|more thoughts on condo0 conversions from cohousing.org list||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Mary Anne Joyce (maj7900yahoo.com)|
|Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 18:48:20 -0800 (PST)|
Dear Mary Anne, Hi has anyone done this? Are there pitfalls? We are talking about this in our East Portland Cohousing Group.We are having some ethical questions aobut displacing renters. Are there ways to mitigate this displacement? Anhy other ideas thoughts are welcome Thanks Mary Anne Joyce Los Angeles Eco-Village did this. They chose not to force out any residents, choosing instead a slow conversion process over time. That was over a decade ago and there are still a few original renters left, i think mostly elderly folks on fixed incomes. As far as i know that part has gone ok, what's been much more challenging was having people who moved there intending to be part of the community and then withdrew from participation without moving out. That has dragged down the energy of the community and held up spaces that could otherwise have gone to new participants with energy to contribute. At their last retreat the group agreed to change this, i'm not sure how the implementation of that has gone so far. As far as i know this has all happened in a rental model, it's not cohousing and i don't think residents build equity in their units. Also there is not a common kitchen, or regular meals beyond potlucks, or even a room with enough space to seat all the residents comfortably for meetings or meals. If you want to talk with them i bet they'd be happy to share their experience. See good description at the main IC website: http://directory.ic.org/records/?action=view&page=view&record_id=1970 See the LAEV website: http://www2.ic.org/laev/ The Community Alternatives apartment building in Vancouver, BC, which was built from the ground up as community housing, has more common facilities as i recall. So that would be a major thing to keep in mind if you are converting an apartment building, is how are you going to get sufficient common space, are there any BIG open rooms you can use or create--one regular-sized apartment is usually insufficient and cramped. The East Blair Co-op in Eugene (which is multi-building) finally built a common room recently after 20 years. You might also check with the Apex in Seattle to see what their situation was when they started, were there other residents who were displaced and if so how was the transition handled. Again Apex is a limited equity cooperative, not cohousing. Website: http://www.speakeasy.org/~apex/. Good luck! --Tree ----------------------------------------------- Tree Bressen 1680 Walnut St. Eugene, OR 97403 (541) 484-1156 tree [at] ic.org http://www.treegroup.info Re: apartment conversion to cohousing <? Date ?> <? Thread ?>From: sga1 (sga1humboldt.edu) 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 sellin g 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 --------------------------------- Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.
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