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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

A co-op has ‘regular people’ creating their own affordable housing

“We had to find a new place to live, but we couldn’t afford anything (comfortable) for our family in the area anymore,” said Leon, who added that medical bills for one of their children and college costs for the other two increased their financial struggle. Determined to stay in the area though, the family of five secured a one-bedroom apartment for about a year.

Then in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Chicago, the Leon family became one of the first six families to become homeowners of an apartment complex bought under the Pilsen Housing Cooperative, the neighborhood’s first and only limited-equity, scattered-site housing cooperative for longtime residents of Pilsen.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Leon, who became a shareholder. “Not only can we afford it, but we are saving this money instead of giving it away in rent. It has given us peace of mind and the opportunity to focus on our family and allow our children to grow.”

Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune


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