Re: Affordability?
From: Linda Peckham (
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 10:40:24 -0700 (PDT)
Here in Lawrence, KS, we've been trying our hardest to keep our prices
affordable. Our core group of people is definitely middle class, and
being able to afford our units has always been one of our biggest
worries. (And even then, we've had a lot of people look at our ideas,
look at our prices and say they love it, but can't afford it.)

We're finishing up the construction, and our prices are currently set
from the low 140s to the 230s. That's pretty much in the lower half of
the range for new housing in Lawrence -- I think the average is around
the upper 220s.

We've managed this by design and compromise. We've gone with attached
housing (3-5 units per building), with basements that can be finished
to provide extra space. We would have loved to have gone with
all-bambooo flooring for all units, 100% SIPs (Structural Insulated
Paneling) construction, the most efficient appliances, etc, etc -- we
couldn't afford to.

We also were fortunate to find a piece of land in an older
neighborhood, where the neighborhood and the city were both interested
in encouraging ownership rather than rentals, and so were willing to
work with us. (Lawrence is a college town, with lots of rentals.)

I'm not an expert in cohousing in general. But, I think if you want
affordable cohousing (that's not subsidized), you have to start with
that as one of your primary goals. Affordability will affect just
about every design decision you make, starting with the land and basic
site  layout.

Good luck with your group.

Linda Peckham
Delaware Street Commons
Lawrence, KS


On 3/15/07, April <aroggio [at]> wrote:
Greetings, all -

Are there any cohousing communities that are really affordable?  Not cohousing communities 
that have some sort of small "affordable" subsidized housing, but genuinely created 
by those of us that are middle income?  I have followed a number of cohousing-L member links 
back to their websites and have become increasingly worried about the costliness of these 
ventures.  I have found some units for sale that approach $700,000.  My group consists of 
several families - a half million dollar home is completely out of the question, as is 
$200,000 for an undeveloped lot.  And, honestly, I just don't get it.  Shouldn't scale help 
here?  Am I being naïve?

I am very concerned that cohousing, like organics and a good education for your 
kids, is becoming a luxury good.  On the other hand, organic produce can be 
gotten locally, if you find the right farmer, and a good education doesn't mean 
school at all - so maybe there is affordable cohousing possibilities for us 
single-income-with-children families who really need it?  Am I just not looking 
hard enough?

I would love to hear your thought!  Thanks again,

April Roggio

Capital District Eco-housing

aroggio [at]

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