The PUSH and Shove of Cooperative Housing
by Artvoice - posted 10:57 am, March 27, 2008
PUSH Buffalo is cruising to completion on its second cooperative house on the West Side, this time at 129 Chenango Street. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new house is happening next Saturday, April 5 at noon. Be sure to check it out.
The roughly $140k it cost to renovate the long abandoned house was money well spent. The house is now environmentally friendly, with high-rated “super” insulation, bamboo (read “renewable source”) floors, on-demand water heaters, radiant floor heating and Energy Star windows. In keeping with PUSH’s mission of community empowerment, the work was done entirely by neighborhood locals. Says PUSH executive director Aaron Bartley, “We like to find people who need work, give them basic skills and move our projects forward with their help.”
PUSH is currently receiving applications for tenancy. Part of living there will mean participating in the federal First Home Club home-buying program. Under this program, co-op tenants pay below-market rent to PUSH, who each month places $75 of it into an escrow account. M&T Bank then matches the money on a 4-to-1 basis for the first 18 months, at which point they’ve put away considerable cash towards buying a house ($6,750 plus interest). Tenants are obliged to buy a house then, and finance it through M&T.
Saturday, April 5 @ noon. New PUSH house (129 Chenango St.) Free.
Last summer, we wrote about the ongoing work at 129 Chenango, and PUSH’s program to empower would-be low income home buyers.