|Re: "Targeting" the wealthy||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: juniperjojo (juniperjojoaol.com)|
|Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 09:47:45 -0700 (PDT)|
Marty, I'd like to suggest that you be more careful with your words. When you state that cohousing is "targeting" the wealthy it implies intent, which I feel strongly is absent in the cohousing movement. Of our 37 households, I think it's fair to say that few to none of us is "wealthy." Most of us are middle-class, some barely that, and many of us are struggling to make ends meet, and indeed, are sacrificing in many ways in order to live in cohousing. I personally drive 50 miles one way to work at a job that pays enough money so that I can afford to live in cohousing. I feel fairly comfortable asserting that our developers did not "target" the wealthy. (To be fair, they would not have turned away the wealthy, but in my experience it is not the "wealthy" who want to live in cohousing.) They chose to build a second community in Ann Arbor, Michigan because there was a high level of interest in cohousing in Ann Arbor, even though housing prices (and hence land prices) are high. Developing land costs a lot of money, and is risky, and someone has to bear that cost and that risk until all of the homes have been sold. I think that -- especially in today's real estate market -- it's going to be hard not to "target the wealthy" in regions of the country where home prices are high. I respect your opinion and am solidly on your side in wanting to see more affordable housing of all kinds in this country, including and especially cohousing, but there are certain realities on the ground that have to be acknowledged, even if you feel strongly that those realities can and should be changed. One of the main realities is that typical contractors have no interest in learning new building methods or working with alternative materials, and if you insist that they do, they will do so, and charge you double. If you have the time, energy, and skills to build your own home, that's great. However, as a single mom of an infant son (at the time of construction), with a full-time job but limited carpentry skills, I would still be living in a tent. I do not feel, in other words, that cohousers in particular, or even cohousing developers, are overlooking the less fortunate. But developing land requires accepting risk, and most people (except the exceptionally wealthy, who can afford to be charitable) can't afford and/or are not willing to take on that risk without the promise of getting something (generally, profit) in return. If there are those on this list -- if you are one of them, Marty -- with deep pockets, who can afford to put up large amounts of their own money and not care if they ever see any of it again, I encourage you to start a cohousing construction company with affordability as its primary tenet. Affordable (co)housing, especially for retirees, is certainly a worthy cause. But it is not a cause which can be supported by those of us who are still struggling to keep our own heads above water. Jenny Cook Great Oak Cohousing Ann Arbor, Michigan "If you look at the home [CoHousing] prices in AZ, NM, CO, Baja CA, Sur, MX, it is obvious to me that the wealthier are being targeted for much of the current CoHousing across our Nation. Time that we thought of the less fortunate." ________________________________________________________________________ Check out AOL.com today. Breaking news, video search, pictures, email and IM. All on demand. Always Free.
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.