Re: Equity Co-op
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 21:12:05 -0700 (MST)
On 12/28/02 11:06 AM, Maggie < mdutton [at]> wrote:

>I understand that Prairie Sky Cohousing in Calgary (formerly Whole Life
>Housing Society) in Calgary, Canada, decided to be an equity co-op.  Could
>someone from Prairie Sky tell us what that decision entailed and the reasons
>why the group chose this model?  How is it different from other housing

I can't speak for Calgary, but I recently had a discussion with Hank 
Obermayer of Mariposa Grove Cohousing here in Oakland, CA, an artists' 
community/physical retrofit project.

He mentioned that they had been planning on a transition from his sole 
ownership to a limited equity condo, but were lately moving towards co-op 
rather than condo, because:

- One of the members had recently declared bankruptcy, and so would be 
unable to qualify for a mortgage, negating the "finance it through 
standard purchase mechanisms" benefit that a condo structure would offer

- Another one had never sought or obtained credit... with the same result.

[there may have been other reasons, but they were lost in the chaos of 
the delightful holiday party there where I learned these things]

A co-op ownership structure can provide for investment in shares of the 
organization, with the mortgage held on the entire structure collectively 
by the organization. Downsides include higher interest rates; possible 
benefits include use of a Land Trust or similar mechanism to detach the 
land value from the unit prices.


Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com>

  Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <>
Where a neighbor cooked a birthday common dinner tonight.

  Facilitator, East Bay Cohousing [on hiatus] <>
Plotting a transition to regional group / umbrella form.

  Boardmember, The Cohousing Network <>
Preparing an update to its communities list.

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