|RE: low income housing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Buzz Burrell (72253.2101compuserve.com)|
|Date: Fri, 12 May 95 08:57 CDT|
I think Joani's concern that low income people will not feel comfortable in your typical cohousing situation is not true - her insights are very good, and quite valid, but they apply to cultural DIVERSITY and not INCOME. In other words, there is no way in the world a poor hispanic family would feel at home in any of the coho places I've seen. But neither would a middle income hispanic family. Coho as it has been practiced is mostly a "peer group" function. This is not a critisism at all; it's a natural quality of creating community. At the national conference, people came from all over the country, and I noticed everyone there sort of looked familiar! I personally would like to see us move away from that, and there are elements that are entrenched in the movement that contribute to this lack of diversity, but it is to be expected; we would have to consciously work to alter it. I X-C ski race in the winter, and there is zilch diversity, as you can imagine! However, there is the full range of income levels, from must-hitchike-to-race, to private helicopters. Everybody gets along great. There is a whole new catagory in the population to explain why this is. Lynne Farnum starts to get to the heart of it when she says: <<The terms "low-income" and "affordable" are subject to a wide variety of interpretations. Low-income may include the working poor, who have steady work but are barely scraping by in terms of meeting their family's basic needs; or it may be taken to mean only the desperately poor, unemployed or welfare dependent, living in substandard housing in scary neighborhoods.>> OR, it may mean the artists, athletes, living lightly people, meditators, early retirees, world travellers, etc, etc, who constitute the new catagory of "semi-voluntary poor". These are great people to have in a community, because they are interesting, have time, experience, and usually have something to contribute ... but not money. A career is secondary to other activities. People like this fit right in. (I'm describing myself in case you haven't already guessed). OR/AND, as Lynne also described so well, your development is in one of the many areas of the country where the term "working poor" applies to professional two income families both with Masters Degrees! Like here. The median house costs $224,000. The median income for a single person is $28,400. Using standard FHA loan guidlines - oops, the American Dream simply does not work! You can push all the right buttons, but unlike the mouse in the laboratory maze, you still won't get the food pellet. In conclusion, income is no barrier to fitting in, but culture is. And most coho developments have not provided for the lower income people, which in many areas, constitutes an astonishing 65% or more of the population (as defined by if they can qualify for a loan, based on their income). (Comment on the side): I think we'de better address the affordability issue with more determination and creativity; it's pivotal, not just for coho, but for the country as a whole. Coho should be taking the lead and modeling ways that people can again afford to own their own place. Buzz Burrell Boulder
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.