In a growing number of cities across the United States, housing advocates are getting laws passed that give tenants the ability to purchase, either directly or through a nonprofit, their own apartments. Increasingly, these policies are emerging as a powerful anti-displacement strategy. But these policies are hard won, and not always easy to implement. Even in cities where tenants have established this ability in law, they often have to stave off efforts to dial back these legislative gains.

In this 90-minute webinar, cosponsored and co-moderated by NPQ and Shelterforce, a panel of folks who have been reporting on, fighting for, and using these policies will offer their perspectives on this powerful tool.

Roshan Abraham is a journalist who has written widely on housing issues both for Next City and Shelterforce. He is based in the Queens borough of New York City.

José García is associate director of preservation at the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) in San Francisco.

Tram Hoang is a senior associate at PolicyLink, where she focuses on housing policy work. She also led a successful rent stabilization campaign in St. Paul, MN in 2021.

Elin Zurbrigg is a co-executive director of Mi Casa, an affordable housing development nonprofit focused on facilitating tenant opportunity to purchase, based in Washington, DC.

This webinar will explore:

  • How can local policy help tenants buy apartment buildings from landlords and collectively own property themselves?
  • How do tenant opportunity to purchase act (TOPA) and community opportunity to purchase act (COPA) policies work in practice?
  • How do tenants go from having a “right” to purchase to the ability to purchase? What are the financing challenges?
  • In what cities do tenants enjoy the right of first refusal to buy property when a property they are renting comes up for sale?
  • What are the sources of resistance to tenant right-to-purchase policies? Where is this resistance seen and how are housing advocates and tenants responding?  
  • How can tenant right-to-purchase policies promote ongoing housing affordability?
  • How does tenants having a first right of refusal to buy increase tenant power?

Whether you’re a nonprofit leader, board member, or engaged in community-based organizing, this webinar will provide you with real-life examples and lessons learned that can inform your work in your own community.

Register to learn how nonprofits and movement activists are advancing strategies to address the economic and social inequalities of our time!

The moderators for this webinar are NPQ economic justice senior editor Steve Dubb and Shelterforce editor in chief Miriam Axel-Lute. Miriam has been an analyst of housing justice and community development issues for over 25 years. Steve has worked with cooperatives and nonprofits for over two decades and has been both a student and practitioner in the field of community economic development. 

You can send your questions to to have them answered during the web event.

June 20th
11:00AM - 12:30PM
Online Event