rental cohousing?
From: Grace Kim (
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 00:18:48 -0800 (PST)
I think the conversations on this topic have been great and highlight the fact 
that we, as the "cohousing movement", are ready to look seriously at how to 
incorporate affordability (as defined by federal income standards) in our 
cohousing communities.

The board members of CohoUS spent 2 days last week talking with the major 
national housing organizations in DC - i.e., the trade associations for CDCs, 
umbrella organizations for non-profit housing developers, the Center for 
Housing Policy (essentially the think tank and messaging machine of the 
affordable housing industry).  I posted a list of the orgs last week to this 
Our intent is to learn more about these organizations and connect the general 
cohousing population about potential funding sources and possibilities for 
developing partnerships.

As was pointed out by Jessie Kome on this list as well as Jeff Lubell of the 
Center of Housing Policy in our meeting with him last week, it wouldn't be 
prudent for the association or an individual communities to try to learn how to 
become an affordable housing developer (there are lots of hoops and the 
competition is HIGH).  But it DOES make sense for us to partner with the 
existing CDCs and non-profits to access the funds they know how to obtain.  
Cohousing is a very attractive model for affordable housing - it incorporates 
aspects of supportive housing, mixed income neighborhoods, sustainable design, 
universal design, aging in place, etc that can be a supportive environment for 
people of low and moderate income households.  We learned this through our 15 
meetings in DC last week - we were met universally with genuine interest to 
learn more about cohousing and how the organizations could help us make it a 
better known model/alternative for multifamily housing.

Over the next few months leading up the conference, the board hopes to share 
information learned from these national organizations on this list.  Please 
stay tuned.
And If anyone is interested in working with the board on advocacy efforts to 
increase affordability (as federally defined) in cohousing communities, please 
contact me directly.  We can certainly use your help.

Finally, if you need an additional reason to attend the National Cohousing 
Conference in DC, there will be presentations/panel discussions from 
representatives/leaders from some of these national housing organizations at 
our conference.  And lots of opportunities to talk with them to learn about 
strategic partners who may be able to help your community include affordable 
units - making income diversity within your community a reality, not just an 
unfulfilled value statement.  We hope you will come and take advantage of these 
resources...we won't have this level of engagement from these national housing 
organizations again until the conference returns to DC.

grace h kim aia, architect & cofounder
schemata workshop | empowering communities through architecture
1720 12th ave #3  seattle wa 98122  v 206 285 1589<>

Recipient of 2010 AARP/NAHB Livable Communities Award for Daybreak Cohousing

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.