Published using Google Docs
Housing Alternatives Network
Updated automatically every 5 minutes > directory > Housing Alternatives Network > Project doc 

Last updated: 30 December, 2021
Document started: 1 January 2020

Document owner:  Tim McCormick
Access:  open for Comment/Suggesting to all with link; for full Editing access contact owner.

Short links:

Discord server invite: (community forum)



Admin details

Latest Notes

2021-11-23: DAO Workshop!

Open Cooperative project arm

HousingDAO project arm

Housing DAO discussions

Related projects


Housing Alternatives Network

Appendix 1 - old name/identity materials


Alternative Housing Network

Logos / identity

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



Building an umbrella organization -- and for myself 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.
Contact info:

Team/network contact info [TK]

Shared Google Drive folder:
[request permission to access, add to, or sync to folder(s)].

Discord server:
server invite: (community forum)

Latest Notes


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]."


set up Discord server. Invites:

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) c/@leashless @liseman

My intro comment/question:

"hi Yuri & everyone, Tim McCormick, of Housing Alternatives Network, joining from Portland, Oregon, USA.

"I have several DAO projects, including Everyone Village (, 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 (  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


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


Retail $12.98/yr, housingdao.eth registered






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.  [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  (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.


Housing Alternatives Network

Twitter: @housingalterna

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

Appendix 1 - old name/identity materials


@futurehousing_ ($3.98 initial, renewal $18.98/yr).

Alternative Housing Network

AlternativeHousing ($9) (($10.78)

logo ideas:


AHN = Athens, GA airport code.

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






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.].

"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:


[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.

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.  [reporting on a workshop at the ACM conference Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) in Edinburgh in 2017].