Cooperative Housing As An Affordable Housing Option For Underserved Populations In Texas
Affordable housing has been a huge problem in American cities over the past century, particularly with minority households. Urban residents face rising costs of living without options that fit their needs. From 1980 to 2000, the average price of a home in the United States almost tripled. Extremely low-income citizens are unable to procure apartments that they can afford, let alone build the equity of owning a home. This undergraduate honors thesis explores the option of cooperative housing as a solution to this problem. Co-ops are a business entity designed for and run by its members. In this thesis, the community values and economic values are examined, while keeping in mind the difficulties and potential problems that can occur when opening and operating a co-op. Homeless populations, environmental refugees, and victims of housing discrimination in Texas are considered as candidates for cooperative housing and the merits of co-ops for each population is weighed against what these populations need. This thesis concludes by stating that co-ops could perhaps be the solution, but more research must be done, and much nuance is lost by looking at these communities as a whole.