For information related to COVID-19, please refer to this Resource Guide for Limited Equity Cooperatives, developed by Housing Counseling Services and Mi Casa, Inc.
About Housing Cooperative Preservation Initiative (HCPI)
HCPI is a joint project between NLSP and University Legal Services that seeks to provide legal services and asset-management support to limited-equity housing cooperatives (“LECs”) and other cooperatives serving low-income residents.
LECs are nonprofit, resident-owned and controlled housing organizations that aim to sustain long-term affordability and enable homeownership opportunities for residents who might not otherwise qualify for individual home mortgages.
HCPI often builds long-term relationships with co-ops in a limited general counsel-style role, as well as providing one-time services and brief advice to eligible co-ops. We work closely with co-op boards of directors to advise on ongoing and new issues. Some of the services HCPI offer include:
- Guidance for co-op governance
- Assistance with administration, record keeping, and financial management
- Supervision of property management services
- Support for legal matters
NLSP does not handle co-op conversion matters at this time.
If you are a co-op member interested in learning more about our services, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 269-5106.
Pro Bono Opportunities
An array of opportunities are available far beyond those highlighted below. Attorneys in all practice areas are encouraged to reach out.
- Insurance Coverage Review: Our clients regularly face floods, theft, frivolous lawsuits and other typical risks of running a multifamily housing association. Having proper insurance coverage can protect our clients against devastating circumstances that could otherwise jeopardize the existence of the co-op. This is an excellent ongoing volunteer opportunity for attorneys who have expertise on insurance coverage and recovery. We can match you with a one-time coverage audit, to review a co-op’s existing policies, risks & any insurance obligations and then make recommendations to improve coverage. Or any of a number of other risk management projects.
Thanks to the assistance of a Gary Thompson, an HCPI Pro Bono attorney , one cooperative—a haven of affordable housing nestled in the gentrified U Street Corridor—is now further insulated against disaster. Upon review of the coop’s insurance policies, the attorney discovered that the property was significantly undervalued, meaning if disaster had struck, the cooperative would not have been able to rebuild.
“The project was easy & seamless for me as a volunteer.” – Gary Thompson, Thompson HD.
- Real Estate Expertise: Our clients are very frequently in need of a wide variety of real estate document drafting or review. For attorney volunteers with experience in real estate, trusts and estates, contract review or other transactional matters, we can match you with one of our highly-varied client-specific matters or a project helpful to all our clients—via advice to in-house staff attorneys or drafting or adapting a form contract or guide for our clients’ needs.
Aaron O'Toole, another volunteer attorney, assisted a coop with a particularly complicated share assumption agreement and transfer of membership, which allowed a long-time cooperative member to pass her membership on to her children.
“The NLSP team was excellent and did much of the heavy lifting.” – Aaron O’Toole, Klein Hornig
- December 31, 2023
January 28, 2022