|Re: Affordability- Habitat may help||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 19:45:30 -0700 (MST)|
We were in a bind at RoseWind Cohousing. We wanted more of our memberships to include lower-income people, but by failing to calculate some costs that accrued over the years on the lots we hadn't yet sold, found ourselves in a position where our last lots --- our last chance for some "affordable" arrangement--- seemed like if anything they would have to be overpriced, to bring us to a total break-even on the project. We made a deal with Habitat for Humanity, in effect giving them two lots. The cost of the two lots was covered by donations from members who could afford to subsidize that. I particular, one elderly member donated a large chunk of it. I propose that you get into dialogue with your nearest branch of Habitat for Humanity. Where the money for the building site comes from, can vary, from partial or total purchase by HH, to partial or total subsidy from your own members, or any other source. But once the deal is in place, Habitat is the one that has to do all the paperwork and make all the arrangements. The fortunate recipients end up with a home that costs them (here) about $50,000 in the form of an interest-free mortgage, with payments that are very low. We made a contract that stipulated that we could "front" one of the families, from our list of interested cohousing applicants, subject to them qualifying for HH's rather elaborate criteria. Habitat would come up with the other family, but with the stipulation that the family have enough exposure to us -- social, meeting, work party or such--- to be able to make an informed decision that they wanted cohousing, and that they have a choice of cohousing or "regular" Habitat housing (so nobody would take the deal just because they wanted HH, not because they really wanted cohousing). So far, it looks like we know who the families will be, and they are wonderful. Unlike some other arrangements, once the families are chosen, we have nothing further to do with the financial side. These families will be like other members, just having some help getting a house financed and built. Every group would have to work out the particulars, but it was an interesting exercise (as we learned that HH wasn't too "churchy" for us, and that we weren't opening ourselves up to some sort of stereotype low-life; and HH learned that we were neither a snobby yuppie gated community, nor barefoot hippies in tipis and love beads), and it has increased our diversity. Lynn Nadeau Port Townsend WA
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