Re: "Targeting" the wealthy
From: Lion Kuntz (
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 21:18:02 -0700 (PDT)

--- Sharon Villines <sharon [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
> > 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
> included features that allowed people to buy now and finish interiors

> later.

And what about putting all three together?

> The only sense in which cohousing could be charged with "targeting
> 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
> own hard-earned money to build rental cohousing. Cohousing is just
> hard to do with a stable population -- doing it on one-, two-, or
> three-year leases would be suicide.

"Affordable housing" is not synomous with "rental-housing". In my
lexicon it means that housing, a necessity of life, is priced withing
the income range of people who need it. I once-upon-a-time rented a
flat in San Francisco for 11 years and paid the landlord over $110,000.
The landlord had bought the four residential units over two steet-level
commercial spaces for $140,000. My 1/6th of the building paid a large
fraction of his price. Obviously I could have "afforded" to buy
one-sixth of the building, because it was my money making it possible
for him to afford it. Why there were only structures that facilitated
him to afford it, but not me, when it was my money affording it for
him, is the secret to understanding the big mystery in life.

> 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
> can live in tents for $3,000 a year. It would be really interesting
> you wanted to do that.
> Sharon
> -----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

I don't know Dancing Rabbit, but I believe in some middle path.

-- Lion Kuntz
Sonoma County, California

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