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You Can Do It!
A blueprint to empower other community-based housing advocates across America to do the same things we do. Click to learn more.

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 We Turn Board-Ups into Desirable, Productive Housing
New Life in Housing.

Housing Opportunity Programs ("HOPZ"®) is a non-profit real estate redeveloper. Our Mission is to create affordable housing, by rescuing abandoned properties found in communities across America.

Preserving moderately affordable housing within suburban communities helps maintain the rich social and economic diversity that are the backbone of America.

Attractive, reasonably priced housing is an increasingly scarce commodity. Sustainable, resource-efficient housing, within the reach of most middle class homebuyers, is rarer still. HOPZ is not only building these properties, but we’re developing a "best practices" program to show builders and developers how it can be done.

HOPZ creates low density, affordable, infill housing from the stock of dilapidated and abandoned properties that is found within almost every suburban town in America.

By reducing the number of "board-ups" and "non-performing" properties, we help strengthen the fiscal and social fabric of local neighborhoods, and increase the availability of healthy, desirable housing.

We believe "projects" that create concentrations of subsidized housing are not helpful in terms of community development. It's true that they produce "housing", but they don’t produce "homes".

On the contrary, restoring existing houses, in place, one at a time, whereby there is no apparent difference between them and their neighbors, helps stabilize neighborhoods and communities, financially and socially, as well as provides "homes", not just "houses", to families who may then have a greater interest in preserving the stability of their family and neighborhood.

To reduce costs, we employ innovative property acquisition strategies, such as foreclosing on tax liens and delinquent mortgages that were acquired "short" from banks.

We renovate these properties quickly and inexpensively by utilizing construction crews and protocols optimized for renovation of older existing properties. We avoid the need for planning and zoning regulatory approvals, which reduces delay and expense, by repairing "what exists" under grandfather land use laws.

In so doing, we hope to increase the quality and quantity of affordable housing, within existing neighborhoods.

Restoring these dilapidated properties to safe, productive use promotes economic and community development. It strengthens the rich social diversity, and stabilizes and improves the tax base. These small renovation projects create an ongoing source of local jobs, as opposed to the "burst" of outside labor typically associated with large construction projects that disrupt a neighborhood.

Further, renovating existing housing stock reduces "sprawl". It is "smart growth", as well as good for the environment. Less demolition material in our landfills, and greater reuse of existing materials.

Renovating existing houses allows us to produce homes grandfathered by land use laws in configurations that might not be permitted by current zoning. Smaller parcels can be used, and reduced costs generally allow us to deliver more affordable dwelling opportunities for our clients.

Occasionally there is resistance to any kind of "affordable" housing, because of the misperception among local property owners and government officials that "affordable" means projects that are unattractive, and whose occupants will be undesirable, from one standpoint or another. They fear a drop in property values, and an influx of residents who will make the community less desirable, or less safe. This is actually one of the more persistent impediments to our work, but one that melts away when people learn all the details about what we do, and what results we’ve achieved in other communities.

On the contrary, it's usually only "projects" and other concentrations of subsidized housing that does this. We produce individual "infill" renovations exactly because we don’t want to produce "projects", with all the social and economic risks they bring.

Most people, of whatever background or economic means, if they are allowed to live in a decent home, in a decent neighborhood, will likely seek to assimilate into the community. This blending of cultures, and desegregation of housing classes, strengthens our nation and individual communities, both socially and economically. Plus it provides a quality residence for the families directly inhabiting the renovated properties.

Regardless of one's personal beliefs or political affiliation, the universally positive benefits of the spot infill housing renovations done by HOPZ are good for people and places, socially and economically. These are worthwhile goals. These are the goals of HOPZ. We hope you will learn more, and support our work.

The issues we address in New Jersey are obviously national in scope. We hope to help hundreds of other community-based housing advocates, nationwide, do this same kind of housing rehab in their own communities. To effect this, we're planning the development of a "blueprint" that will explain how they can. Please click here to learn more about the Best Practices of Affordable Housing Infill Development.

We recommend you view this web site sequentially, by clicking on "Next Page" on the book graphic to the left, or clicking the green navigation buttons (above) in order.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Cohen
at (732) 530-9601, extension 14, or click here to send Charlotte Cohen an email.
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