In the News

New Senior Housing Project coming to Indianola, IA

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There’s a new type of senior housing coming to Indianola. In spring of 2013 Vintage Hills is slated to open a new expansion to its facility with the addition of the Vintage Hills Cooperative. Ground was broken for the new addition May 8.

“A cooperative is another, more independent option for seniors,” said Shona Schmall, Vintage Hills regional cooperative director.


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New York Times – A Shift From Nursing Homes to Managed Care at Home

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Faced with soaring health care costs and shrinking Medicare andMedicaid financing, nursing home operators are closing some facilities and embracing an emerging model of care that allows many elderly patients to remain in their homes and still receive the medical and social services available in institutions.

The rapid expansion of this new type of care comes at a time when health care experts argue that for many aged patients, the nursing home model is no longer financially viable or medically justified.

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Funds Available For U.S. Cooperative Recovery From Natural Disasters

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November 29th 2011

CONTACT: Liz Bailey

Funds Available for U.S. Cooperative Recovery from Natural Disasters
Merger of the CDF and Northcountry Disaster Recovery Funds 

Arlington, VA—Citing the need to pool resources and efficiently help members of the U.S. cooperative community recover when natural disasters strike, the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation (NCF) today announced a merger of their disaster recovery funds and the ongoing management of the funds by CDF.  While the NCF funds were targeted specifically to meet the needs of food co-ops and their suppliers in the Upper Midwest, CDF’s fundraising will continue to be broad-based and targeted to the unique recovery needs of disaster situations, both domestic and international.

“Mother Nature has given us a mission – to enable co-ops to help other co-ops when disaster strikes”, said CDF Executive Director, Liz Bailey.  “Currently we are raising funds and making grant awards from CDF’s Emergency Fund to assist cooperatives in the Northeast that suffered devastating losses from Hurricane Irene, but we’ve also just completed raising $120,000 for the cooperatives in Japan that are still recovering from last spring’s earthquake and tsunami.  We are grateful to the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation for the infusion of $65,000 in additional funds for use with the current Hurricane Irene recovery effort and, as a result of this merger, we also will extend eligibility for funding from CDF’s Emergency Fund to any cooperatives in the Upper Midwest who would have been eligible to apply for assistance from Northcountry’s disaster recovery grant program.”

In addition to thanking Northcountry Cooperative Foundation for the transfer of its funds, CDF also singled out the food cooperative sector for its generous support for both the NCF and CDF disaster funds.  “This is all about co-ops helping co-ops,” said Bailey.  “Every time there has been a disaster, the cooperative community, and food co-ops in particular, have responded and we know that they will be there again for victims of the next disaster as well.”  In addition to the food cooperatives, CDF singled out several other organizations that have been particularly supportive of the CDF Emergency Fund this past year with their donations of time or money, including:  the CHS Foundation, which provided $50,000 in seed money for the Japanese recovery initiative; NCB and the National Cooperative Grocers Association, who both provided $5,000 in seed money to get the Hurricane Irene fundraising established; and CDF’s partners in the outreach and review of applications for assistance due to Hurricane Irene losses – the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), the Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) and National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA).

“2011 has produced a devastating series of storms, tornadoes, floods and wildfires,” Bailey said.  “We applaud the resiliency of the co-ops and their members who have been affected and we sincerely thank the cooperative community for its generosity in coming to their assistance.  The needs are massive and we’ll never be able to cover all of their losses.  But we can help at some level and we ask you to continue to support co-op recovery through a tax-deductible donation to the CDF Emergency Fund.”

To make an online contribution, to get more information on the CDF Emergency Fund, to access the grant application, or to find information about the first Hurricane Irene grant awards, go to CDF’s website, .  Checks can be made out to CDF-Emergency Fund and sent to: CDF at 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 800, Arlington, VA  22202.  For more information, contact Ellen Quinn at or 703.383.8094.


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CDF receives a tremendous boost with the help of a grant from the Nationwide Foundation!

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(Washington, DC) The Nationwide Foundation in Columbus, OH has awarded a grant of $90,000 to the Cooperative Development Foundation. It will be used for CDF’s cooperative innovation initiatives and for administration of the United Co-op Appeal, a workplace giving campaign that benefits cooperative development organizations. Part of the grant will also benefit the National Cooperative Business Association’s domestic and international cooperative development activities.

The Nationwide Foundation’s grant is very important to the development innovation sparked by our funding” said CDF Executive Director Steven Thomas. “It provides significant operational and program support at a time when it can be most effective. Through its family of funds, CDF makes grants and loans for co-op housing and services for seniors in rural areas, student housing co-ops, training and education in many co-op sectors, support of cooperative development organizations, disaster relief and recovery, and cooperative leadership development.

“Nationwide is pleased to support CDF and the important work it does across the country, said Chad Jester, Vice President of Corporate Involvement for Nationwide and President of the Nationwide Foundation.

Nationwide Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from Nationwide companies. Founded in 1959, since 2000 it has given more than $190 million to non-profit organizations. Nationwide, based in Columbus, OH, is one of the largest insurance and financial services organizations in the world. For more information, visit

The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 66-year-old, 501(c)(3) charity that sparks development innovation by providing community developers with the hardest money to get- the first dollar in. Find out more at

Bill in effect to increase affordable housing now

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Local housing advocates secure victory

Written by Samuel A. Cohen

Aggie News Writer

Published on Feb 18, 2010

Many California workers will have a new resource when it comes to affordable housing. The California Legislature unanimously voted in favor of AB 1246, which Gov. Schwarzenegger later signed.

Rep. Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) authored the new bill that authorizes the establishment of “workforce housing cooperative trusts.”

“Californians of all income levels need access to housing, and I am proud that this bill creates a new form of affordable housing,” Jones said in a written statement on his website. “AB 1246 will allow employer and labor organizations to develop and fund workforce housing cooperatives, which will provide new lower cost home-ownership opportunities.”

Cooperative housing is designed to allow a sponsor such as an employer, labor union or other social institution to buy a plot of land and then parcel it to individual members of a cooperative. The sponsoring organization holds a common mortgage over all of the properties, and individuals buy a share in the cooperative along with the right to occupy a housing unit.

Ordinarily, a property’s equity increases as the debtor makes payments against the mortgage balance or as the property value appreciates.

AB 1246 defines housing cooperatives as limited equity housing, meaning equity increases are enjoyed by the entire cooperative and not just by individual members. The bill aims for individual payments within the cooperative to become more affordable over time even in a fluctuating real estate market.

Collective ownership through sponsor organizations is further facilitated by the sponsor organization’s membership in the San Francisco-based Federal Home Loan Bank, which will provide subsidized loans to the sponsor to help affordably finance the property.

AB 1246 has a direct effect on Davis, said David J. Thompson, who sponsored the bill and is president of Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. For example, the Davis Joint Unified School District already owns two large sites zoned for housing. DJUSD could lease the land to a sponsor organization allowing district employees to form a cooperative on the already-owned land.

“I think there is always a moment when there is a downturn in the economy when people have to come to terms with the idea that things they could have done themselves are not possible or at least as easy anymore,” Thompson said. “You can either drop out of the [housing] market completely, or you can look at other people in your position and form a co-op.”

Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) voted for the bill.

“This was a good bill sponsored by our very own David Thompson” Wolk said. “In this time of economic and housing depression this is one more option for Californians.”

Dos Pinos is a cooperative located in Davis. Between 1986 and 2004, Dos Pinos had the lowest monthly housing cost to owners anywhere in Davis, according to Thompson in a 2004 article in the Cooperative Housing Journal. Dos Pinos also had the only units which have been consistently accessible to the same or lower income groups, according to Thompson’s article.

One key difference is that cooperatives formed under the new bill would have less leeway to dissolve through member votes and transfer equity to individual owners.

“One of the dilemmas is that limited equity cooperative housing creates a fairly sizable asset,” Thompson said.

He said it is important to keep the cooperatives as a public good rather than a way to make unjust private profits.

SAMUEL A. COHEN can be reached at