Re: Variations on low cost housing
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 11:12:27 -0700 (PDT)

On May 21, 2008, at 1:49 PM, Larry Miller wrote:


Marganne wrote:
"In cohousing, when a unit sells or is rented, doesn't the community
have some say about who moves in?"


Not in a condo as others have said -- unless you write things into your Bylaws in such a way that it is not discriminatory and isn't likely to affect resale value.

We do have two provisions in our Bylaws that help with this -- a right to charge labor fees if people don't work and right of first refusal. If we have tenants renting who do not participate in the community and then they want to buy the unit, the Association can buy it and sell it. Once the seller has a contract, we have three days to approve it or buy the unit at the same price.

We are now getting a handle on our workshare labor fee. In the past we didn't measure or enforce workshare but are now doing so The hourly amount required is ridiculously low (in my opinion) but it's a place to start -- 6 hours a month. Now we are measuring to see how much time people actually put in. The charge is $20 an hour. So since we are "enforcing" it across the board, we can send people bills.

The other thing we do is hold regular orientations explaining the community to people and putting them on a waiting list. When a unit becomes available, they are all notified. That has produced a lot of buyers.

Only one person has listed with a realtor. It didn't produce any leads and she sold to a friend of another resident. So we have had pretty good luck with sales -- mostly friends of residents or people who had been looking at us already.

I also think you can be very clear up front about what is expected and what other people do. Take them on a tour and show them how much work it involves. But you have to do it equally for every candidate, or every candidate who agrees to do it. They don't have to.

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