After COHIF has worked with the residents of the property to make sure they are willing and able to continue living in the property and want to participate in COHIF's Pilot Project, one of our development partners purchases properties on our behalf. Our partner then makes repairs to the properties and in most cases, owns them for one year. Both the former homeowners and tenants would be able to stay in their homes provided they abide by lease terms and pay rent. COHIF works with the residents to figure out a rent that is affordable to each resident.
During this first year COHIF and its affordable housing supporters will work with the residents to determine the best way to ensure they are able to stay in their homes after the first year. In some cases, this might mean that the property is kept as rental housing and owned by a local non-profit or that it is converted into a Community Land Trust. There is also a possibility that some homeowners or tenants might be eligible to re-purchase the house, or that the home is sold to another eligible homebuyer who is willing to occupy the unit and uphold the COHIF lease-terms for the occupants. COHIF will be aggressively pursuing financing from both public and private sources, as well as potential long-term ownership models, to ensure that all of the properties can be kept as long-term affordable housing for current residents.
What makes COHIF and the GFC Pilot project unique is that we are finding solutions for residents of foreclosed properties when all other possible remedies, such as loan modifications and programs like Boston Community Capital’s buy-back initiatives, have been exhausted. We are not only preserving housing for existing residents - and in turn helping to maintain each family’s connection with neighbors, schools, and existing social networks - but equally as important, we are also bringing housing costs for existing families to an affordable level.