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I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Liberation From Rent Serfdom: A National Renters Coop

In my musings and considerations of such things as shelter, if I'm not mistaken first considered whilst living on the streets and sometimes sleeping by the river in Chattanooga, habiting coffeehouses downtown, on the bluff and in the North Shore, I considered the absurdity and futility of so many young people who are trying to find their place after leaving family home, bouncing from city to city and throwing away thousands and thousands of dollars on rent before they might finally find a place to purchase a home.  I had myself sworn off rent for many years, preferring a mobile abode, whether an rv or a boat, to what I dubbed "rent serfdom," at least until I came back from a second rather harrowing and disheartening journey out east.  I might note, I'm soon to reembark on adventures in a mobile abode, again escaping "rent serfdom," but I though it pertinent to share a notion I had whilst considering this normative lot of young people, whether in the university, professional or service industry oriented or blue collar, and wondered if there might be a way for such young people (not to mention other more established renters) to cooperatively utilize their collective equity to purchase the apartment building they abide in that the moneys that would be profit for the land owner would go into a collective fund that would be invested in the sustainable and environmentally friendly improvements on the tenement and invested similarly, that after a certain period paying market rate rent the renter would be able to have the return of a certain percent of the rent paid over however many years, perhaps with dividends!

If this model might be successfully begun with a few reasonably sized apartment buildings or complexes, high rise tenements or such, the cooperative organization could then help other cooperatives to purchase their apartment building in other cities, with either a nationwide organization or agreements between coops that would allow individuals to carry their coop account, and that investment they have made with whatever portion of their rent moneys, with them to their new coop-tied apartment in another city.  There would certainly be an option to cash out after a certain period renting through the coop, and perhaps other ways to access said investment for other purposes.

Though I am quite illiterate regarding  the ways of finance, the basic idea is that if the profit received from a renter paying market rate rent is an investment rather than enriching corporations or tenement owners, the renters will thus have a nest egg upon the cessation of their lease, rather than starting from square one each time they move.  Though this is just a rough estimate, if someone pays say $50,000 on rent in a coop owned building over five years, they might have $10,000 or more they could take with them upon ceasing to be a coop renter, else could perhaps eventually purchase the apartment they abide in with the coop.

Obviously I haven't worked out the details insofar as either the financial or legal considerations, but it has occurred to me this means might be a way for people to be free from the cycles of "rent serfdom" and quit throwing their hard earned money to the wind.

PLEASE feel free to develop this idea and share it with others that such a means might manifest to empower our brothers and sisters, mamas and papas and others as they endeavor to make a go of it in this world of mobility.  

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