|Re: Maine Cohousing contacts||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (fholsonmaroon.tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 28 May 94 07:38 CDT|
Message author:Grace K. Von Tobel gkvontob [at] colby.edu Kennebec Valley CoHousing Augusta, Maine Posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop. >Lynne Farnum >Rose Tree Cohousing >Groton, Massachusetts --asked-- >1. How did you define "affordable" to meet state/local >requirements and get the grant? Can people join in your >group at the beginning move into the affordable units if >they meet certain guidelines? When our group investigated >this, it looked as though we would have no choice about >who would live in the affordable homes -- they would be >assigned from the town's waiting list, and might be people >who had absolutely no interest in the values or goals of >cohousing. -reply-- We applied to Federal Home Loan Bank for an Affordable Housing Grant. I was not involved in the writing of that application, but I think the grounds of affordability has always been our insistence on 2/3 of our community being affordable to low and very low income families. We are applying for a 515 rural cooperative loan for our 16 affordable homes (FmHA) [The 8 market rate homes are applying for conventional loans at local banks.] This --FmHA 515--is a program that has had funds since 1991 but has awarded not one penny *yet*. We are working to give national and local FmHA sound reasons to break the logjam and open up funding for rural cooperatives. Because we are a coopertive, the requirements for participatory self-governance and self-maintenance is incorporated into the whole project. FmHA schedules a certain amount of cost for management/mainentance. The better we are at self-management, the more money stays with us--and annually may be disbursed to escrow accounts of shareholders. The less well we manage--FmHA will require us to hire outside management for the project. Great incentive for the very thing we want! FmHA approves of our "perpetual affordablity" whereby when our 1%, 50 year mortgage is paid up, that our covenants prohibit speculative gain. The resale of a home provides the seller with the amount of money invested (with a modest cost-of-living addition) plus whatever has accrued in the seller's escrow acct. This perpetual affordability will hold true for the market rate homes also, but without escrow account. People who buy into the affordable co-op in later years (but within the first 50 years) will need to be FmHA eligible and also meet the co-op requirements of participation in operation of the community. Right now our focus is getting to groundbreaking. We are actively seeking/applying for both a predevelopment loan to get us through to construction closing and also foundation grants to help us build the common house. Yes, it is outrageously complicated. Had we not had a member who is experienced and talented in community development, non-profit housing, and land trusts, etc. we would not have made it this far. I look forward to a time when we can catch our breaths and begin to teach what we have learned. Education for CoHousing is part of our vision statement. Oh, to be at home together and able to share how we did it! > >2. You said the developed area of your community will >be 24 homes on 20 acres. Our group's site plan (for a >parcel we lost at auction, sadly) called for 27 units on >3-4 acres, including roads, parking, common house, and >the common space enclosed by the buildings. Are your >houses actually going to be spread out at something like >one per acre, or does the 20 acres include your entire >community, gardens, ball fields, pasture, etc.? -2-reply-- Actually, that is a rough estimate. It includes roadway, parking outside perimeter of cluster, the maintenance building (we need a plow for snow, etc.) and assorted gardens, play space, etc. Another factor in the footprint of our buildings is that we are building all single story homes [heat issues and accessibility]. The Readfield planning board requires a hefty amount of land per cluster. We have had to do some real gymnastics to meet town requirements--cluster development was voted in a few years ago, hotly contested and not yet successfully built. The plan requires a minimum of 40 ft. between homes and prohibits anything larger than single or duplex homes on one portion of our buildable land. So we have constraints from the town. Also--the lay of our land requires more elaborate road construction than we'd hoped. Our plan includes 4 four-plexes, 2 duplexes, and 4 singles clustered with a common house. We are keeping our 30 acres of open fields for agricultural purposes. Yes, by urban standards, we may seem profligate with our use of land...but once you encounter the town regulations, the lenders' requirements, and our heart's desire to cherish the land--the process gets very complicated! Grace K. Von Tobel gkvontob [at] colby.edu Kennebec Valley CoHousing Augusta, Maine (207)547-4244 -- Fred H. Olson fholson [at] uci.com Minneapolis, MN 55411 voice: (612) 588-9532 Amateur radio call: WB0YQM Sysop of COHOUSING-L mailing list -- now avail. via Gopher: uci.uci.com
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