|Re: affordability/ Habitat possible||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 14:49:01 -0600 (MDT)|
I want to respond that despite the Texas study, cohousing/Habitat collaboration can work. Here in Port Townsend Washington, HH has already completed 4 houses in town, and on Sunday we had a joyful double ground-breaking for their next two houses, to be built simultaneously at RoseWind Cohousing. I note that, at least around here, "really low income people" don't qualify for Habitat. In 1999, in our area, to qualify, a family of 2 (single mom of one, for example) needed to show a "reliable source of income" in the range $7700-11,600; family of four (couple with two kids, or mom with three kids) would need $13,300-$15,500. I imagine the numbers are a percentage relative to the average income in the region. Earnings and cost of living are decidedly lower in this semi-rural/small-town area than elsewhere. As a single mom, I could easily live fairly well on $10,000 a year here. But the Habitat point is to address the "in-between" folks who DO have jobs and some organization to their lives, but who could not afford to have a house. Buying even a small house here costs about $80,000 for something very unexceptional. The lowest income people here usually end up in trailers. Also a Habitat home recipient needs to put in about 500 hours of work themself on Habitat projects, besides having the means to pay back a mortgage of $45,000 or so. So they have to be a fairly active participant, and that can also be someone who can actively participate in other things too. In RoseWind Cohousing's contract with Habitat, we included the proviso that the recipients would need to CHOOSE cohousing, with the option of a regular single-family house instead. And among the applicants, a wonderful young couple chose us. And then we had in the contract that we would front the second family, provided that Habitat found them to qualify by the usual criteria. In this case, a single mom had been hovering around RoseWind for years, but with no money to buy in or build. Now we are finally seeing the start of the building, and we'll probably pitch in a bunch ourselves (16 households already live on site, and we've gotten used to volunteering during the last year of common-house construction). The families are delighted. They have come to potlucks and meetings and realize that they are not only getting a House, but a whole Neighborhood, and that it's a great plus. Gale Greenleaf wrote: >master's thesis at the University of Texas that surveyed a group of Habitat >for Humanity folks and a work-in-progress coho group in Austin around 1994. >The conclusion seemed to be that for most really low-income folks the idea >of living in a group, going to meetings, having to make decisions with other >people, and all the other mechanisms of cohousing were kind of appalling - >the exact opposite of what they wanted. Most people in the general public, lower income or not, do not prefer cohousing to the American dream picket fence bit. So we shouldn't be surprised at the survey results. But don't be afraid to give it a try. Every local Habitat chapter is unique, and every area has a unique population. You don't need to find a hundred low income people who want to be in your cohousing, just a handful. May you have the success we experienced on Sunday! Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA www.olypen.com/sstowell/rosewind Where our common house grand opening is April 14! _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.