Afforability [was: Cohousing outreach lesson for the day: Be reachable]
From: Laura Woinoski (
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 12:59:23 -0800 (PST)
Hi all :)
New to the list, here. A friend referred me after reading this thread
and thought I should chime in about our village in reply.

I live in Ithaca, NY (Central NY) at White Hawk Ecovillage
( and the homes here are a little different than the
standard cohousing model. Here, members can design and build their own
homes. This means you can build a very economical house if you wish.
Here are the numbers for the first three homes built here:
Home A: 1000sqft, 1bd/1ba $95,000 build price ($135k total w/ lot)
Home B: 1300sqft, 3bd/2ba $105,000 build price ($145k total w/ lot)
Home C: 1400sqft + full finished basement w/ root cellar, 3bd/2ba
$176,000 ($216k total w/ lot)

The first two homes were built with affordability as a priority and
per square footage costs are $95/sqft for A and $81/sqft for B. These
homes are both sustainable homes (passive solar, energy star cert.,
no-voc, etc). A small home (800 sqft) could easily be built w/ lot for
$100k total. One could build for even less given careful planning
and/or sweat equity. My home is home B and I did it with twin infants!
It's really not that hard to keep the prices down and can be ultra low
if you have the time and energy to put into it! We also have design
choices and help for those who aren't interested in being as involved
with the construction.

The economy is tight right now, and we've heard lots of people say
they can't afford cohousing, even us, but hopefully these numbers
might inspire some people into believing they can afford it and
looking into it!

Looking forward to contributing to this list, it looks like a great
resource - glad to have learned about it!

- Laura :)
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Cohousing outreach lesson for the day: Be reachable
From: Karen Kudia (
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 09:53:51 -0800 (PST)


I agree a very strong prohibiting factor is the cost. With the
recession, property values have fallen and it is hard to sell. Many
find a co-housing home >$300,000 rather limiting if not impossible. I
know there are some co-housing that subsides but usually for local
people and there are few of them. Catch 22. For example, does anyone
know of any co-housing that is less $300,000 urban or rural? Wonder if
Habitat for Humanity might enter the co-housing arena? Offering
affordable housing. Anyone approach them? Can't you just see
co-housing /habitat humanity in Tampa; revolutionary isn't it.

Karen D. Kudia
Anthony, Florida

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