From: Grace K. Von Tobel (gkvontobCOLBY.EDU)
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 93 07:07 CST
Greetings from Maine!
I am a member of Kennebec Valley CoHousing (KVCH).  We [6 households] have
been working together since Dec. 1991, purchased 180  acres (12/92), and
are planning a 24-house clustered development with Common House which will
have 16 of the homes affordable to moderate/low-income households [half of
those 16 will be affordable to very-low-income households].  The current
plan is to finance through  FmHA as a rural cooperative.  150  acres will
be placed in a Land Trust conservation easement for timber management,
agriculture and "silent" sports (accessible to broader community).  There
is good ground for agriculture, an  orchard, and ample woodlot.  We are now
at the stage of using  architects and engineers.  The dream includes
breaking ground this summer.  
        Meanwhile, like the little duck that looks so placid as it sits on
the water we're paddling as fast as we can beneath the surface...trying to
find ways to finance the dream.  I have never written a grant proposal
before. Is there anyone out there that has resources, skills, suggestions,
etc. of potential grants we could pursue?  I work at Colby College in
Waterville, Maine and have started my research here looking for funds
available for:  low-income housing, energy efficiency, conservation,
alternate energy sources, community development, etc.
        Attached is a copy of our "Vision Statement". It has been our
central guide and helps us remain focused.  The document has grown and been
revized just as we have. 

Kennebec Valley CoHousing
Vision Statement
March, 1993

We envision a diverse, nonsectarian, sociable and nondiscriminatory
community. It functions with shared environmental responsibility,
participatory self-governance through consensus, and cooperative
management.  All residents of this community will be honored and nurtured
by the entire community.  All inhabitants will maintain a commitment to the
functions of the community in a dwelling of their own choice within
proximity of a central place of community activity, the Common House.  Our
community is characterized by active participation, cooperation and
respect.  Our relationship with our surrounding neighbors and with the
world at large is one of similar cooperation, responsibility and openness. 
The community will be a home for the growth and changes of its inhabitants
through all stages of life.  

Regarding the physical aspects of the community, we  selected and purchased
180  acres of land that will accommodate community supported agriculture,
recreation, and sociability, as well as all  housing needs.  The number of
households in the community shall be sufficient to sustain community life
yet not be too large for direct communication between all members; our
estimate of this number is 24 households, with a maximum of 30.  The site 
is located in Readfield and within commuting distance of Augusta, Lewiston,
Auburn, Farmington and Waterville.  The land  has sufficient wooded acres
for an area of protected woodland and a workable woodlot.  In this rural
setting, we will maximize the pedestrian nature of our community and
promote sociability while minimizing vehicular activity near and around all

The design and layout of the entire community will facilitate a sociable,
village atmosphere through a centrally located common house and
cluster-house grouping.  This common facility will reduce duplication of
housing functions and consolidate community purpose by being the focus of
sociability and activity within the community. We plan to use indigenous
materials and sustainable sources of energy whenever possible.  All of the
community building decisions will consider the ecological and environmental
impact.  Structures, roadways and paths will be planned for accessibility
by the handicapped.

The financial objective of this community is to affirmatively accommodate
the financial diversity of all those who share its vision.  We are
developing an ownership structure that provides perpetual affordability and
sustainability, and protects individual investment while limiting
speculative return on equity.  Ownership also includes the responsibility
of stewardship of the land and its community for those who follow.
Thanks for your time and interest! Comments and suggestions re: grant and
foundations would be much appreciated.


Grace K. Von Tobel
RFD 3 BOX 298N
Augusta  ME 04330-9510

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