Re: affordable cohousing, not "gated"/ Habitat
From: Diana E Carroll (dianaecarrollgmail.com)
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 11:34:49 -0800 (PST)


On 1/22/2010 2:13 PM, Sharon Villines wrote:

This is another issue with mixing market rate (which is the average
house cost in an area, ie affordable) and low-cost housing.

I disagree that you can equate market rate with affordable. Mosaic Commons is in Massachusetts, a state notorious for not having affordable housing options. Our community was created using our state's affordable housing expansion program ("40b") -- the program exists exactly because of the disparity between what houses in our overinflated real estate economy cost, and what average folks who live here can actually buy.

At some point someone needs subsidies from somewhere and there are
limitations on these subsidies. ...
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 avoiding it on an _extreme_ level, I think is
important for a community.
...

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

I hope you are wrong, since our community (and every other "40b" community in Massachusetts, and every other community with subsidized homes) has this issue.

Our community is brand new so who knows what time will show, but we looked to other communities to make sure it was feasible to have a community with economic diversity, and we believe it is.

Our subsidized "affordable" homes are priced to be accessible to people with incomes between $40K and $80K a year depending on number of children and size of the home. Our "market rate" homes when we first went on the market reflected the economic situation in our state -- they were affordable mostly for households making $100K and upwards.

So here we are, living in community with households making from $40K a year on up to...at a guess, $250K a year (not that I actually quiz anyone on their income :-).

I hear you say that those two income levels have different lifestyles and it is true! Everyone in my family has their own computer and the larder is always full, and that might not be true for our next door neighbor. So?

Other things make for radically different lifestyles too. I have three children and a fulltime job which defines my lifestyle even more than my economic level, and it certainly has a community impact -- I'm not available for nearly as much community work, and my socializing tends to be very kid oriented. To I sometimes resent them their free time? Sure. Do they sometimes resent taking on a big portion of the community's labor? Probably.

And yet somehow I manage to have something to share with the retired empty-nesters next door, the childless gay couple across the path, the folks making $40K in my building, and the homeschooling family of 7 up the road!

Viva diversity!

- Diana

--
Now is the time for community........Mosaic Commons cohousing
Homes still available...........http://www.mosaic-commons.org

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