Restructuring assistance programs - another take
From: Dahako (Dahakoaol.com)
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 19:31:38 -0500
Hi all - I used to write the regs for the CDBG program, and have substantial
experience with the HOME and Section 108 loan guarantee programs too.  They
would need very little restructuring, if any, to work with cohousing, so long
as a reasonable number of low-income folks are served (percentage and
counting method varies by program).  The big IF with these funds is IF you
can convince your local or state government to budget some for you.  The
local budget competition is fierce in most places.  And messing with the
low-income focus of the programs would be extremely hotly contested by
established public interest groups.

In my opinion, a good federal legislative route to take might be to establish
a pilot or demonstration or special project administered by the Neighborhood
Reinvestment Corporation (used to nonprofits and have access to private funds
and run awesome training courses), the National Community Development
Initiative (strong emphasis on low-income folks and nonprofit capacity,
access to government and private funds), or HUD (little natural access to
private funds, bureaucracy may channel nascent organization rather than
letting it find its own way).  There are some other organizations out there
that may also be useful.  I strongly recommend picking someplace smallish.

In North Carolina, Rep David Price is very interested in housing issues and
is on the relevant appropriations committee in the House.  I might have some
conflict of interest issues if I approach him, but there are plenty of other
NC folks who could.  He is currently trying to help Self-Help Credit Union
set up a secondary market pilot.  (Which reminds me that Community
Development Loan Funds, or the National Association thereof, might also be a
useful resource for cohousers.)

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham, NC
Where we've got most of our infrastructure in, wax myrtles planted at the
entrance and room for a few more good neighbors.

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