Housing is a Human Right
We Can Make it Happen!
Event Website


Event Facebook Page

Greening Greenfield



Housing within Corporate Capitalism: Discussion

Showing 3 | Next 25 | View by Threads

sbrownanson - Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 3:09 P
Notes From Chat Corporate Capitalism
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.
View All Comments
sbrownanson - Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 3:06 P
Personal Notes From The Workshop
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.

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


NIMBYs say “not happening here”


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
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
View All Comments
pensivespencer - Fri, Apr 9, 2021, 10:54 A
Actions For Individuals?
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.
View All Comments
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 ....