Housing is a Human Right
We Can Make it Happen!
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This is something I'd hope to see replicated around the state. https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/06/15/worcester-homeless-services-apartments
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adminSusan - Thu, Jun 24, 2021 9:48 A
Here's the video that explains the entire project. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGkXwGgtHLMFjLjZpNNRKcJCRpn?projector=1 There are people considering how and where this might work her ....
dgreenberg - Sun, May 16, 2021 3:59 P
Agree. Maybe we could do something like this in FC.
I would like to recommend a "My Turn" article in the Greenfield Recorder April 24. Jasper Lapienski points out that, "housing is not out of control, we are". There are empty units throughout Franklin County, Massachusetts and the nation that can not be used because of insurance requirements, building codes and expectations about what people need to live, comfortably.
I personally rent four units in my home. I have lived with the drug addicted, alcoholic, incarcerated, hoarders, self-abusers, and people with scary tempers. Mostly I love what I do and the people I meet, but when it goes badly it can be devastating to the balance of the whole. I am not a social worker. When I encounter people struggling with mental illness, I have to trust my own instincts to manage it, and I'm good at it, but I'm not a social worker. I've had to remove people with no place to go, I've had to remove truck loads of trash and feces left behind. I have had to empty rooms of furniture, mattresses, etc... due to damage of the tenants who struggle with day to day basic skills. I hear people wanting landlords to be more open and accepting and I have seen the property damage tenants leave behind when things go wrong and there are evictions. We're all covering our asses as fast as we can because being responsible will cost you dearly.
 
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adminSusan - Sun, Apr 25, 2021 10:11 A
Thank you, Anita. Although I am not presently a landlord I was one for more than 30 years. In that time, I had my share of "tenants from hell" . It is true that there are people who are disrespectf ....
Gianpaolo Baiocchi: Everyone: my email is gb97@nyu.edu. I am happy to receive email feedback and ideas in case we do not get a chance to fully talk about your feedback tonight. Thanks!!

Lily Linke: there are Fair Housing testers! they are basically secret shoppers for realtors and landlords
Lily Linke: https://www.fairhous...air-housing-testers/
John Waite: More debt, no matter what kind, is still debt and limits people. What about reparations?
Debra McLaughlin: Appreciate the point made about barriers that can start at the broker/landlord level. For individuals with a history of incarceration and/or substance misuse, they face enormous challenges getting housing - either renting or buying.
Gwen Nabad: Municipalities can lock their gates to the outside
Gwen Nabad: By not having public transit, etc

David Greenberg: Link to Gianpaolo’s SHDA document: https://drive.google...WVj/view?usp=sharing

Gwen Nabad: There are also transitional times once someone gets a home
Gwen Nabad: A person goes from having to live somewhat in the wild to having to stay in one place and sit with their thoughts instead of being in survival mode

Wendy Goodman: I wonder about the possibilities tiny houses and composting toilets offer....thoughts?
Wendy Goodman: and even the reuse/re structuring of freight containers.?
Gwen Nabad: Wendy I think there are many great possibilities unique to this region for green building
David Greenberg: @Wendy Don’t laugh, but 3D printed houses are a fraction of the cost of typical houses. Have been built for homeless people in CA.
Susan Triolo: No One Leaves is a group in Springfield that fights evictions/ homelessness
Wendy Goodman: I believe we need to look outside of what we've created already....literally a new paradigm around basic housing for everyone who turns 18.
Wendy Goodman: california seems to generally be good at doing this

Jon Magee: For folks interested in fighting evictions, we in the Central Valley Tenants Union are active in Franklin County. https://centralvalleytenantsunion.wordpress.com/
David Greenberg: https://www.greenmat...d-tiny-home-homeless
Wendy Goodman: thanks david
Wendy Goodman: wondering if it might be a reuse of plastics? will explore
patience lowe: how unusual is it that a town, like the town of greenfield is seeking to require a land lord who has a vacancy to have a town inspection before it is rented again. seems to me this will prevent a great deal of deterioration there fore necessitating public housing entities having to step in?

Madeline: Isn’t there a movement of creating non-profit community banks? I.e.- owned/run by a municipality or state? Wouldn’t this be a natural source of funding for community investment of these various projects.
David Greenberg: Yes, there are a few bills in MA now for public banking

Sarah Brown-Anson: Here’s the link to that workshop being discussed: https://housingishum...n-Vermont-Experience
Wendy Goodman: thanks sarah, I just registered

David Greenberg: Good point, Traci!

Gwen Nabad: I really love the idea of social housing but I also believe in the power of a community
Gwen Nabad: even if it is public housing
Gwen Nabad: Sustainability is the big thing right now
Gwen Nabad: Environment

David Greenberg: Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act gives tenants right of first refusal if house is being sold I think.

Judith Atkins: Private Equity destroyed manufacturing to a large degree in the US and now they are going after housing.

David Greenberg: Sign up for our discussion list at housingishumanright.net
Sarah Brown-Anson: Continue the conversation on our discussion website: http://www.housingishumanright.net/

Gwen Nabad: YES that is what I wanted to say. You dn't have a lawyer!
Gwen Nabad: It is very true
Gwen Nabad: And
Gwen Nabad: It stays on your record FOREVER

Madeline: The Growing Movement To Create City-Run Public Banks
[Search domain www.fastcompany.com/...ity-run-public-banks] https://www.fastcomp...ity-run-public-banks
L.A., along with other U.S. cities, is now considering another option: a public, city-owned bank that would keep money inside the community, and follow a socially and environmentally responsible ...

Gwen Nabad: and cannot be removed from public record
Gwen Nabad: Also people don't even have internet
Gwen Nabad: It is true
David Greenberg: Or tap into the military budget which is totally nuts!
Gwen Nabad: It is true, I am thinking of maybe (although probably not Franklin county) Sirius community which is focused on permaculture
Gwen Nabad: By-laws
Gwen Nabad: Whether or not the building can turn a profit for the towns
Debra McLaughlin: Community Legal Aid has a program that can help remove some items from one's housing record. Alyssa Golden is the contact: agolden@cla-ma.org.
Gwen Nabad: Bankers work with brokers
Gwen Nabad: Very closely!
Gwen Nabad: RIGHT

David Greenberg: Great book if you’re interested: Evicted by Matthew Desmond. Talks about all to this stuff

Gwen Nabad: It is my understanding that one of the Hill Towns is going through changes with a merging, maybe?

Debra McLaughlin: Susan and Becca - CHAPA is coming to OTF's Housing & Workforce Development Committee tomorrow at 10 AM, if you want to join. I can email you with the details.

Debra McLaughlin: They are focusing on municipal involvement. MJ - I'll send you the details too.
 
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Hi everyone, I thought I would share the notes I took at this workshop.

Traci Talbert- FCCDC and Bay Path University / Cambridge College
Racial justice community engagement leader for Franklin County
Primary focus is to help business community work on racial justice issues

Capitalism is a system in which policies and laws mainly benefit the owning class. New and old elites use policies within systems to maximize their wealth. This ties into housing as a commodity.

- MONEY
Spent 20 years working in banking industry. Looked into overdraft fees and other banking policies.
Banks made $34 billion in 2017 from overdraft fees (people who literally had no money)
People who lived off of social security, people who lived paycheck to paycheck, people who live in public housing

60% of blacks pay for banking in monthly fees
59% hispanics
22% of white people

Credit scores also important

Average black student has $8k more in student loan debt than average white student

Average black family has zero to negative net worth

- COMMUNITY ATTITUDE

NIMBYs say “not happening here”


- AFFORDABLE HOUSING, PUBLIC HOUSING, etc

and Gianpaolo Baiocchi, NYU

If corporate capitalist housing is not good in terms of meeting human needs, what is the alternative?
Failed housing system in the United States - numbers are shocking
Successful system in terms of generating wealth
Public housing was almost designed to fail - underfunded, no middle class in it

Social housing - at least partially decommodified, community controlled, publicly backed

we are at an inflection point in terms of housing policy in this country
we can make a push for another kind of housing policy
because:
1. we are at a generation-defining housing crisis due to number of impending evictions
2. change in the scale of government intervention in the economy
>> intervention in housing needs to be pushed to the left

To explain
2008 housing crisis
banks that made bad deals blamed their decisions on homeowners.
Black homeownership fell a lot, worst since at end of jim crow era

PRIVATE EQUITY buying up houses

2008 now seen as transfer of wealth from poor to the investor class

Eviction moratoria will expire and people will lose housing
20-40 million tenants facing eviction
1 in 4 black and latino families are behind in their rent
also affects landlords

PRIVATE EQUITY will come in and scoop up housing

Proposal: social housing development authority buy “distressed assets” to cut out speculators, rehab them, and then either transfer them to coops, nonprofits, or make it permanently affordable public housing

Municipalities don’t want to be running housing authorities. Ideal would be transferring to some kind of cooperative / collective entity. This will take lots of organizing and education, work to get off the ground.

MJ: Franklin County used to be a leader in cooperative housing. What happened? We should uncover this history, see if we can dust it off and move it along
PV Housing Cooperative
Franklin Community Land Trust
 
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I am sharing the notes from the chat of the workshop entitle LIVING ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF SOCIETY: Stigmatization of people in re-entry from incarceration and recovery. If you would like to view a recording of the workshop, that is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VolVJX4T-Q

From Your FCCPR Host to Everyone : 1.) Think about why you’re here, what you might want to contribute?
2.) What is the change you want to make?
3.) What are the steps to do that?
***This may get uncomfortable for you…..stay with it anyway***

4.) Think about people you know who have influence

5.) What could you ask of yourself, of them?
6.) Are you willing to have accountability buddy? * Exchange contact info - Have 3 strategies for follow up to report back to larger workshop

From Trenda | Compost Co-Op | she/her to Everyone : First let’s take a deep breath, notice your space- the things in your space - the energy of the space you are in.
Next notice your body, the places in your body that feel most at ease, places where tension or discomfort may be. Notice your breath.
I invite you back to this practice of just simply noticing throughout our time together. Notice when things shift- perhaps make a note of it for yourself for further reflection
This evening as we talk about access to housing and things that might prevent one from having it- I invite you into deep presence, deep breath, deep compassion, and free, creative, and strategic thought

From GeorgeTouloumtzis,Greenfield to Tech Support - Gabbi(Direct Message) : Oops...hi, Gabbi I work at the CSO Respite program, and one barrier I've noticed is that it often takes a seemingly inordinate amount of time for those who are leaving incarceration to get their Social Security benefits -- which they were getting prior to incarceration -- reinstated. I would like to ask Jen if there's a way to fast-track/streamline this process. thanks! George


From Mary McClintock to Everyone : If you are interested in joining the Franklin County Transition from Jail to Community Task Force, please email me at mmcclintock@communityaction.us …. all are welcome.

From Amiee Ross to Everyone : ty fur your share and standing up and out katie
From Megan McDonough to Everyone : How do you get a housing navigator to work with?

From Mary McClintock to Everyone : Megan, do you mean how does someone connect with Sonia to get help with housing? or ?

From Susan Triolo to Everyone : Trenda, i love your energy
From Kaydance Scotto to Everyone : yeah I am so pumped right now. really grateful for Trenda’s charge!

From Tech Support - Gabbi to Everyone : 1.) Think about why you’re here, what you might want to contribute?
2.) What is the change you want to make?
3.) What are the steps to do that?
***This may get uncomfortable for you…..stay with it anyway***

4.) Think about people you know who have influence

5.) What could you ask of yourself, of them?
6.) Are you willing to have accountability buddy? * Exchange contact info - Have 3 strategies for follow up to report back to larger workshop

From Peggy Vezina to Everyone : Just getting started Group 2. Thanks! Great ideas!

From Gwen Nabad to Everyone : HUGE advocate for healing in the garden and improving our immune systems and growing beautiful food that historically has been made unavailable or for a very high price with no nutritutional value!

From Gina Govoni to Tech Support - Gabbi(Direct Message) : Thank you Group 1! Abandoned building reuse
Great plan: to combine jobs with housing

How can this be extended over time?
- Folks move on, others move in.

Safety:
What Housing model works best?
More Awareness
Legislative changes needed

Gardening/ permaculture / Home.

From Carl Woodruff to Everyone : From Group 2: How can we highlight and lift up the contributions that individuals can offer to work within our community and identify unmet needs? How can we encourage infill development (attached apartments/ADU/tiny houses/mobile homes)?

From Mary McClintock to Everyone : group 5:
Using theater and film as ways to share personal stories to help reduce stigma about folks who have experience with incarceration or addiction
Working in communities to rehab abandoned properties
Franklin County Transition from Jail to Community Task Force (email Mary at mmcclintock@communityaction.us

From Lily Linke (she/her), CHAPA to Everyone : Group 8 had lots of great ideas, but here are a few: converting Wilson’s Department Store into housing, introducing a program that finds co-signers for leases (to help folks that couldn’t get a lease on their own get into housing), starting a fund to help people pay for first/last/security deposit when renting, organizing for tenants’ rights

From Trenda | Compost Co-Op | she/her to Everyone : Group 3: -supporting the existing structures
-Raising money (money from banks, loans, Technical assistance)
-decommodify housing - cap on what you can make for profit off of housing (in sales and in
-Remove housing from the speculative market through deed restriction
-Building landlord relationships, understanding, and support

From Mary McClintock to Everyone : sounds like an interesting kind of "resume"

From Susan Worgaftik to Everyone : Group 4…Statement of accomplishment that all people seeking housing might use, a good citizen resume; training for local real estate people that people are not the worst thing that they have ever done; look at the requirements for public jobs in our towns and figure out if histories of substance abuse and incarceration prevent folks from ever getting those jobs

From Sarah Brown-Anson to Everyone : Group 6 notes: Appreciation for those sharing and for this workshop happening
Wanting to hear more about cooperative alternatives to renting or ownership
Money and funding is a challenge — macroeconomic forces in opposition to our right for housing

From Matthew Attesi to Everyone : Housing First Programs and Landlord Education to Reduce the Stigma of Those Who are Trying to Rent.

From Gwen Nabad to Everyone : One thing that came out of Group ONE was the fact that there needs to be changes or amendments in Mass Law for people who are already screwed for being black, female, single parents, disabled, and of course what we are talking about here since such a huge population of those incarcerated are minorities

From Susan Worgaftik to Everyone : Thanks, Matthew, I forgot the Housing First issue. We are going to have a whole workshop on Housing First on April 28th at 3 pm

From Doug and Jan to Everyone : Group 8 ps - making the upper floors of downtown buildings accessible through installing elevators.
 
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Hi all! I am sharing here a selection of the chats and discussion that happened at the workshop on housing trusts. It was a great workshop! If you would like to access the workshop recording, here is a link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqdq9S1hDu4&feature=youtu.be

Kamaar (him/he): Are board members paid?

GeorgeT.,Gfld.Pl.Board (h/h): Is there a guide about how a community would get started setting up such an arrangement?

Chad f: CLT = 501 c 3. If renting is a 503 used?

Kamaar (him/he): https://www.housingtoolbox.org/resources

doug selwyn: in what ways can local governments inhibit or sup?

Pamela Kelly: One off the best things about CLTs I think, are the STABILITY encouraged by land trusts. So people who live in a place a long time, get invested in their community, clean up, livability, knowing neighbors.

Andrew Baker: Brenda - where does the Greenfield based INstitute for Community Economics fit into the history of CLTs?

Becca King: We have a lot of empty or part-empty building in Greenfield. Is there a way CLTs can ingtrerface with rehab opportunities to the advantage of getting more housing?

Chad f: It formed the CLT movement post New Communities in Albany, GE

David Greenberg: OK, Roxanne, let’s do it!

Chad f: What % of BCLT is business? Is Rental housing? has deed restricted subsidized units or is something else done?

Sara Brown: Are you familiar with the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative? If so, how does that compare to the CHT and how do you see these two types of models working together?

Chad f: A coop would site ona CLT…

Andrew Baker: Do you find you need to re-subsidize homes after some time if owners are not sufficiently investing in their maintenance?

Carl Woodruff: This is a really incredible model! What happens when a resident's income rises above 100% AMI? Is there any tiered access; do you feel like there is a "cliff" for access based on AMI?
Sarah Brown-Anson: I noticed there are housing co-ops within CHT - could you say more about this / clarify the difference?

Kate M: Why do any of the owners choose to move out. Seems it would be more advantageous to stay as long as they want to be in the area

Jesus leyva: I have a question, is there a minimum time of residency in the service area to qualify to rent or buy a home in the CHT?

Jono O’Sullivan: how did you settle on 25% of appreciated value at resale.

Sara Brown: If anyone else locally is interested in trying to pair the zero equity housing coop model with a local community land trust, feel free to drop your email here! https://forms.gle/f9v1op7hVCwWT4sq6

Chad f: They evolved B4 the tripartite model did

Wendy Goodman: could you into the chat put the contact info for that first land trust, the dmaller one in colrain and greenfield

Chad f: on-line under ValleyCLT
 
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The NYT Opinion page on how housing trusts can make a change. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/opinion/affordable-housing-land-trusts.html
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Here is an article that speaks to personal responses to homelessness that force government responses. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/world/canada/khaleel-seivwright-toronto-homeless.html
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sbrownanson - Fri, Apr 23, 2021 11:00 A
This was a really good article in that it highlights the contradictions between something that directly addresses an immediate need, and the way the government / other institutions in place respond. T ....
Hey, thanks to the speakers and Doug for the very interesting discussion yesterday. The importance of bottom-up (versus top-down) approaches was a bit awakening, accordingly there should be work to be done at the individual level. For example, helping people get down-payments on housing. Co-signing sounds like a good approach, even better would be to getting more people down payments directly. Maybe that will be at a non-profit or government level or both, either way these potential (and existing) programs need to be better publicized to engage the larger community toward home ownership.

I say publicize better the existing down-payment programs from my own experience, when I bought a house in Franklin in 2018 (fairly novice at age 25), I didn't know that MA Housing helped fund down payments until my lender suggested the option. I feel like more people would be engaged to own their own homes if they were more aware of the opportunities (i.e. budget some money for raising awareness, or raise awareness at the non-profit level).

To be clear, I am a novice, but not shy to share my $0.02! Speaking of $, personally I will be switching from Bank of America to Franklin First credit union, as suggested by one of the speakers. And again I learned a lot overall about the dire situation capitalism has us in and avenues ahead, thank you to the speakers and really enjoy all of the forward thinkers in the Franklin county community.
 
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dgreenberg - Mon, Apr 12, 2021 11:26 A
Check out this article from Shelterforce which directly relates to our discussion: https://shelterforce.org/2021/04/09/a-movement-based-federal-housing-agenda/?utm_source=sfweekly&utm_medium=email&utm ....
This report gives us all a better idea of the housing needs in the region. Check it out! https://www.wayfinders.org/greater-springfield-regional-housing-analysis-report
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Check out this article about mediation between tenants and landlords. The city of Philadelphia, PA is using mediation as part of an initiative to prevent evictions during the pandemic. Partnered with rental assistance, most of the tenants and landlords who participated came to an agreement that allowed people to stay in their homes: https://www.yesmagaz...20the%20full%20story
 
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Yes, it is a very interesting My Turn and also a major departure in attitude from the interactions people in the eastern part of the state are having with realtors. The hot markets there have made discussion about affordable housing to be almost impossible to have there. I hope we can find a way to reorganize our priorities around real estate to make it possible for everyone to have a home.
 
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I thought you would be interested in this MyTurn that was published in the Recorder by Michael Seward. If you can't view it because of the paywall, let me know and I'll send you a copy. https://www.recorder.com/my-turn-seward-HousingForum-39704132
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adminSusan - Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 2:51 P
Welcome!
Greening Greenfield and Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution welcome you to this discussion forum to share your concerns and ideas. In this time of COVID-19, we know that it may be difficult to meet together and hope that this discussion forum will assist in closing the gap. We are also interested in supporting Zoom discussions as much as possible. We look forward to your ideas about how to move forward whether they be in your town, in the region, the state or nationally. Housing is a human right....we have to make that part of our understanding and culture.
 
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adminSusan - Tue, Mar 30, 2021 8:31 A
We had a great Keynote on Saturday! There was lots of great information. I hope you could attend. If not, no worries. Here's the link to the youtube: Youtube of March 27th Keynote: https://youtu. ....