Re: Danish low income housing (LATE)
From: Cohousing-L Listmgr (
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 08:44:28 -0500
Nitsan Vardi <eminv [at]> is the author of the message
below from Fri, 3 May 1996 but due to a list admin problem it was
posted by the COHOUSING-L list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at]
********************  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS ***********************

I am NOT an expert on this subject but:
I suppose this refers to legislation inteneded to promote 'better'
communities by extending financial support to projects that included some
common facilities, and had a very specific economic organisation - the
'andelsboligforening' (formally, the association owns the real-estate. 
Members have rights to a house/apartment ). Some cohousing communities
used this form - but it is not really low-income housing. The government 
would pay a part of the interest on the building loans. Then commercial
developers realized that here was another public gold mine, and soon
most of the allocations went to commercial developers who, at best, built
a minimal common house, offer the houses for 'sale' on the usual market,
and make a fortune with full public securities. ('sale' because formally
you join an association rather than buy a house). I don't think that any
of these developer-driven projects evolved into a real cohousing

When we tried (in 1990 -91) to start a cohousing community, we found out:
1) we would have to wait two years to get public funding, because 
commercial developers were ahead of us in the queues everywhere. the 
municipal authorities URGED us to forget the idea of running our own 
project, and join the commercial developer's project instead! Obviously, 
they didn't like working with a self-organised group. 
2) Because of red tape and very tight specs for the publicly funded
building, there were no real savings in the public aid, compared to a
usual, completely self-funded project. 

By the time we knew all this,(it took two years) the core group 
dissolved, and we ended up buying a house in the 
then-20-year-old cohousing community, Saettedammen (which was a good
thing by itself, because it is a GOOD community).  

I know of one experiment where an existing, very active, cohousing 
community attempted to support building a  rented-apartment-based 
cohousing community nearby. I have no idea what became of that project.
                                                ___ __
Nitsan Vardi                                  \   \   \ \   \   \/  \  \
Saettedammen, Denmark                              \   \ \   \  _\    __\
e-mail: eminv [at]                                 \

On Fri, 19 Apr 1996, Judy wrote:

> We have a very old (? 1989) video, I think from ABC news, saying that the 
> Danes were now building large low-income developments as clusters of cohousing
> communities.
> Does anyone know how that has worked out/played out?  I had an inquiry about
> low-income housing recently, and I remembered and wondered.
> Judy

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