New Jersey to put the freeze on home flippers
America has a profound housing crisis. Many of us are spending far more on rent and mortgages than we can afford. Homelessness is visibly getting worse. Perhaps a silver lining from the Fed raising interest rates now to defuse inflation is that it might pop this real estate bubble and bring housing prices back to planet Earth. But there’s another cause of the housing crisis that deserves urgent action: hedge funds. Billionaires looking to make a quick buck are swooping in to buy up properties and flip them, which in turn pushes up prices. New Jersey is one of several states that are taking action to stop this.
Our lead article in this issue is a bill heading to New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy’s desk to impose residency requirements on buyers of foreclosed properties and to ensure that these bargain-basement purchases fulfill an immediate community housing need. The goal is to keep wealth in communities and encourage nonprofit community development corporations to buy these properties instead of predatory hedge funds. This is a form of “community wealth building” long advocated by our friends at the Democracy Collaborative – who, by the way, just released a great new guidebook on the topic.
Another one of our articles talks about a new United Kingdom shopping platform called WeShop that automatically gives purchasers ownership shares in the companies they are buying from. Think of Shopify adding Investify. This basic idea has long been embedded in consumer cooperatives – the more you buy, the more “patronage” you earn at the end of the year – but the app takes the concept to a whole different level.
We also have news about advancements in worker-owned enterprises in Spain and the United Kingdom.
Finally, as some of you know, I teach now for the Green MBA program at Bard College. My colleagues are looking for companies and non-profits who might benefit from the services of a consulting team made up of top students (the program is called NYCLab). Teams work on finance, strategy, marketing, operations, a B-Corp assessment, whatever you need. There is no fee, and your company doesn’t need to be based in New York City. If you’re interested, please apply online here. The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 22. (You can read more about NYCLab and its past projects here.)
– Michael Shuman, Publisher, The Main Street Journal
NJ Legislature Passes Community Wealth Preservation Program, Insider NJ (June 30)
A New Era For Community Wealth Building, Democracy Collaborative (June 20)
Community-Owned Shopping Platform WeShop Launches, With IPO In Sight, Morningstar (July 4)
How A Worker-Owned Business Model In Spain Is Keeping Inequality In Check, The Pay Check by Bloomberg (June 30)
UK Announces Surge in Employee-Owned Businesses, Fifty by Fifty (July 5)
NC3’s First Ever Local Investing Resource Center Sponsorship Program. If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor and having your name associated with the future of local investing, please contact Mica Fisher (NC3 Managing Director) at email@example.com.
Owning Our Businesses, Owning Our Culture: Building Black Wealth In The Delta, Nonprofit Quarterly (July 6)
Residents Owning Their Local Economy, Shelterforce (June 16)
The Kassan Group’s Changemaker Showcase – Webinar. Thursday, July 14, 3pm ET. Hear from changemakers who have transformed an idea into a successful business reality aligned with their vision and values.
NC3 Resource Showcase – Webinar. Wednesday, July 20, 2pm ET. This webinar will help you bring your plans for a community capital project into reality. Learn about NC3’s online educational offerings, including the Local Investing Resource Center, and hear from technical assistance providers about how they created these resources and for whom.
How Wall Street Took Banking Away From Main Street, Next City (July 5)
Making Local Economies Prosperous And Resilient: The Case For A Modern Economic Development Administration, Brookings Institution (June 27)
Worker-Owned Apps Are Redefining The Sharing Economy, WIRED (June 30)
The First Worker-Owned Cooperative In Kenya Launches, Tuko (July 8)
Mission Driven Finance is seeking a Salesforce & Technology Administrator.
BECOME A MAIN STREET CHAMPION
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About The Main Street Journal
The Main Street Journal aims to catalyze the movement of $50 trillion from Wall Street to Main Street to facilitate economic development and economic justice. It’s sponsored by the National Coalition for Community Capital, with a grant from the Heron Foundation. We welcome feedback about everything, from our design to content. And we welcome suggestions of other groups to involve as partners, and other information to include. Please send ideas to Sophia Leswing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome any nonprofit or for-profit committed to local investment as a partner. If your organization is interested, please contact Sophia Leswing at email@example.com.