Affordable Unit Lotteries
From: Lon Goldstein (
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 11:22:26 -0600 (MDT)
The City of Boulder has a similar requirement for percentage of "permanently affordable" units. I believe it is 40% for all new developments, and that is the proportion we have in the Wild Sage community. There are other people in our community as well as at Wonderland Hill ( , our developer who could provide a deeper understanding about how it worked, but I can share high level perceptions. Basically, the city was very cooperative with us from the beginning of the process. They understood what cohousing is (no doubt through the efforts of Wonderland and possibly through previous experience with the Nomad community) and how it is different from other housing projects. They agreed to let us use our processes to choose who could purchase affordable units as long as people qualified through the city program as well. So people who are purchasing an affordable unit needed to complete the city's qualification process as a pre-requisite to taking part in our unit selection process. And once they were qualified they were kept in a separate list from the city's point of view than all the other people who just got on a list for general affordable housing. It seems to work pretty well. Hope that helps.

The City of Boston requires any developments of 10 or more houses
to have 10% affordable units.  The way the city likes to deal with
the affordable units is by having a lottery for them drawn from
a city-wide pool of applicants. Are there any other cohousing
groups who had to go through a similar process and did the
results work or not work for you?

--Diane Simpson(:^]
    Jamaica Plain Cohousing, Boston Massachusetts

* #6 - Affordable Housing concept: there seem to be  multiple
ways of addressing this item (the Boston way with the allocated
units and the lottery and the Cohousing way with the internal
supportive policies  minus the lottery).  From my memories of
the Thursday night discussion, it seems  that there are some
varying opinions on this lottery issue. Is it  possible for the
lottery to work within the project model? Have any of the
nation's previous cohousing projects had to meet similar
affordability  requirements and they were able to execute
it successfully?

               "The people around you define the quality of your life."
                   Ask me about Cohousing!


Message: 9
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 12:16:13 -0700
From: Joani Blank <joani [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_Re: looking to form new group
Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]

From: "christina guzman" <imdiabolita [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 14:18:09 -0700

We are in Long Beach, CA and are looking to form a cohousing group in our
area.  I need advice on how to "advertise" if you will to get more people

Christina (and others who may live in an area where there is little or no
cohousing at present),

I think one of the best ways to get some energy going in any area where
there is little or no cohousing, is to plan an event, most likely a talk or
a panel with a slide show in your area. Ideally, in California you would
get Chuck or Katie to come down to do it. That is the best, IMHO, but
probably also the most expensive way to do it.  The least expensive way to
do it would be to invite Lois Arkin from LA to make such a presentation, if
she is willing and able. I've not met Lois, nor visited Eco-Village or Los
Angeles, but I understand she is a remarkable woman.  Her community is not
"typical" cohousing. It is not even "typical" retrofit cohousing, and I
don't know how up to date she is on other than retrofit cohousing, nor
whether she enjoys this kind of public speaking.

A third alternative would be for you to invite  one or two of experienced
cohousers from Northern California down to give such a presentation.  There
are a couple of us (including myself) who would come down for the cost of
our travel and homestay accommodations for a night or two. As a Board
Member of the Cohousing Network, I personally would have another motivation
for doing a presentation like this. And that would be to familiarize more
people in the general public about cohousing.  Even if people see a flyer
about a cohousing presentation, or attend a talk on it and decide it is not
quite right for them in their lives now, the "movement" grows a little with
each exposure.

If you think you can attract enough people who will pay 5 or 8 or 10
dollars to hear Katie or Chuck, that would be the best. They have spoken in
Southern California before and could probably advise you how best to get a
good audience for a presentation by them.

Aside from a lecture/pane/presentation I think that the single best way to
get a group going is to have two or three people from your area visit as
many cohousing communities as they can. Two people from the L.A. area came
up to participate in our six-community tour in May.  The next tour (this
time seven communities including those in Sacramento and Davis) will be on
September 14.

NOTE TO THOSE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY: Other cohousing professionals
who live in your part of the country (Mary Kraus, Bruce Coldham, Ann
Zabaldo, Chris Scott-Hanson, Zev Paiss, John Abrams) are often available to
give presentation to help drum up interest in your area, as are Cohousing
Network Board members and other enthusiastic volunteers.

Also, the Cohousing Network hopes to run tours in the Denver metropolitan
area and in the Seattle area (as well as Northern California next year. I
know that doesn't help your folks on the eastern seaboard, but if the tours
go well we expect to expand them to other parts of the country where there
are clusters of cohousing communities, in the not too distant future. Then
there are virtual tours which may appear shortly (or not so shortly) on
TCN's website.

Coheartedly Yours, (thanks to Patty Mara Gourley for, closing?
sign-off...what is the opposite of "salutation" anyway?)

Joani Blank

Cohousing Enthusiast
Resident, Swan's Market Cohousing
Board Member, The Cohousing Network

Thank you,

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Message: 10
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 09:44:16 -0400
From: Amy Cervantes <cervanta [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Forming a new group
Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]

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In addition to the local paper (obvious, I suppose) advertising in a lot of the
local free papers (if you have them) is a good idea.  I found the add for the
cohousing community that I am becoming involved with in a free local paper that deals with alternative healing and natural health. Others in our area are less
specialized (more like "what's happening around town" type things) but are all
equally well distributed.

christina guzman wrote:

 We are in Long Beach, CA and are looking to form a cohousing group in our
 area.  I need advice on how to "advertise" if you will to get more people

 Thank you,

 Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

 Cohousing-L mailing list
 Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

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Message: 11
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 08:13:36 -0600
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Point Person for Maintenance
From: "Cheryl A. Charis-Graves" <ccharis [at]>
To: coho <cohousing-l [at]>
Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]

On 5/24/02 10:24 AM, "pattymara [at]" <pattymara [at]> wrote:

 OK, Matt, I'll bite.  Please describe your point person structure for
 community maintenance.

I am not Matt, but I am a resident of Harmony Village along with Matt and am
actually one of the key players in design of our new structure.

Under our team structure, it seemed that the tasks that got done were the
ones for which there was a person who "took the bull by the horns" (I am a
Taurus) and provided leadership around organizing the information, the task,
etc. Left to the team as a whole, many tasks languished for the perennial
reasons: lack of time, lack of expertise, lack of interest. Also, our first
attempt at a coordinating council seemed to also languish for lack of focus
and lack of real authority to act.

Too much lack goin' on and not enough focussed attention to those tasks
which are ongoing and necessary but not so enjoyable. And we are already
paying a fairly high rate in annual dues, so adding in the cost of a
property manager seemed problematic at present. And overall planning and
coordination was fairly loose. That works if things are still getting done,
but as things went on, our budget was rising, our level of volunteer
participation was dropping, and our sense of camaraderie was suffering.

The plan mentioned by Patty Mara to "adopt-an-appliance" is definitely in
the same vein. We created a list of tasks, split these tasks as best we
could into "critical maintenance" and "important/desirable" (the issue of
values was huge in response to the word "critical"), then clustered the
tasks into "like groups." We have a five-member Coordinating Council with
more authority than the previous Council (within defined parameters, of
course) who are responsible for "domains" -- Buildings (which includes CH
maintenance and management, along with exterior surfaces), Grounds
(landscape stuff, snow removal, hardscape, etc.), Finances (HOA, long-term
reserves, etc.), Social Capital (a term we adopted to mean "social wealth in
the form of people meeting and interacting with others to generate healthy
interdependence" -- which includes all our communication tasks as well as
the social interaction tasks, including meal team coordination), and
Hands-On Tasks (an attempt to put some zip into the concept of working
together -- which includes the hot tub, workshop, and kids' room).

Each of the point positions identifies a cluster of tasks for which the
point person is responsible. The point person doesn't have to do the work of
the tasks, but organizes the information and the materials needed to do the
task, coordinates with the CC rep to get the task on the list for work days
or work parties, and in general communicates with the CC rep about budget
needs, etc.

The Coordinating Council oversees the budget, and each CC rep keeps track of
the budgeted money within their "domain." (I am in Early Childhood and we
talk about developmental domains so the term seems natural.)

So we have 5 CC reps, each with a designated "assistant," and a matrix of 22
point positions (one which is shared between two people) falling into the
domains of responsibility for each of the CC reps. It looks fairly
hierarchical, but it's still more like a wagon wheel with a hub at the
center and spokes of responsibility radiating outward. We have a total of 39
adult residents, not including associate residents (renters). That means we
have 33 adults with "designated duties" and about 6 floaters (persons with
special circumstances) some of whom also have a single specific task they
have agreed to take on.

It took several months to discuss and design the new structure. I did a lot
of the research, and relied on input from both the coho-l archives and
persons on this list who responded to my person queries.

Also, I took back to our community the ideas originated (articilated?) by
Rob Sandelin, Tree Bressen, and others to adopt an attitude of "trying it
out" and making needed adjustments along the way. I built in a "sunset
clause" at one year out to insure that we would take a serious look at how
the new structure is working.

And so the grand experiment is underway! Long response to your request . . .

Cheryl Charis-Graves
Harmony Village, Golden CO
Where we are grieving the loss of one of our elders, a man who marched in
Selma with Martin Luther King Jr and advocated for the earth in unceasing


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