Alliance to Develop Power (ADP) has built a grassroots “Community Economy” that creates living wage jobs for its members. ADP started 21 years ago with the preservation of affordable housing. Today, 770 of these units are still maintained as ADP tenant-run housing.
United for Hire, an ADP Community Economy innovation, was formed ten years ago out of the community of tenants in ADP’s affordable housing. Tenants asked one simple question: “why should we pay an outside contractor to mow our lawn -– when we can just pay ourselves to do it?”
United for Hire is a worker controlled/community owned business, employing over 20 people in living wage jobs -– while providing landscaping, snow removal, painting, tiling and construction to affordable housing projects. ADP’s base of assets injects more than $20 million a year into the regional economy. Replication of this model could bring this number up to a quarter of a billion in wages and benefits in other regions by 2014.