Re: Rental Cohousing Opportunity
From: Craig Ragland (
Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 06:25:55 -0700 (PDT)
This is very similar to how my community (Songaia Cohousing: 35 people in 13
homes on 11 acres near Seattle) got going. Some of the most committed shared
two homes on the property from several years during its formation.  The
final part of the "big hairy project" part of our community development was
remodeling the two homes into three private homes and our common house and
adding five new duplex buildings.

We all acted as "renters," even those holding the title - which shifted
across the project's lifecycle as part of our financial development
strategy, i.e., retiring the mortgage at the right time by adding new

Acting as renters enabled us all to pay the mortgage on our highly desirable
real estate, while the group of future home owners came together.

For some of us, myself included, our relatively low rental costs enabled us
to save enough and develop incomes suffiicient to enable home ownership.
When my family joined the Songaia Community (in 1992), we could not have
possibly qualified for a conventional mortgage. By renting, we not only
reduced our costs, but were surrounded by people who provided some guidance
and support as my wife and I built our careers and assets to make getting a
home loan (in 2000) easy.

This was a long, difficult journey, but one that I'm so grateful that the 13
family members and those who went before us achieved.

Craig Ragland
Songaia Community member since 1992
Songaia Cooperative resident from 1992 to 2000
Songaia Cohousing owner since 2000

On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 10:24 AM, Harold Shapiro <hmshapiro2010 [at]>wrote:

> Rent or ‘rent to own’
> As we have read through the letters from potential cohousers we note the
> frustration of those desiring the opportunity to rent, or a general
> frustration with the lack of available options that fit a variety of
> personal reasons.
> We offer a potential solution to this situation: The launching of an
> ElderFire House in Los Angeles.
> We are the owners of a magnificent home with adjacent buildable land in the
> midst of one of Los Angeles' most desirable neighborhoods. This is not an
> ordinary home or property; it is considered an architectural treasure of
> this community.
> The home, used as a house share, can readily be divided into four private
> units. There is a large kitchen, a common room and other common spaces.
> Other units could eventually be built on the adjacent land bringing the
> total units up to eleven.
> Our vision for this property will be to launch an Elderfire cohousing
> community. Today we are ready to home share with three other individuals or
> couples with whom we share a common vision and values and who are committed
> to being active participants in the evolutionary process of this community.
> Interested?  This is an opportunity to participate in both the planning and
> the benefits of living in community, enjoying the qualities of community
> that so many of us have or look forward to within the traditional cohousing
> model.
> Let us know if you find this idea compatible enough with your dreams and
> wishes to step forward now and help initiate the process.
> Go to our website and/or communicate directly
> with us and let us fan the flames of community in Southern California.
> We look forward to hearing from you.
> Harold and Sandra Shapiro
> (818)378-0500
> hmshapiro2010 [at]
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