achieving income and other diversity goals
From: Phyllis Fisher (
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 14:33:19 -0700 (PDT)
I am a member of a developing cohousing community. Because one of our values is 
income diversity, some of us were disappointed to learn from a member who 
attended the recent North Carolina cohousing conference that other communities 
have experienced difficulty both with implementing affordability programs and 
with low-income members. Here is a quote from the report. 


“Special financing (federal or other) to low income families] was discussed at 
some length at the conference in North Carolina.  There is very little money 
for middle-income housing.  Only for lower income….


There were other problems in some projects where some units were reserved for 
lower-income groups:  

--Lower income families were so desperate to get into decent subsidized housing 
that they pretended to be interested in community participation until they 
could move in, but then tended not to be very involved and dropped out of 
community participation.

--Having really lower income people made adopting annual budgets and setting 
the monthly homeowners fees much more difficult."


We would like to learn more about the experience of groups with relatively wide 
income diversity among members – how you achieved such diversity, what 
difficulties you encountered in implementation, and what the benefits and 
drawbacks are to the community.


Also, we'd like to know if any groups have approached the whole issue of 
diversity by reserving units for any class of member other than those with low 
income.  We've been told that such an approach is illegal.


Phyllis Fisher


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