The concept for the Coop was born out of the experience our founder has had hosting homeless people with MCS at her house near Syracuse, NY. The lack of options for these homeless people, as well as her own desire for a place to live out her elderly years in community, but with independence also, prompted our founder to form the group and search long and hard for a suitable housing site. We have finally found one! Bravo!

2014 We came together as a focus group and began to learn and explore programs and possiblites. We zeroed in on the cooperative model and found our mentor, Andy Richer of UHAB.

We found a nice 3 unit site in Tully, NY, but the sale fell through. We continue to look for an affordable site.

Jan 1st. 2015 We received our 501c status. We continued exploring funding solutions and asked the county housing authority to provide home ownership vouchers to disabled people on Section 8.

March 2016  Launched our website.

May 2016 – We found a HUD house on Otisco Lake with two units that could be quickly developed, and two more that could be developed later.  We had acquisition money but no renovation money to change the one family into a two family.  We checked again with agencies and grants and donors, but we didn’t have much response and the most promising grant is temporarily inactive until the fall.
June 2016 – Two Environmentally Ill women in our circle came to us with small single family houses they needed help with. The Board voted to shift focus from multiple family to the smaller houses because they were smaller projects and we could use the resources we had in hand to help the people already committed to a site. We like this bottom up approach.  This change of focus gets something going immediately and helps build the “track record”. We have a $30,000 interest free loan from an individual, plus an individual’s good credit for an additional loan. That is enough to get the first sale going.   
December 2016 – After the purchase of a single family house fell through in the fall, we found our first housing site, about 15 miles southeast of Syracuse, NY. With the interest free loan from one of our board members increased to $50,000, we were able to purchase this site with cash. The closing occurred the day before Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays! We will need to refinance with a bank mortgage to fund the necessary renovations to make this site inhabitable.
January 2017Happy New Year! We are getting ready to launch fundraising efforts for our new site, and working on measuring, designs, and a business plan to apply for financing.
February 2017 Clean up and removal of old wiring and heating systems is moving along, but slowly. We could use more volunteers and we really appreciate the volunteers we have working on the project. We continue to work on designs for systems and infrastructure. Basic floor plans for the site have been drafted by our volunteer architect.
June 2017 Basic cleaning of basement and floor beams completed.
September 2017 Title of our first site was (finally) transferred to the Cooperative, putting us in the second phase of development — applying for financing and preparing the site for occupancy.

2017 Year End Review:

Happy Holiday Season from the Canary Housing Cooperative 

The Board took a few minutes at the December Board Meeting to review the past year, and to thank our friends, well-wishers, and supporters.  There were some very frustrating, and some very harry moments, but I hope you all feel the same pride the Board feels at this list of accomplishments.  We hope you have a safe and warm winter – and we look forward to an astonishing 2018.   

 Accomplishments 2017

We managed a foreclosure/bankruptcy sale.

Acquired and took control of the Pompey site.

Cleaned out the basement and attic so they are ready for insulation.

Did about 2/3 of the demolition needed.

Maintained the property adequately. (lawn mowing and trips to dump)

Assessed the house’s structure and made a good strengthening plan.

Finished the space layout and the measured architectural drawings.

Worked with the town code and assessment officers to lower taxes and

            get building permits and zoning for three apartments.

Worked out a plan for the water and electrical lines to the house.

Began finish work in the downstairs front apartment.

Took up floor in downstairs front apartment for the kitchen.

Found hardwood flooring, tile for all kitchen and baths, sinks, stoves, tubs and showers, doors, and one                             window.

Developed a window schedule plan.

Found contractors and got estimates for excavators, plumber, electrician,

            and worked regularly with a carpenter.

Stepped up our administrative processes for the Board, for accounting, and insurance.   

Stepped into phase II of cooperative development.



Going into the winter of 2017/2018 we have:

            Applied for a small grant for better supports in the basement for February.

            Begun to work on understanding contracts and their legal implications.

            Begun to work on a Crowd Funding project with IndyGoGo.

            We will finish the Business Plan and speak to Frank Cetera and the bank.

            Start installing hardwood flooring in one upstairs bedroom.

            Create hole in ceiling upstairs for access for cleaning in preparation for insulation.

            Continue site management with snow plowing.

            Continue to try to get analogue meters from National Grid.

            Get an estimate for the heating system.

            Continue framing walls for new space organization.


We have been awarded a $1,500 Music for the Mission Grant, but this money will not be dispersed to us until the end of 2018.   This is a pretty great list of accomplishments for a scattered group of sick people.  Thank you all for helping.  (Note: with the $6,000 of donations received in December 2017 we will be able to continue work and accumulation of used and discounted building materials. Hooray!)