Re: Senior Cohousing / rental / http
From: Marganne Meyer (
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 00:52:06 -0700 (PDT)
At 7:32 PM -0400 5/9/09, Sharon Villines wrote:
The other possibility is more affordable housing. To develop the small house concept, the high-rise apartment building with smaller units and a central common area, or alternative construction methods like straw bale.

If investors could be found to fund these developments and hold mortgages, it might make it easier for people to own their homes. Since cohousing tends to build stronger, more stable communities,
there would be less risk in building them --  perhaps.

I'm glad to see this is being discussed. It relates to seniors who have a limited income but want to rent. I haven't found any 55+ people who live on Social Security and can afford to either buy or rent in the typical cohousing community. I suppose there are some out there ... but there aren't many. Under current economic conditions, you can't assume a person owned a house they could sell to get equity for buying into a cohousing community.

Some of us have discussed small houses and living simple at length on other mailing lists. Even *I* could afford a small home. The major problem was finding land with appropriate zoning (more density). Permission to increase density isn't popular. Due to foreclosures and under current economic conditions, this might change. For the moment, we assumed it was unlikely to get approval for increased density.

A potential way to solve the zoning problem is to purchase a mobile home or RV park. (Tres expensive) Right now the discussion on the small house list is to get donated land to create a village that had samples of all the different types of small homes available. (Manufacturers and Designers are willing to donate their products.) Easier to envision comfortable, low-cost housing that way.

If you look back in this list's archives over the past year, I've posted many links to information about small homes and samples of what they look like.

Figuring out a way to transfer cohousing into something that lower income people could afford will be very helpful now, and in the future.

P.S. I haven't heard discussion of universal access to small homes, but I'm sure the designers could figure something out.


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