Re: "Targeting" the wealthy
From: Martin Sheehy (
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 12:13:18 -0700 (PDT)
I had thought of inviting a developer to assist in building affordable 
cohousing ( $ 120,000 to 150,000) homes for the elderly.
  And, thanks for the education re existing attempts in the CoHousing 
communities to meet these needs.

Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> wrote:
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 

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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