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How Washington, D.C. residents are tackling rising rents

Christian Science Monitor – “Affordable housing is proving difficult to come by in the nation’s fast-developing capital. But some residents are finding a solution through housing cooperatives where tenants can collectively purchase their building, enabling low-income people to remain within city limits. But resident Linda Leaks pays only about $1,000 a month, half the area’s average in Washington, D.C. She lives in a housing cooperative in which members collectively own the building, pay a low “share price” – of $2,000 to $3,000 – to move into their unit and then pay a small amount each month to cover utilities and management of the building. Ms. Leaks created the Ella Jo Baker cooperative over a decade ago for community activists “who did not have a lot of money.” “When people move in, they are here for a long time,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from her flat on a quiet, rowhouse-lined street.

This model – also known as a limited-equity cooperative (LEC) – is an attractive proposition for many in fast-developing Washington, which is experiencing one of the worst shortages in affordable housing in the country, according to the US-based National Low Income Housing Coalition.” [h/t Pete Weiss]

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