Cases & Deals

Cleveland housing cooperative receives half in negotiating contracts

Clients Housing Cooperative in the cities of Brooklyn and Cleveland, Ohio

Dan Messeloff and Rob Rivera, with supervision from Jeff Leavitt and help from Tricia Eschbach-Hall, continued Jones Day's representation of a local housing cooperative, a not-for-profit corporation owning 600 homes on 96 acres of property in the cities of Brooklyn and Cleveland, Ohio. The federal government built the development in 1942 to provide housing for employees of a nearby plant manufacturing tanks during World War II; in 1956, 600 families purchased the development from the government and formed the cooperative. It is one of very few housing cooperatives remaining in the country, and the only one in this area. The majority of the residents of the housing cooperative are of very limited means, and legal issues have arisen relating to maintenance of the property and labor agreements with the cooperative's employees; resolving these issues would be beyond the means of the residents without Jones Day's pro bono help. Currently, Jones Day is assisting the housing cooperative with respect to its collective-bargaining negotiations with its maintenance workers' union. The union's primary concerns were increases in health care contributions and wages; the housing development's primary concerns were implementing efficient and enforceable attendance and disciplinary policies, as well as providing its employees with affordable benefits. The parties met several times in January and February, and they reached a satisfactory agreement, subsequently ratified by both parties.

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