Re: affordable cohousing, not "gated"/ Habitat
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 11:13:17 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 22, 2010, at 1:57 PM, R.N. Johnson wrote:

We ended up buying a pre-existing complex, but had talked to our local Habitat when we were looking at different properties. We had a concern that the people in the market units would be subsidizing both the land and the common house for the people in the Habitat units, and that that would price out many of our households.

This is another issue with mixing market rate (which is the average house cost in an area, ie affordable) and low-cost housing. It comes out in a million ways that prevent the community from melding and a project from getting built.

Building new housing is expensive and someone has to pay for it. Making smart materials choices, leaving the second floor plumbed& wired but not finished, using simple faucets, etc., can only go so far.

At some point someone needs subsidies from somewhere and there are limitations on these subsidies. Even if Habitat for Humanity had helped build the CH, unless the low-income people are the majority, the tension between wanting things that one can afford and those who are not able to afford them will continue. All communities have some of this tension but voiding it on an _extreme_ level, I think is important for a community.

The distance between an income of $25,000 and $75,000 is much greater than between $75,000 and $100,000.

A $25,000 income household has a much different lifestyle than a $100,000 income.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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