Re: Senior Cohousing / rental / http
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 05:01:53 -0700 (PDT)
Although the rental issue might still require an enlightened 
investor/developer/sponsor, affordability through smaller homes on smaller lots 
has been dealt with in Washington State for some time now.  The Cottage Company 
(<>) has developed several 
"innovative land use stategies" for local governments in that area.  In 
essence, this "Cottage Development Code" permits higher density through an 
equation of one 600 sq.ft. cottage equals 1/2 of a dwelling unit and of one 800 
sq.ft. cottage equals 3/4 of a dwelling unit.  I serve on the Seniors Advisory 
Council for the Sarasota County (FL) Commission, and we are preparing a 
recommendation to adapt a simialr zoning code here.  To review these codes, go 
to the Cottage Company's website; click on Planning; and then, click on 
innovative land use in the second paragraph's context.
Van Deist
Venice, FL    
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Marganne Meyer<mailto:marganne [at]> 
  To: Cohousing-L<mailto:cohousing-l [at]> 
  Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2009 3:51 AM
  Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Senior Cohousing / rental / http

  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 
  >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 

  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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