Re: Feedback for Timeline Game
From: Jim Snyder-Grant (
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 95 09:32 CST
(a response to a questionaire for updating the 'Timeline' game)

1) In New View, we didn't seek public financing. We were scared off by a 
slogan: 'successful financing  of affordable housing requires at least 5 
financing sources and five years' - anyone else heard this rule of thumb? 
Ironically, it will be at least 6 years from start to move-in date for the 
first core households of New View.  We do have an affordable unit on our site, 
but we subsidized it ourselves. This was in order to increase our legal density 
on the site, leading to a net decrease in per-house costs; Acton zoning allows 
for 'density bonuses' in exchange for affordable housing.

2) Our thresholds were maximums, not minimums. The original group grew up to 7 
households and then stopped until it had a clear charter and primary and 
secondary goals, so that they could be sure they were gathering together people 
who would want to live in the same place. Later, there was a threshold at 15 
households until we had a site under control, because 15 was the minimum size 
we wanted a site to be, and we didn't want a situation where we had a site that 
was too small for all the full members. Finally, we capped at 24 when we were 
sure our permits were going to be for 24 houses. (there was actually twist 
where we had more than 24 households for a while, when we thought the site 
would hold more, but we had two dropouts for economic reasons that brought us 
back to 24). During the last few years, we have always had a waiting list, 
which is currently at 10 households. We have had 6 dropouts over the years: two 
because the households didn't think our goals matched theirs (1 has since 
returned), three because of shifts in economic circumstances (either their 
income went way down, or our budget crept too high, or both), and finally, 1 
household dropped out when the house site location process left them with a 
house site they could not use, and we couldn't work out a better alternative. 

-Jim_Snyder-Grant [at]

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