|Subsidized Housing and Compatibility||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: John Major (jmajordayna.com)|
|Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 15:41:01 -0600|
Hello, folks - I have another interesting question for you all. One of our options at Wasatch CoHousing is to accept federal money to build a number of units to provide low-rent housing, a very pressing need in Salt Lake's exploding real estate market - of course, housing costs increase faster than wages! The scary part about this is that, after accepting federal dollars, we would have to accept tenants on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the only qualification being a low-enough income. Our group is a little concerned that, with a strong incentive like good housing at low cost, people that have no interest in (or even hostility to..) community will join us and stay put, causing conflict. We are looking into writing participation and/or work requirements into our homeowner's rules, and checking to see if that would be a valid and legal restriction on tenants, but we really don't like the sound of that. I should point out that we are a fairly low-income group ourselves (no, ahem, Armani suits ;-) ), and like the idea of rental units - two folks are planning on building them already, and the Danish experience seems to indicate that renters generally equal the committment to the community of owners. Has that been your experience? Up until this point, folks have been self-selecting - people that didn't appreciate the consensus process and the "meetings lifestyle", or just plain didn't get along, left - the difficult road ahead was enough disincentive, certainly! Others had to leave because it was clear they could not consider purchasing housing right now - that's the income-discrimination inherent in US CoHousing that we've talked about. We'd go and get those folks back if we had rental units, to be sure... Certainly, low-rent cohousing is better than low-rent tract homes for the world at large, but some of us are worried about the risk to our budding community. Finally, there is a philosophical point - is the "redemptive" quality of community strong enough that regardless of people's attitudes when they join us, they will come around and see that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages? Does the "most expensive personal growth plan" also work its magic on renters? Thanks for listening - John Major jmajor [at] dayna.com Wasatch CoHousing
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