Mosaic Commons & Affordable/Low Cost Cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 08:55:15 -0800 (PST)
I now understand the tension between my search to clarify what is necessary to build low cost cohousing and Mosaic's concern over my questioning their figures.

They still have two low cost/affordable units to sell and are trying to sell them. I was questioning their figures so it seemed that I was accusing them of misleading people over real costs.

They really do have units to sell that are well under the $250,000 that was quoted here earlier because they have what sounds like a wonderful subsidy program.

the state believes that at $138,000, $154,470 and $173,000 for a 1, 2, or 3BR home, people who make about 80% of the median income can afford our homes.

These figures come from state government calculations so they are set by the state and are thus final, however difficult it might have been for me to figure out how they were calculated or for Mosaic Commons to explain them. The state also sets condo fees according their own formulas. Since state and federal government officials attend special schools that teach a different form of mathematics than the rest of us learn, we are unlikely to ever understand these figures.

So there a_re_ prices out there at the 80% of the median home prices in the area, at least in Massachusetts. But I suspect that digging deeper might produce more homes a that price.

The next step is the $50 below median income. I don't know if ownership would be available to the 30% below median income, partly because of a bank's unwillingness to give a mortgage at that rate. And very few of us can afford a house with no mortgage unless we own a house and are downsizing.

So I hope that helps Mosaic Commons. Please go buy their houses. It is probably worth the move if you don't already live in the area.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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