Re: "Targeting" the wealthy
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 10:59:29 -0700 (PDT)

On Jul 12, 2006, at 12:47 PM, juniperjojo [at] wrote:

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.

I agree and this point has been argued on this list numerous times before. Many of our households qualified for various DC housing programs targeted at households making under $45,000 a year. Other communities have included Habitat for Humanity Homes. Others purposely included features that allowed people to buy now and finish interiors later.

The only sense in which cohousing could be charged with "targeting the wealthy" is if you define "wealthy" as people who can afford, with help, to buy a home. This is not the "fault" of cohousing. It's true because there are no developers out there who can afford to risk their own hard-earned money to build rental cohousing. Cohousing is just too hard to do with a stable population -- doing it on one-, two-, or even three-year leases would be suicide.

And no groups have formed who want to build the kind of off-the-grid housing that is allowed in communities like Dancing Rabbit where people can live in tents for $3,000 a year. It would be really interesting if you wanted to do that.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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