RE: Cohousing in Atlanta -- Gareth Fenley
From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 93 11:25 CST
In reply to Gareth Fenley
Greetings. I have a couple of experiences that may be helpful. I am 
with the Shringwood Cohousing Community in Washington. We are on 38.8 
acres and have a mixed ownership model of condominium and cooperative 
land trust.  Our layout is all the housing (17 units) is in the center 
of the land and we have a 25 acre greenbelt that is a cooperative land 
trust. The way we did this was by setting up two non-profit 
corporations, one for the condominium owners association and one for 
the land trust.

The banks were involved in mortgages only for the condominium, which is 
defined through a survey and legal description. We raised the money to 
own the land free and clear by selling unit memberships at $25,000. 
These memberships paid for all the land and our set up is that each 
individual unit owner is responsible for design and funding of their 
own house (we are individual houses and lots). If you send me a mailing 
address I will send you an overview of how the ownership works.

This was not a cheap solution, the legal work and survey ran over 
$20,000 which we all paid through a common assessment.  One of the 
things we did is collect $2,000 per unit for a development fund which 
we then used as a cushion for assessments.  Some of us can't pay large 
assessments right away so we "borrow" out of the development fund and 
make monthly payments until we are squared up.

One big advantage in recruiting for cohousing is the security.  When 
neighbors know and look out for each other it is a very secure place.  
This is a good point to attract people from other non-white cultures.  
Also as you recruit minorities try and add them as presentors in your 
recruitment efforts.  In Washington there are a number of ethnic 
organizations such as the NAACP and Black Business Association which 
have been  helpful in recruiting for cohousing..

As for ballpark costs I would say look at some local available real 
estate first and average out the costs for the site or building. Then 
add the average cost per square foot for construction in your area. In 
our area it runs $55 a square foot. Add whatever common elements you 
want to have.Then divide that total by the number of units.

Finally, you might want to get into the review loop for the Cohousing 
Resource Guide. This is a collection of cohousing development 
experiences which is being compiled by the Puget Sound Cohousing 
Network.  It is in first draft and the compiler is looking for 
reviewers.  You can get on the review loop by calling  206-936-7157.
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