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Housing Alternatives Network
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Last updated: 27 April, 2022
Document started: 1 January 2020

Document owner:  Tim McCormick tmccormick@gmail.com
Editor(s):
tmccormick@gmail.com, https://tmccormick.org
Access:  open for Comment/Suggesting to all with link; for full Editing access contact owner.

Short links:

Discord server invite: https://discord.gg/v6YdZHc3f4 (community forum)

CONTENTS

Goals/Premise

Admin details

Latest Notes

2021-11-23: DAO Workshop!

Open Cooperative project arm

HousingDAO project arm

Housing DAO discussions

Related projects

Naming/brand

Housing Alternatives Network

Appendix 1 - old name/identity materials

FutureHousing

Alternative Housing Network

Logos / identity

Appendix 2: "scholar-activist" ethos of Michael B. Katz

References

Goals/Premise

Building an umbrella organization -- and for [Tim] a "base node", and 'shingle' to hang out as professional affiliation/title -- to support various projects I and collaborators work on. In housing advocacy, activism, research, and development of housing alternatives such as cooperatives, tiny houses, cluster housing, movable & modular housing, self-build, etc.

Developing a non-profit entity which can accept tax-deductible donations, apply to funding sources such as foundations that may require non-profit status/sponsor, etc.  

Currently, we are fiscal sponsored project structure at Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Portland, and also are set up on the Open Collective platform, with fiscal sponsor the Open Collective Foundation. [I've followed this project since in 2014 meeting co-founder and current executive director Pia Mancini, when she lived in San Francisco].

Use the non-profit fiscal project sponsorships for organizational support: e.g., receiving funds including tax-deductible donations; financial reporting, mailing address, advising, publicity; possibly, facilities for meetings.

Admin details

Tim McCormick
currently in: Portland, Oregon, USA.
About/contact:
https://tmccormick.org

Team/network contact info/
Invitees:

        Garlynn Woodson
        Ben Brownell
        Philippe

Discord server:
server invite:
https://discord.gg/v6YdZHc3f4 (community forum)

Shared Google Drive folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bmDm43KY2NnGYN1i0J4m0VWmaGEk_8_c?usp=sharing
[request permission to access, add to, or sync to folder(s)].

Latest Notes

2022-04-27


April 27, 2022

To: Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Councilmembers, Portland City Council

First, thank you to the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, Council, and the wide array of people have have worked on Residential Infill Project Part 2, and preceding reforms RIP Part 1, the Shelter to Housing Continuum Project (S2HC), and state laws HB2001 (Middle Housing) and SB458 (Land Division).

This pioneering work has help change the national conversation on housing, and on opening our long-frozen low-density residential areas to the traditional and diverse housing forms that long have and in future greatly will expand opportunity and enrich our city for all.

Housing Alternatives Network supports the stated goals of Residential Infill Project, and of the City to encourage diverse, affordable housing forms throughout the city, particularly to address the chronic, devastating deficit of 10,000s of homes affordable to lower-income households in Portland.

We support the recommendations on RIP2 offered by Habitat for Humanity, members of the Build Small Coalition, and Portland: Neighbors Welcome.

However, we wish to proposes two "FUTURE WORK" amendments, which we believe could could support dramatically lower-cost, faster, more flexible and separately-ownable new homes than anything else so far included in draft legislation.

1. Allow Tiny Houses Villages as Cottage Cluster Housing

Allow COTTAGES (including detached multiplex units or accessory dwelling units) to be MOVABLE -- both by being on wheels, e.g. Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs), or by being demountable to/from permanent foundations. We propose that this can be enacted in a straightforward manner by simply adapting the provisions, already extensively vetted by BPS and other City agencies, that currently allow movable homes on residential lots under the S2HC reforms. These address the safety, permitting, design, environmental, etc issues specific to a movable (on wheels) unit.

Forage Design has a low-income housing project (Art Farm Tiny House Village Adaptive Affordable Housing) intended as a replicable model of affordable housing, but have identified code barriers that make little sense. This policy would allow many more tiny house clusters to add density now on underdeveloped larger sites without having to go through the series of hurdles in permitting (e.g. campground permit like St. Johns Village, nor a Shelter to Housing conditional permit with many restrictions): neither of the current paths make sense. This amendment would allow much more affordable housing villages like this to happen much quicker and increase the available land and diverse stakeholder that can participate. It would also add greater code parity since THOW are allowed on Commercial and institutionally zoned properties now.

2. Open the door to such new approaches with an "Innovative Housing Demonstrations Policy" (IHDP)

We strongly support the proposal from Heather Flint Chatto, Paul Niedergang, et al. Let's create an "open door" program allowing pilot initiatives to advance affordable housing types, expands diversity of stakeholder participation, and provides a framework to identify and remove code barriers. There’s a good precedent in WA of Redmond’s Innovative Housing Policy and it provides an existing model code that is low hanging fruit with high benefit and low risk that would serve a diverse constituency. Benefits: Win-win for city politically with low risk, addresses code improvements and identified priorities, provides a framework to address code barriers, and diversifies housing solutions. Learn more here: https://www.pdxmainstreets.org/ihdp


April 27, 2022

To: Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Councilmembers, Portland City Council

First, thank you to the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, Council, and the wide array of people have have worked on Residential Infill Project Part 2, and preceding reforms RIP Part 1, the Shelter to Housing Continuum Project (S2HC), and state laws HB2001 (Middle Housing) and SB458 (Land Division).

This pioneering work has help change the national conversation on housing, and on opening our long-frozen low-density residential areas to the traditional and diverse housing forms that long have and in future greatly will expand opportunity and enrich our city for all.

Housing Alternatives Network supports the stated goals of Residential Infill Project, and of the City to encourage diverse, affordable housing forms throughout the city, particularly to address the chronic, devastating deficit of 10,000s of homes affordable to lower-income households in Portland.

We support the recommendations on RIP2 offered by Habitat for Humanity, members of the Build Small Coalition, and Portland: Neighbors Welcome.

However, we wish to proposes two "FUTURE WORK" amendments, which we believe could could support dramatically lower-cost, faster, more flexible and separately-ownable new homes than anything else so far included in draft legislation.

1. Allow Tiny Houses Villages as Cottage Cluster Housing

Allow COTTAGES (including detached multiplex units or accessory dwelling units) to be MOVABLE -- both by being on wheels, e.g. Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs), or by being demountable to/from permanent foundations. We propose that this can be enacted in a straightforward manner by simply adapting the provisions, already extensively vetted by BPS and other City agencies, that currently allow movable homes on residential lots under the S2HC reforms. These address the safety, permitting, design, environmental, etc issues specific to a movable (on wheels) unit.

Forage Design has a low-income housing project (Art Farm Tiny House Village Adaptive Affordable Housing) intended as a replicable model of affordable housing, but have identified code barriers that make little sense. This policy would allow many more tiny house clusters to add density now on underdeveloped larger sites without having to go through the series of hurdles in permitting (e.g. campground permit like St. Johns Village, nor a Shelter to Housing conditional permit with many restrictions): neither of the current paths make sense. This amendment would allow much more affordable housing villages like this to happen much quicker and increase the available land and diverse stakeholder that can participate. It would also add greater code parity since THOW are allowed on Commercial and institutionally zoned properties now.

2. Open the door to such new approaches with an "Innovative Housing Demonstrations Policy" (IHDP)

We strongly support the proposal from Heather Flint Chatto, Paul Niedergang, et al. Let's create an "open door" program allowing pilot initiatives to advance affordable housing types, expands diversity of stakeholder participation, and provides a framework to identify and remove code barriers. There’s a good precedent in WA of Redmond’s Innovative Housing Policy and it provides an existing model code that is low hanging fruit with high benefit and low risk that would serve a diverse constituency. Benefits: Win-win for city politically with low risk, addresses code improvements and identified priorities, provides a framework to address code barriers, and diversifies housing solutions. Learn more here: https://www.pdxmainstreets.org/ihdp

we wish to proposes two "FUTURE WORK" amendments, which we believe could could support dramatically lower-cost, faster, more flexible and separately-ownable new homes than anything else so far included in draft legislation.<br>
<BR>
<b>1. Allow Tiny Houses Villages as Cottage Cluster Housing</b><br>

<BR>

Allow COTTAGES (including detached multiplex units or accessory dwelling units) to be MOVABLE -- both by being on wheels, e.g. Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs), or by being demountable to/from permanent foundations. We propose that this can be enacted in a straightforward manner by simply adapting the provisions, already extensively vetted by BPS and other City agencies, that currently allow movable homes on residential lots under the S2HC reforms. These address the safety, permitting, design, environmental, etc issues specific to a movable (on wheels) unit. <br>

<br>

<b> 2. Open the door to such new approaches with an "Innovative Housing Demonstrations Policy" (IHDP)</B><br>

<br>

We strongly support the proposal from Heather Flint Chatto, Paul Niedergang, et al. Let's create an "open door" program allowing pilot initiatives to advance affordable housing types, expands diversity of stakeholder participation, and provides a framework to identify and remove code barriers. There’s a good precedent in WA of Redmond’s Innovative Housing Policy and it provides an existing model code that is low hanging fruit with high benefit and low risk that would serve a diverse constituency. Benefits: Win-win for city politically with low risk, addresses code improvements and identified priorities, provides a framework to address code barriers, and diversifies housing solutions. Learn more here: https://www.pdxmainstreets.org/ihdp

<br>

2022-02-25

[tm] Discord server now opened up and I've starting inviting people in and chatting, created #intros channel.

2021-12-30

Notes on building cross-channel / cross-network community, copied in from a text conversation with friend:

"reminds me, something I've been interested to do for a  while, have occasionally experimented with, that this [Housing Alternatives Network] may be good candidate/oppty for, is building community or network that bridges between different media channels, e.g. email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, chat apps.

coming from the observation that each media/channel tends to have certain demographics it engages more or mostly.

if you build community heavily on one platform/medium, there tend to be communities and demographics really left out.

so I'm curious e.g. how and how viably one could develop community dynamics that bridge between email and FB, Twitter, Discord, or SMS.

of course, building community at all is quite hard, so maybe one shouldn't complicate it. Otoh, maybe this could be a new effective angle for doing it.

and one might ask, how much do the people on the email list/group want to be bridged to the people on Facebook or Discord group?

It's like Clay Shirky said in "Ontology is Overrated" essay: the movie people don't really want to talk to the film people.

[As background: for the last few years, I've been managing the Village Collaborative group on Facebook, which was started by Andrew Heben (founder of SquareOne Villages, Eugene) in 2014 to accompany his book, Tent City Urbanism. It has grown a lot, now about 1900 members. Also I've been an active participant or part manager of various listservs going back many years, and in the last 1.5 years, developed and have managed email/web forum PDX Shelter Forum, which has about 300 members]."

2021-12-07

set up Discord server. Invites: https://discord.gg/v6YdZHc3f4

2021-11-23: DAO Workshop!

excellent workshop last week about starting a DAO— Distributed Autonomous Organization—with @Superdao CEO @YuryLifshits. With discussion of DAOs for housing, eg to fund & manage Housing Alternatives Network @HousingAlterna (at 39:53) https://youtu.be/3Iyj1Zrz_Sk?t=2393/ c/@leashless @liseman

My intro comment/question:

"hi Yuri & everyone, Tim McCormick, of Housing Alternatives Network, joining from Portland, Oregon, USA. tim@tmccormick.org https://tmccormick.org.

"I have several DAO projects, including Everyone Village (https://everyonevillage.org), a new shelter and low-cost housing village for the houseless in Eugene, Oregon. We'd like to invite and share contributions among a wide range of contributors & participants -- from investors to people unhoused -- and evolve the project into a formal cooperative."

Some follow-up notes from email thread with Yury:

"​​The ideas you offered for my project idea were I think really on-target and helpful:

  1. think one level higher, e.g. not just DAO for our village, but what is the DAO version of Mercy Housing [a major US developer/manager of private affordable housing];
  2. consider starting out with a "research DAO" about the space; try to interest large forward-looking funders such as Google, Facebook, foundations, perhaps prelude to moving to capital/building projects.  

    I think, and your response helps me see, that such a research network is really the core of what I tend to and enjoy most doing, and have been informally doing for years with many projects, like HousingWiki, various new villages, etc. The
    Housing Alternatives Network (https://housingalternatives.net)  I started recently as a base node for myself is already going in a DAO-like direction of coordinating various contributors and creators. The group of innovators I am networking among seems much like the "10 true supporters" group you identified as key formative material for a DAO.
    [it includes a number of building/housing startup founders, many connected to YCombinator, e.g., but also innovative non-profit and government leaders].
  3. perhaps there is a separate org / DAO that is about creating a renter-to-owner pipeline. 
    This is exactly an idea we're exploring in another, now seed-funded project of mine, co-organizing
    Oregon Cooperative Housing Network. I hadn't been thinking of that from a DAO perspective, but it's a provocative idea -- I can immediately see why a DAO might be very helpful for building governance and financing to achieve goals there.
  4. side point, but something you suggested to the "acquire & decommission polluters" project idea might, it struck me, apply for me also. That is, many tech / blockchain people may feel they have some responsibility, or publicity need, to help address housing and homelessness issues -- because these tend to be particularly severe in tech centers, partly because of the wealth/income stratification tech often leads to. Bay Area & Seattle BigTech companies definitely feel this, thus the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative etc's initiatives. I can help them redirect that guilt/concern to efficient helpful ends!

    [as discussed in the workshop, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was a key initial supporter, and is ongoing backer, of Landed, the shared-equity affordable homeownership venture that Yury brought up].

Open Cooperative project arm

HousingDAO project arm

housingdao.org

$6.48 W/ CODE BFCMTLD21

More infoUse promo code BFCMTLD21 when you check out to get a .ORG for $6.48 T&Cs apply →

$8.98/yr

Retail $12.98/yr

housingdao.com, housingdao.eth registered

housingalternatives.eth

$HDAO

$HOUS

$HANH

$HANT

Housing DAO discussions

Nissen, B, Tallyn, E & Symons, K 2019, 'Tangibly understanding intangible complexities: Designing for distributed autonomous organizations'. Ubiquity: The Journal of Pervasive Media, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 47-63.

https://www.pure.ed.ac.uk/ws/files/149925181/Nissen2020UbiquityTangibly.pdf.  [reporting on a workshop at the ACM conference Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) in Edinburgh in 2017].

create adjustable/movable map of different stakeholders using magnetic pins on a magnetic whiteboard sheet that would treat people, organizations and things as equal nodes in a network

Distributed autonomous housing

The distributed network for a Housing DAO included entities such as clients, contractors, service providers, architects, manufacturers and councils who, as partners, all own stakes in the product (the housing) but the product belongs to itself, with partners forming smart contracts with instances of a product. I

Related projects

Village Collaborative (Tim is lead organizer of this national network for tiny-house / village projects), affiliated with SquareOne Villages, Eugene.

Everyone Village - Eugene, Oregon. (Tim is advising/consulting to this new houselessness-response organization and housing village).  

Settlements Group - pooled research bibliography and group, co-founded by Tim with Dr. Tony Sparks, SFSU.

PDX Shelter Forum (Tim founded & runs this)

HousingWiki (Tim founded & runs)

OAHCis - Oakland Alternative Housing Center - proposed by Tim for Containertopia community, Oakland, 2017.

Summit Village - proposed eco-village project in Mendocino County, California, co-developed by Tim.

THIA - Tiny House Industry Association

ATHA - American Tiny House Association.

"Cooperative Product/Project Development." by Tim McCormick, 2016. Working paper, including discussion of blockchain, DAO, & DCO (Distributed Cooperative Organization) developments as of that time.

The Housing Innovation Collaborative

https://housinginnovation.co/

https://housingonmerit.org/innovation/  (parent organization)

In early 2019, the leaders of Housing on Merit, alongside several partnering organizations from throughout the housing and community development ecosystem formed The Housing Innovation Collaborative, the nonprofit coalition dedicated to showcasing, incubating, and implementing new policy, finance, and technology solutions to the housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

Housing on Merit (HOM), Los Angeles, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and our mission is to create a bridge to permanent affordable housing for vulnerable populations. HOM is a co-developer of numerous bond-financed and government-supported multifamily housing projects, many of which benefit from allocations of federal low-income housing tax credits.

Naming/brand

Housing Alternatives Network

Twitter: @housingalterna

Notes: next version: create 2-tone version - backgrounded downstroke diagonal

Appendix 1 - old name/identity materials

FutureHousing

@futurehousing_

futurehousing.network ($3.98 initial, renewal $18.98/yr).

Alternative Housing Network

AlternativeHousing.net

AlternativeHousing

AltHousing.org ($9)

AltHousing.net (($10.78)

logo ideas:

AHN

AHN = Athens, GA airport code.

Ahn = a N. German topographic name from 'an' (stream or fen).

AltHousing

AltHaus

AlternativeHous

AltHousingForum

@AltHousingnet

Logos / identity

Appendix 2: "scholar-activist" ethos of Michael B. Katz

For inspirations on what I might hope to achieve with a group/network like Housing Alternatives Network, see this thoughtful appreciation of great scholar of poverty and social policy, Michael B. Katz. (1939-2014), from a former student, Merlin Chowkwanyun.

[Chowkwanyun, M. (2017). Michael Katz and the Academic-Activist Tension. Social Science History, 41(4), Winter 2017, 772-776. doi:10.1017/ssh.2017.33. https://doi.org/10.1017/ssh.2017.33].

"Katz as conduit. Katz felt that if you were going to be useful to people other than academic historians—activists or otherwise—you had to reach out and initiate dialogue with them, not just talk in History Speak to fellow historians. That commitment began with his own books, loaded with cross-disciplinary citations to—and extended in-text engagements with—legal scholars, demographers, sociologists, political scientists, geographers, and others from so many fields.

"But beyond the scholarship, it extended to the University of Pennsylvania campus. Katz was always telling us students go see this person in the School of Design or that person in the School of Social Policy and Practice. But even more important were the folks outside campus altogether, many of whom would come to the urban studies seminar many of us took. These included people from the mayor's office, Philadelphia nonprofit organizations, the city's immigrant welcoming center, and many others. I most admired Katz's willingness to invite to the seminar—and engage with—those with whom he did not share much ideological or political common ground.

"the big thread here is that Katz was more of an activist than he might've thought. Like all great multigenerational activists, he mentored those subsequent generations but without condescension, realizing they needed to grow, make mistakes, sometimes act foolish, and ultimately shape their own academic and activist self-understandings and roles.

"Like all the best activists, he existed in a wide network of people—some like-minded, some not so much. And finally, like the activists with the most staying power, he was intellectually adaptive, constantly rethinking, refining, critiquing, and even disposing his own assumptions. Reflexive, mentoring, connected, dynamic—Michael Katz academic and Michael Katz activist were all these things."

I just read and recommend Katz's two best-known books:

In the Shadow Of the Poorhouse: A Social History Of Welfare In America. (originally 1986, 2nd edition 1996).

The Undeserving Poor: America's Enduring Confrontation with Poverty (1990, 2nd fully updated & revised edition, 2013).

See also: NYT obituary for Katz: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/us/michael-b-katz-historian-who-challenged-views-on-poverty-dies-at-75.html.

References

[see also Tim's cooperatives / DAOs reference collection in Zotero, LINK TK].

​​Chokshi, Sonal, Zoran Basich, and Guy Wuollet¹. "DAOs, A Canon". Future blog (from Andreessen Horowitz), November 20, 2021. https://future.a16z.com/dao-canon/.

Annotated bibliography of media about Distributed Autonomous Organizations.

¹ all of Andreessen Horowitz, venture capital company based in Menlo Park, CA, a major backer of blockchain-related ventures.

Nissen, B, Tallyn, E & Symons, K 2019, 'Tangibly understanding intangible complexities: Designing for distributed autonomous organizations'. Ubiquity: The Journal of Pervasive Media, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 47-63.

https://www.pure.ed.ac.uk/ws/files/149925181/Nissen2020UbiquityTangibly.pdf.  [reporting on a workshop at the ACM conference Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) in Edinburgh in 2017].