Re: Subsidized Housing and Compatibility
From: David L. Mandel (
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 01:33:29 -0600
Another great question from John of the Utah group.

I'm positively thrilled by the idea of including subsidized rentals as part of
the project. It's something we thought about but dropped when all the experts
said it was not feasible. Please keep us all informed about how it goes and
share the details about the source of funds, conditions, process, etc.

I suggest you compare notes with the downtown Oakland group, as they have plans
for something similar. Some of them are subscribers to coho-l and have probably
replied to you already.

I share your concern at lack of any say into who occupies the units and how to
ensure that the occupants are interested in the community aspects of your
project. Perhaps finding the right higher-up bureaucrat could allow an
experimental exception to be made that would allow this? You may also want to
inquire with the Aspen, Colo. cohousing community. It's not rental, but it's a
similar situation in that the high level of local subsidy made the units very
attractive in a town of otherwise inflated housing costs. I think they were able
to screen for applicants interested in cohousing lifestyle. Perhaps that
example, even though the source of funds was different, could be shown to the
federal people in charge of your funds to show them that such "discrimination"
in selection of subsidized residents does not cause social objections. The
experience we had in selling our subsidized units may also be cited. I assume
yours isn't the only subsidized rental project in town?

In any case, good luck and let us know how it goes.

David Mandel
Southside Park, Sacramento

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