Re: Combo Communities: New & Retro
From: Karen Carlson (
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 08:50:39 -0700 (PDT)
Hello, Rachel: Arboretum Cohousing (Arbco) in Madison, Wisconsin will be breaking ground in late summer. We will incorporate 7 (I think) existing houses, an existing triplex, a new duplex to be built by Habitat for Humanity, and we're building 2 apartment buildings with about 30 units. There are members who have been part of the org for a lot longer than I have and could answer your detailed questions. I know the houses were sold "as is" while the triplex will be rehabed from our community budget. Please look at our website, arboretumcohousing. org. You can use the contact number for more info if you don't hear from someone reading your posting.

Good luck on your porject!


Rachel Wangen-Hoch wrote:
I am a prospective member of a new cohousing community which is soon to break ground in Olympia, WA. There is a property adjacent to the land where this project is being developed which has 3 houses for sale. I am interested in researching the possibility of doing some retrofit cohousing in addition to the new construction for purposes of adding affordable housing to the mix and widening our income diversity. Does anyone have any information about how this might work? Do you know of any communities which are a combination of retrofit and new construction which I could contact for information?

Basic questions I have are as follows:
1. How does the ownership of the retrofit units work? Would they be condos like the new units? 2. How does one go about pricing the retrofit units which are to be part of the new community? 3. How do you avoid the retrofit portion of the cohousing community becoming the affordable housing "ghetto" - I want to make sure the same love and care which is going into the planning of the new construction would also go into the retrofit portion, and in the future would have the same concern for upkeep by all members. 4. Would it make more sense for our LLC to purchase the property with the homes, or for an individual or 2 from the core group to do so on their own?

I'm really new at this, so need lots of pointers, basic info, etc. I just feel very strongly about there being some affordable housing as part of the community and want to be able to present a well researched proposal to the community.


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