Re: Cohousing failures
From: Jim Snyder-Grant (
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 16:24:05 -0700 (MST)
Acton had some concerns about possible failures in our cohouing adventure as
well. They had had some failed development site scars they had to deal with:
developer goes bankrupt & disappears as a financial  entity after scraping
away a bunch of dirt & starting to build roads. The town has an ugly site to
deal with.

Our construction loan was wrapped in a complicated three-part agreement
between New View, our bank, and the town. Part of the agreement left some of
our construction loan in escrow for the town to use in tidying up the site
if we ended up ceasing to exist as an entity. The bank's approach in
protecting its loan money was more direct and potentially brutal: each of us
had to individually co-sign the loan. We were each potentially liable for
the entire multi-million dollar loan!  Our lawyer drafted up a New View side
agreement at the same time that we would share any losses equally if the
banks or other creditors came after any of us.

Needless to say, none of the awful scenarios came true, but the bank & the
town certainly had their concerns, and we structured our agreements to deal
with those concerns.

-Jim Snyder-Grant
New View (Acton MA)

----- Original Message -----
From: <RowenaHC [at]>
To: "Multiple recipients of list" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2000 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: Cohousing failures

> I don't understand the concern of the negative counsel member as you
> it.  Presumably, if there were a "failure," meaning an inability to finish
> sell the units and went bankrupt, the bank that provided the construction
> funding and the members of the cohousing partnership would remain
> responsible, not the town!    I think you need to have your attorney
> this to you, she or he will know more about your particular financial set
> than any of us do.
> In the red-hot real estate market around here when we built we had the
> comfort of knowing that if the chousing group fell apart we could always
> on the open market at a profit!

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