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Remaking the Economy: How Policy Can Help Tenants Purchase Their Homes

June 20 , 2:00 pm EDT 3:30 pm EDT

How can tenants purchase their homes and what do policies that advance that goal look like at the local level? In this webinar conversation, a coproduction of NPQ and Shelterforce, panelists look at how “opportunity to purchase” laws work in cities like Washington, DC and San Francisco, campaigns that are underway to put similar laws into effect in other cities, and how tenants have organized to deal with the resistance they encounter. Our expert panelists are:

• Roshan Abraham is a journalist who has written widely on housing issues both for Next City and Shelterforce. He is based in the Queens borough of New York City.

• José García is associate director of preservation at the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) in San Francisco.

• Tram Hoang is a senior associate at PolicyLink, where she focuses on housing policy work. She also led a successful rent stabilization campaign in St. Paul, MN in 2021.

• Elin Zurbrigg is a co-executive director of Mi Casa, an affordable housing development nonprofit focused on facilitating tenant opportunity to purchase, based in Washington, DC.

Among the many questions the webinar will explore are the following:

• How can local policy help tenants buy apartment buildings from landlords and collectively own property themselves?

• How do tenant opportunity to purchase act (TOPA) and community opportunity to purchase act (COPA) policies work in practice?

• How do tenants go from having a “right” to purchase to the ability to purchase? What are the financing challenges?

• In what cities do tenants enjoy the right of first refusal to buy property when a property they are renting comes up for sale?

• What are the sources of resistance to tenant right-to-purchase policies? Where is this resistance seen and how are housing advocates and tenants responding?  

• How can tenant right-to-purchase policies promote ongoing housing affordability?

• How does tenants having a first right of refusal to buy increase tenant power?

Whether you’re a social movement activist, nonprofit leader, board member, or engaged in community-based organizing, this webinar will provide you with real-life examples and lessons learned that can inform your work in your own community.

Register to learn how nonprofits and movement activists are advancing strategies to address the economic and social inequalities of our time! Click to reserve your seat!

The moderators for this webinar are NPQ economic justice senior editor Steve Dubb and Shelterforce editor in chief Miriam Axel-Lute. Miriam has been an analyst of housing justice and community development issues for over 25 years. Steve has worked with cooperatives and nonprofits for over two decades and has been both a student and practitioner in the field of community economic development.

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