Norway Equitable Housing Cooperative

The Norway Equitable Housing Cooperative has been growing since July 2021 with the help of the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy. A small group of local renters and members of CEBE have been meeting regularly around a shared need and vision for equitable, energy efficient, inspired housing in our town to address needs that current rental housing and federally- and state-subsidized affordable housing do not.

The site we’re looking to develop into 12-18 net-zero units is a half-acre in a residential neighborhood within walking distance of Main Street Norway. Currently, we’re putting together viable design and business plans to secure funding for this site before November 2022.

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July 2022: Note from Project Coordinator, Thea Hart

In one year of researching affordable housing development and speaking with experts in the field, it’s been made clear to us that cooperatively-owned housing is relatively new territory for them and that resident-developed projects are nearly unheard of. Those who are in need of quality, affordable, equitable housing rarely have the extra time, energy, money, and connections required to create the housing they need. At times in the past year, our lack of collective equity and our necessarily slower pace has put us at a disadvantage in the competition for development-- but it is clear to me that this project is inspiring many, is unique and adaptable, and is powerful and possible because of the people, shared needs, and vision at the heart of it. Thanks in no small part to the support, networks and resources of CEBE and our steering committee, our core group of hopeful resident-owners has been able to remain at the center of this project and generate the momentum needed to carry it through this past year, and forward.

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This project is largely volunteer-led and has been quoted at $2 to $5 million dollars to complete. We are up against large well-resourced developers in the competition for funding through many of the affordable housing programs we are planning to apply to. Our project is unique in addressing the specific needs of our area, and in being visioned and driven by future resident-owners. We need all the support we can get. Please consider making a donation to help provide quality, equitable, energy-efficient, and community-supportive housing in Norway.

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