Re: apartment conversion to cohousing
From: sga1 (
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 08:32:30 -0800 (PST)
Hi Mary Anne,

Although we have not yet converted apartments to cohousing, I and my
cohousing partner are in the process. The residents have been invited to
the cohousing community meetings--a couple have expressed interest but not
shown up.

My thinking on this topic is this: in our area real estate prices are
being driven through the roof by investment purchases, people buying
houses to rent them, save them for retirement, etc. There has been a large
scale conversion of housing from purchasable to rentable. Although some of
the residents at our condo project may like renting the residences and
wish that they weren't going to be sold, this is the ONLY case in all of
Humboldt County where a rental development is becoming an owner-occupied
development; the renters have an unprecendented number of rentals they can
to move to, while the working poor of our area have nothing in their price
range they can buy besides the condos we are creating.

If we were selling our condos for exhorbitant prices or were being
exclusive, I can see why some class conscious people (like myself) would
have cause to protest. Instead, we are selling the condos at prices for so
little ($120-160K)that any renter with even a tiny amount of equity or a
middling to poor credit rating can get a mortgage.

Which is the long way of saying that it sucks to force people to move, but
it shouldn't be such a powerful disinsentive that you abandon or
compromise the project. If your region lacks affordable rentals, then
maybe you should consider keeping a few of the units available to renters
who are both on limited income and wish to participate in the community.
If your community is awash in rentals like my own, you can trust that the
current tenants will land on their feet and feel proud about converting
anonymous apartments to a community home.

Yours in community,
Sean Armstrong

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