Re: CohoUS support for affordable cohousing and forming communities
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 13:18:40 -0800 (PST)
> Community land trusts are not tax supported.

Are you sure?  Where did the money or land in the trust come from?

        The more active and sophisticated CLTs have become very good
        at patching together diverse and creative financing packages
        for their projects. It is not at all uncommon for one project
        to have five or more sources of funding that may include
        commercial mortgages and construction loans, HUD loans and
        grants, state housing finance agency dollars, private
        foundation loans and grants, tax credit dollars, and even
        pension fund investments.

> Many groups do make internal agreements to assist members with a
> lower income, but do not have the resources to assist very low
> income houshholds.

If self-built tiny houses were legal, communities could afford to
outright donate a house; or three, or ten.  And, more of the very low
income households could afford tiny houses to begin with.

> I can see the potential advantages of forming an entire community of
> people in the very low income to affordable range, just because of
> the realities of grant and zoning restrictions, even if I do not
> support the idea of segregation by income.

Maybe the Obamaville tent city residents will tell the zoners to get
lost as a social justice issue.  Or maybe zoning will simply not be
enforced on tent cities, because the residents would riot.  Or both
approaches will occur at once.  If tent real estate becomes de-facto
legally secure, the legal region of 300-1200 SF houses will start to
be colonized from both the tent and McMansion ends.

> I hope that we are nearing a breakthrough point in terms of making
> cohousing an option for a much wider section of the population.

2010 and 2011 are claimed to have as many mortgage rate resets for
Option ARM mortgages as there were for subprime.  I don't think these
formerly-wealthier foreclosed people will accept living out of their
cars as quietly as the less-wealthy foreclosed people do.  The
tax-funded subsidy of unsustainable mortgages destroyed homeownership
for millions.  I suspect that allowing people to build cheaply enough
they can afford it will be tried next, and it will work better.


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