RE: Affordability of cohousing
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 14:11 CST
> Munn Heydorn  asked:  I would
>*really be interested* in stories of urban or suburban areas in which
>affordable units were built/rehabbed/whatever; especially more than one or
>two units tacked on to a larger project.

Teramanto community in Renton WA comes to mind.  It is 4 houses within 
a suburban cul-de-sac.  They raised funds from private and public 
sectors to build the first house, used the value of the first house to 
raise capital for the second house.  They did a "barn raising" sort of 
experience, where dozens of people came and contributed labor, they 
hustled leftover and recycled building materials from job sites, helped 
tear down an old wherehouse and recycled lots of materials from that.

They are a housing coop, with the goal of providing low income housing. 
Currently they have their 4th shared house under construction.  They 
have done work trades, where they work for a community and then that 
community comes and works on their houses.  I think the largest of the 
houses ( a five bedroom shared house) cost $60,000.

Granted, this is NOT cohousing, and required lots of work investment by 
the residents, but in working on the common endeavor of their housing, 
they built not just a house, they built a strong bond of community.

As I recall they went around to various charitable and political 
organizations with a prospectus,  sold services, etc. to raise the 
original capital, something like $45,000. ( The largest single donation 
they received was $2,000)  They have no bank debt although they do have 
a couple of private loans they are paying off.

Sharingwood is right now "bonking around"  the idea of giving one lot 
in our future phase 2 towards a multi-family shared house.  We would 
probably follow Termantos example and raise funds the same way and then 
have the people who intend to live in the shared house contribute 
labor, as well as set up inter community work parties. Capital from 
rent can also be applied to paying back investments.
This will be brought up for full discussion at the Dec. general meeting 
and assuming we go for it I will post our progress.

Rob Sandelin

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