MY economic times
From: Kate Ben-Ami (ednavaleria24gmail.com)
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 15:27:40 -0800 (PST)
On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 2:05 PM, R.N. Johnson <cohoranda [at] yahoo.com> wrote:

We don't have a set limit on how many units can be rented, but do have a two year limit on how long you can rent a unit out.? We have a couple of long term renters, one a roommate to a home owner and one living in part of the common house. Both participate in the meal rotation, and one is an enthusiastic participant in the community garden. In my experience, involved renters stay long tern, and uninvolved renters tend to move on. I would put in my two cents for loosening the policy and not worrying too much about it beyond encouraging people to find renters who are interested in participating. ? I? also suspect that a two year limit is going to reduce renters' investment in the community.? If the community is solid, you are not going to be taken over by absentee landlords. we are all doing what we can to make it through these hard times.
Randa Johnson




My name is Kate Ben-Ami. I have posted here before, seeking a rental apartment in a cohousing community. I have first hand experience with these hard times.

I lost my county job in August 2009. In March 2009, I had just paid $26,000 into the county's new defined benefit pension plan. I had planned to work until 2016. Thus, having little cash reserves on hand when I lost my job, I had to declare Ch. 7; whose primary effect has led to the foreclosure of my condo on December 11, 2011. Fortunately, I am receiving a monthly pension and medical insurance, which only came about after I filed an age discrim. complaint against the county with the MI DEPT OF CIVIL RIGHTS. I was already in Ch. 13 (when I lost my job) as the court awarded my former husband $1000 a month in alimony and $34,000 of my then 401(k) in the divorce.

I have been interested in COHOUSING for about twenty years or so. I tried to get my husband interested when we married in the early '90s as neither of has/had any family. He did not like the idea. I persevered (never expecting to divorce him), reading what I could find. After the divorce, I fully expected to buy into COHOUSING. However, as the financial assaults began to take their toll: the crash of 2008, the 95% loss in the value of my condo (169K purchase price in late 2005 to assessed value of $7,000 in 2009), loss of my 100k job....that dream turned into a daydream.....

I think you can see what I'm driving at...I went to the COHO conference in Boulder last summer where I talked to a lot of great folks and revelled in all the possible cohousing communities. I was surprised that there were not many rental opportunities, although I understood that it'll take time for the COHO community to realize the complete paradigm shift that has occurred in this country.

I want to rent an apartment in a cohousing community. With few job job prospects (as I'm now overqualified!!!!), I am putting my energy into finding a COHOUSING community in which I can become involved in giving and sharing with my fellow coho-ers. I plan to live there a long time and contribute as much as I am able to.

I think that living in an apartment building where few people speak to each other and twice a year we have a get-together, is a inhospitable place for humans to grow, let alone thrive.

I would like to move into a COHOUSING rental between mid April and the first of May. The deadline by which to redeem my property is May 11, 2011. Not only do I not have the money, I wouldn't want it back.

On behalf of other people out here who NEED to rent, have plenty to contribute and want to become 100% invested in making co-housing a great place for people to thrive; I encourage you to review your rental policies and make them more welcoming to those of us who've lived through the housing and economic paradigm shift and are trying to adjust to it's long term fallout. We have a lot to contribute and a strong commitment to co-housing.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR LISTENING TO ME.

Kate Ben-Ami
313-468-3289



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