Monday, October 22, 2012

Amalgamated Housing Cooperatives
Amalgamated_place matters

In 1927, 303 workers each put up on average one year's wages to build one of the earliest NYC housing cooperatives. The Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the Bronx has survived many challenges for 85 years to still serve as a model of low and moderate income housing. But on Oct 18 the people that own and live in the cooperative heard from the President of the Amalgamated Board and the new Manager that $20,000,000 is needed immediately to save the project. The current plan is to refinance the mortgages ($30,000,000), raise the rent (9%) and undertake extensive repairs as already decided by the Board. The process was different from the Amalgamated tradition of community discussion before such large decisions are made.

At the Oct 18 meetings too many details were thrown at the cooperators to be able to understand what was being decided. Some comments by a cooperator after hearing for the first time the terms of the refinancing were captured on this video:

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín
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