By Stefanos Chen | The New York Times
Don’t call the real estate development company Venn a developer. Its founders prefer “neighboring start-up.”
And don’t call the company’s tenants, who are scattered across 20 buildings in the quickly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, renters. They are “members” or “Venners.”
“We describe ourselves as a new way of living,” said Or Bokobza, the chief executive, whose goals include ending the displacement of lower-income residents, creating “fair housing” and “changing the narrative” of gentrification.
The company compiles reports on its progress, recently announcing a 33 percent drop in loneliness among tenants. In Bushwick, Venners pay as little as $900 a month for a “shared apartment” (essentially a private bedroom with a common kitchen and bathroom) and access to community events, like mixers in the back of a bodega.