Welcome to Canary Housing Cooperative of New York State

Our mission is to create and coordinate housing co-ops in New York State dedicated to the restricted lifestyle required by chemically sensitive and electrically sensitive people. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization.

To get involved please call or email us:

315-810-COOP(2667)      canaryhousingcooperative@gmail.com

The Canary Housing Cooperative has received grants from four foundations:

  • Central New York Community Development,
  • Schwindt Trust,
  • Music for the Mission — $1,500
  • and The Lerner Family Fund through Greater Horizons — $1,000

We are excited to have found and purchased our first housing site! We closed on this beautiful house in central New York near Syracuse on December 23, 2016. 

Click here for details, more pictures and information for prospective residents.

Volunteers are needed to help with cleaning and renovations. Workers of all skill levels are appreciated. Gifts of used appliances are also accepted. Click here for a list of tasks and items needed.

We reached our fund raising goal of $5,000 for spring 2017! We used this money to do cleanup and demolition.

We also received a surprise donation of $10,000 late summer which will cover legal fees, property tax and insurance plus leave some money for projects over the winter.

Another $6,000 donated in December 2017 will keep us working and accumulating bargain materials for several months!

We are working on getting solid cost estimates and drawing up a construction plan and a business plan to present to the bank when applying for a mortgage. For a full update on our progress, please see our Timeline page.

The mortgage will provide funds for renovations of three living units within the house. We expect that about 10% of the total cost will need to be donated in order for the rent to be affordable for people with a Section 8 voucher. We are getting very close to that goal of 10%. Remember, small donations add up. Thank you!

                      You can also benefit the Canary Cooperative if you shop at Amazon.


Non-toxic housing is one of the most critical needs of people with Chemical Sensitivities.


All too often, housing managers are not responsive to the needs of people with MCS. Typical building management includes a host of toxins, indoor and outdoor. It is difficult just finding a rental that has not recently been carpeted or painted.








And then there’s the problem of what seeps through the walls from neighboring houses or apartments. Artificial chemical fragrances and second-hand smoke from cigarettes, barbeques and candles leak in through windows, vents and walls to make life difficult, if not impossible. These substances will not be allowed at Canary Housing sites.



The Canaries  —  Photographer Tilde Jensen of New York captures the dramatic life journeys of people with MCS in this amazing book of photographs.



Because most housing is full of chemicals of some kind, people with MCS often become homeless and their lives and health may deteriorate rapidly. This is depicted in 71 photos of many different people across the United States. The Canaries, 2013, by Tilde Jensen

Featured Poem:                Canary Dedication

There are those whose lives seem divided into two paths:  the “Before” and the “After”.   The “Before” path was brimming with vibrant health, wondrous joy, and optimistic anticipation.   The “After” path is laden with pain, sorrow, isolation, and despair.   We did not choose this path;  we were thrust upon it.
The challenges bombard us.   Our warning pleas are futile.   Why must our world be toxic?   How can we escape the poisons that engulf us?   Are our lives not more valued than the sacrificial canary?
Though we seem to sink in a sea of pollution and tears, we will someday rise above this tragedy and rejoice with healing and peace.
Patricia L. Whittington, all rights reserved  

Donations to the Canary Housing Cooperative are tax deductible.

Gifts may be general, or may be earmarked for specific parts of our first housing site, near Syracuse NY!

Another funding solution we are looking for is interest free loans to help us acquire other housing or refinance our current site.

We are keeping a list of the people in need of environmentally safe housing across New York State, to document the need and let us know where and what kind of housing people need.

For More Information About the Need for Accessible Housing for MCS and EHS people, and the Cooperative Solution, See Our Case Statement Page.
An explanation of the financial dilemma that MCS people find themselves in, and how we are coming together to solve the problem of low-income housing, is on the Donate Page.