Abstract

For over 75 years housing cooperatives have been a source of affordable housing. Currently, the 376,000 dwelling units of affordable cooperatives is equivalent to seventeen percent of the rent reduction units owned by publichousing authorities. Understanding that affordable cooperatives have been developed under varying historical circumstances provides insights on how they could play a role in the future supply of affordable housing. The history of affordable co-ops starts during the 1920s and after World War II with the ethnic, union, and New York government financed co-ops. Through the 1960s and the early 1970s cooperatives were financed by various federal direct assistance programs. Since the late 1970s co-ops have been sponsored by nonprofit organizations and by federal and municipal government privatization programs. A workable institutional structure for affordable cooperatives has developed as a result of this historical evolution.

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