|Re: low/mixed income cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David L. Mandel (75407.2361compuserve.com)|
|Date: Thu, 11 May 95 02:21 CDT|
Thanks, Don, for sparing me the effort of again describing our mixed-income urban cohousing project. Your piece is quite accurate (better be, after keeping Susan, then me, on the phone for hours :) ). I only want to add the following, in response to Joani Blank's remark that it takes more than affordability to attract low-income people, and a few replies it brought: I think a lot depends on your attitude from the start. The fact that many of our households received second mortgages that enabled them to buy units otherwise unaffordable to them was not only a result of the city's requirement that a proportion of our units be affordable. From the start we recognized that a mixed-income project clearly met the needs of our neighborhood: Solely low income development would be reinforcing its homogeneity; purely market-priced housing would be too much at odds with its character and would exclude most of those already living in the area. But most important, our early core group in fact comprised members with a wide range of income levels. These were the people first attracted to cohousing in Sacramento, and it was quickly clear that if we were going to be able to do something together, it would have to have an element of financing to enable low-income people to be involved. We considered including some rentals, debated doing a limited equity co-op (I was actually in the minority that favored that) and eventually settled on the plan Don described (our choices were narrowed by the housing agency's much greater willingness to lend money than to grant it). The main point of this is that since our commitment to affordability was clear from the start, low-income people felt comfortable joining and participating. None of those who became highly active was excluded for lack of financing; four of the 11 households that received subsidized loans were involved very early on, and others joined well before the very end. David Mandel, Southside Park Cohousing, Sacramento
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