Re: affordable cohousing and community land trusts
From: Robyn Williams (
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 16:43:01 -0600 (MDT)
Hi Amanda

I'm writing via the list so that Sharon and others can read this too.

Pinakarri Community was funded by the Federal Community Housing Programme
(CHP) to build eight non-equity rental co-op houses.  I live in one of them
In addition we have 4 pivately owned houses on an adjacent block of land, 1
across the road and another about to be built next door.  Two neighbouring
houses are rented by members.  Which gives us 16 active households.

I was one of a founding group of potential tenants and owners who spent up
to 8 1/2 years in the development, design and construction process.  We
designed using cohousing principles.  The commonhouse was must-have, so we
negotiated to squeeze the shell of the C/H out of our budget for the rental
houses.  People on low incomes, measured by the State Housing guidelines,
pay 25% of income which is collected and held by Pinakarri Community Inc
which organises maintenance and pays costs like rates etc.  When incomes
increase (like mine at the moment) above the guideline, then tenants pay
market rent with the reassurance that if employment ceases or reduces, then
so will the rent.  Good huh?

There are ten other non-equity co-ops in Western Australia built with CHP
funds.  Most aspire to some degree of community.  All were developed by the
potential tenants.  Two of the co-ops were designed based on coho
principles.  Pinakarri is the only one which identifies as an intentional
at the moment and has the commonhouse has a focus.  Around Australia there
are many more, not usually clustered, mostly with more pragmatic shelter
focus but managed co-operatively none-the-less.

Part of my work as Co-op Development Co-ordinator with the peak Community
Housing body is to encourage new funding options.  I'm promoting the
inclusion of some CHP funded rental units to private equity groups who want
to establish eco-villages or urban eco-hamlets or co-ops.

Robyn Williams
Pinakarri Community
Fremantle, Western Australia

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