Habitat for Humanity Agreement
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 18:47:43 -0500
This is about how our community just succeeded in making a deal to have two 
Habitat for Humanity homes built here. ----Lynn Nadeau

First some background. 
RoseWind Cohousing, in Port Townsend, WA, already has 20 families, and had room 
for 4 more. We have long wished for more income diversity, and more families 
with young children, but reality has been that in our area there is a shortage 
of young families with children who can also afford to buy land and build a 
house, and who aren't already set up with something if they can. Those of us 
who had young children when we embarked on developing this project ten years 
ago,  now have teenagers instead.

Although we liked the idea of working with a subsidized housing arrangement 
like Habitat, we had several concerns, largest of which was that we couldn't 
afford to give away lots, or even reduce them in price. We had done our 
original development budget on a very close (too close) 
zero-profit-when-all-lots-are-sold basis, so the remaining lots were vital to 
making ends meet on our land-infrastructure-and-common-house expenses. 

This was solved by a large gift from a RoseWind member, and additional smaller 
gifts by some others, which covered the cost of the lots. This money was 
donated to Habitat, with the proviso that it be used for the purchase of lots 
at RoseWind, if a deal were concluded between Habitat and RoseWind. 

Remaining concerns had to do with fear of loss of control of getting people who 
really wanted community, or getting people who (fill in the blank-- much was 
unspoken, but there were concerns about differences). 
The former was handled in the agreement, and the latter fears were 
significantly mitigated by attending Habitat orientations and learning more 
about their criteria. 

Habitat, on the other hand, had to figure out what to do with such an 
unorthodox proposal as ours--- they have a fairly standardized routine, 
usually--- and when a bunch of them came to one of our community suppers it was 
clear that they were pleasantly surprised that we seemed so "normal". I think 
some thought we'd be barefoot commune hippies living in teepees, and others 
thought we'd be well-to-do gated-community snobs. 

Both Habitat and RoseWind had some concern about how the low-income families 
would be able to deal with annual assessments ($400 a year now, but starting 
next year there will be common house operating expenses added in). Habitat 
agreed to our proposal that the already super-low no-interest mortgage payments 
for the family be extended even longer, to free up assessment money. 

So, the deal is signed!!! We are excited. A single-mom who has been a RoseWind 
"groupie" for years is qualified and chosen for one of the two spots. 

This also means we are down to our last two unsold lots (plus one resale lot 
available), and we have several people actively interested in those. 

In case any group is ever looking to make an arrangement with Habitat, the 
following contract may provide some ideas:
RoseWind/Habitat Agreement                                      Revised 7/12/99

Whereas RoseWind is a cohousing community seeking additional families through 
the sale of property for the construction of homes, and

Whereas Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County is a community-based 
organization helping families purchase property and build homes,

Therefore, we, RoseWind and Habitat, agree to the following:

That RoseWind sell to Habitat 2 lots of real property measuring about 3500 
square feet each for the combined price of $55,000 cash, with terms already 
verbally agreed upon and to be specified in a purchase and sale agreement to be 
signed by September 1, 1999 and with all payments to be completed by June 1, 
2000, and

That RoseWind has the option to select one of the RoseWind/Habitat families 
with the provision that the family has applied with Habitat and qualifies 
according to the general Habitat guidelines, with Laura Barrett being 
RoseWind¹s current selection, and

That Habitat select the other RoseWind/Habitat family, or both families if 
RoseWind does not exercise their option, with the provision that, once accepted 
by Habitat according to their general guidelines, the family:

        1. Has the choice of either a RoseWind/Habitat lot or another 
alternative Habitat location that is  reasonably equivalent as defined by 
factors important to the family such as access to schools, shopping, work, 
etc., and
        2.  Expresses and demonstrates understanding and an unequivocal 
interest in cohousing as confirmed by participation in two or more RoseWind 
potlucks, attendance at one or more RoseWind business meetings, and discussion 
with an ad hoc committee of 3 RoseWind members to review RoseWind documents 
including the mission statement,  the Bylaws, and the Covenants, Conditions and 
Restrictions, and
        3.  Is considered adequately interested and knowledgeable about 
cohousing and RoseWind by the above mentioned ad hoc committee, which welcomes 
observation by and input from a representative of Habitat, and

That Habitat provide RoseWind /Habitat families with an extended amortization 
on their mortgage if needed so that they are better able to afford a RoseWind 
annual assessment, which helps to pay for taxes and other costs associated with 
commonly held property, including land and the Common House. 

Signed .....

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