I think hackers, artists, activists, and community organizers should work together to make affordable housing in every neighborhood. I want to commit to one neighborhood for life, knowing that my neighbors are allies in a struggle to keep real estate speculation down and increase affordable housing instead. I want to build lasting relationships of trust and share resources: cooking, childcare, knowledge-sharing, and healing practices. What if hackers built software for the building? What if artists made site-specific art, clothing, and furniture for the building? What if community organizers connected people and facilitated conversations across race and class?
I am working towards a Hacker House, a community land trust (CLT) for hackers, artists, and community organizers. A CLT is a non-profit organization that owns property, traditionally land, and leases it for affordable housing. The deed to the land, the CLT by-laws, and the lease all require that the housing be permanently affordable. The land can never be traded or sold to the highest bidder on the private market.
The $30,000 I received as a Fellowship stipend at Eyebeam is seed funding towards a CLT for rigorous, generous people in New York City. I built out and co-managed an 8,000 square foot studio space for 40 artists from 2008-2013 off the L train, but our 5-year lease is up. I know what I'm getting in to. I still want more collective spaces! I am currently looking for partners, advisors, and supporters. I know who the first round of artists and hackers will be, but I am still seeking appropriate community organizrers (based on the neighborhood that makes sense). Please contact me if you are interested in this idea: firstname.lastname@example.org