest Achievement? ... Fireplace: a tool that factors in your friends and presents the necessary context
- We found that once stereotypes are broken down, most people ARE interested in cooperatives.
- Unlike homeownership, there is rarely enough information to decide whether co-ops are a good fit. It involves too many extra factors - not only the values, living preferences and finances of individuals, but also the group's.
- Without the context presented, it is very difficult to make an informed decision. Yet this is a necessary step before planning even begins!
Check out our featured proposal:FIREPLACE makes exploring co-ops as easy as deciding to buy a home
We want to emphasize that this is only one tool that for full effectiveness, should be applied in parallel with many other approaches and an overall strategy.
Cooperative housing is an affordable housing option that is not well-known and shrouded in myths. In fact, it is a model that allows you to own/invest in more than a home.
- Have as much privacy as a typical apartment/condo unit.
- Own property when you don't qualify for traditional financing.
- Live in a unit without neighbors that bug you.
- Own property with a close-knit group of friends rather than a condo association.
- Customize your unit without worrying about a landlord.
A vision board is a good starting point to get your unique vision out of your head and onto paper. This is useful to show potential co-op members to immediately see which values/goals are shared.