Re: Affordable Cohousing - It Does Exist
From: Lion Kuntz (
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 03:47:42 -0700 (PDT)

--- Zev Paiss <zpaiss [at]> wrote:

> Marty,
> Here at Nomad cohousing in Boulder, Colorado, 7 of our 11 homes are  
> permanently affordable.

The term "affordable" has no fixed meaning. How about putting prices to
that and letting people judge for themselves if they can afford it?

> New construction is expensive

New construction prices are all over the map. In some of my researches
I see that new hookups for water and sewer can cost over $30k in
places, and that's without paying for a stick of lumber yet. In 1998 I
drove to Florida from the Pacific Northwest. I saw billboards along the
way say "New Homes Starting from the 240s", other places the billboards
said "Starting form the 160s". In Florida I saw "Starting from the low
80s". In 2002 in Green Valley Arizona south of Tucson the billboard
said "Starting from the 40s". These are all planned developments,
single-family detached houses.

I worked on some of those houses. "Expensive" is another ambiguous word
that obscures rather than enlightens, and it has a lot to do with
specifics of location.

> and unless  
> there are substantial subsidies from the government, foundations or  
> wealthier cohousers, the amount of affordable cohousing will remain  
> limited for the foreseeable future.
> Zev

You are not making any sense at all Zev. If you have carved out a niche
for yourself serving those most fortunate, fine for you. To quote Mario
Cuomo "God helps those that God has already helped". But all God's
children need homes and if you don't want to be part of that, fine for
you. Just don't pollute the discussion with things that serve your
interests but don't put a roof over the head of the many people who
would like to have one. You and me Zev, can take a walk through Home
Depot in your neighborhood or anywhere in the country, and tote up our
costs of every single thing that needs to be included to build a decent
home. The total on our calculators is going to be somewhere no more
than one third of the price on that home. A lot of that other 2/3rds is
going to be guys who have carved out niches for themselves to get paid
as gatekeepers whose only contribution to the whole process is having
the power to say "no". America could probably get along just fine with
a lot less gatekeepers saying "pay me or you can't". We know what the
costs at Home Depot are, but maybe it's your niche in the process that
makes it "expensive"?

-- lion kuntz

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