Re: Habitat Co-housing
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 22:17:30 -0600 (MDT)
I've posted stuff about this to the list before, but it seems relevant to 
contrast with yesterday's not-very-likely-to-mix-with-cohousing post from 
the Hartford Habitat experience. The point being that, with a 
lot-development model at any rate, it CAN be done. Our local Habitat 
staff are delighted with the cohousing opportunity for the families, and 
the families, though still waiting for the construction funds to reach 
critical mass (these two homes are next on Habitat's list to build) are 
already regular participants in RoseWind social events. Maybe one factor 
is that Port Townsend is home to quite a few "cultured" low-income 
people? Not that it's essential, but our Habitat-aided families happen to 
be politically liberal, vegetarian health-food, artsy types--- and they 
meet all the Habitat criteria. 

RoseWind Cohousing in Port Townsend is a 24-unit lot-development model, 
in its eleventh year. We donated a couple of our last lots to Habitat. 
Actually, we had tightly budgeted so we needed the buy-in money from 
those lots, but one member in particular, and a number of others to the 
degree they were able, contributed the price of those lots, in effect 
buying them from RoseWind, for Habitat. So RW got the needed money, and 
HH got the lots for free. 

We danced back and forth with Habitat (HH) for about a year, getting to 
know each other. Dispelling RW member's fears that HH was too churchy, or 
would end us up with some sort of low-life-druggie residents; and 
dispelling HH's beliefs that RW was either a snobby yuppie gated 
community, or a nest of barefoot tent dwellers running around in macrame 
and love beads. 

We made a contract with HH that included:

Of the 2 families, RW would "front" one, contingent upon this family 
meeting all of HH's criteria. (In this way, we got someone accepted who 
had been hovering around our group forever, but without the means to buy 
in.) The second family would be chosen by HH, and would need to spend 
enough time with RW that we felt they could make an informed choice about 
whether they'd like to live with us.  And that family needed to have a 
choice about accepting either this arrangement, or a conventional 
independent-house from HH.From this process, we have two wonderful 
households who are awaiting HH getting the money to build their houses, 
probably in the coming year. (Our local HH just finished their third 
house in town, and is part-way through the fourth.)

Other details- No annual assessments till occupancy. A HH mortgage which 
is stretched over more years (still at no interest) so the families would 
be assured enough cash to pay RW assessments. 

One additional good result of this arrangement is that we got two 
families with young children, which we really wanted. At the same time, 
our last two lots sold to others with young children, so we've balanced 
our mix quite a bit with just with these last lots. 

Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend WA

Where the common house is stucco'd, and getting interior trim AND
a beautiful big custom house is about to go up for RESALE (3+ bedrooms, 
radiant floors, etc etc)--  mail me if interested 

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