Re: right of first refusal - discriminatory history
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 10:43:32 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you Kristi.

Discrimination!  That word!  Of course!  Never thought about it.

Examining my own feelings, I find it interesting (and disturbing) that I
would be very concerned to hear of the right of first refusal being used to
exclude a person for ethnicity or color, but, in my own mind, using it against
against a person who doesn't embrace cohousing is OK.

"We want to preserve our values.  We live a certain way, choose to have a
distinct lifestyle."

Spoken in a cohousing context, these words seems fine.
Considered in an ethnic or skin color context - they make my flesh creep.
Interesting.  Evidently I suffer from a measure of blindness such that it
took Kristi to open my eyes.

I imagine banks keep away from rights of first refusal so that they can't be
accused of any association with discrimination.


- Original Message ----- From: "Kristen Simmons" <simmonskristen [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 12:06 PM
Subject: [C-L]_ right of first refusal - discriminatory history

Historically, the right of first refusal has been used to discriminate
against prospective buyers, although I understand that this is not exactly
the intent of cohousing communities. Other owners can band together to buy
unit instead of letting it be sold to a person of color, a single woman,
etc., as well as people who might be perceived to be less community
oriented. This is my understanding, based on limited research. Others
probably know a lot more.

FHA and VA Loans will not guarantee mortgages where the the condo docs
include the right of first refusal. This language is condo docs will limit
the mortgage options of potential buyers.
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