Re: Creating a New Category of Renter
From: David L. Mandel (
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 00:22:02 -0800 (PST)
Zev and others:

Even longer-term rental is problematic unless the landlord is a truly 
accountable community organization -- and even then it can get tricky. Think 
disputes over maintenance, among neighbors, ...

Have you looked into the community land trust model? It's part way between your 
idea and complete ownership. Ownership of the land (the speculative part of 
real estate) resides permanently with a community based nonprofit, while the 
building is held with long (typically 99-year, renewable, transferrable) lease 
by residents who are responsible for upkeep as any homeowner would be. It's 
quasi-ownership: you can get a mortgage to finance such a purchase, and while 
there are many variations on the theme, a trust that wants to maintain 
affordability permanently can do so by limiting resale prices (linked to area 
median income or cost of living) and imposing economic eligibility limits. It 
quite effectively separates housing from investment. Of course there needs to 
be a source of initial investment to make it work, so without a very large 
source, it's takes housing out of the market little by little. But it's a 
start, and it could set an example that more and
 more people would eventually demand.

--- On Wed, 2/9/11, Zev Paiss <zpaiss [at]> wrote:

From: Zev Paiss <zpaiss [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Creating a New Category of Renter
To: cohousing-l [at]
Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 7:39 PM


Much of the discussion in this forum has surrounded the challenging  
interaction between renters and owners in a renter cohousing model. I  
propose that we offer up a totally new category I will call "Permanent  
or Long-Term Renter." There are millions of Baby Boomers who have had  
their savings, 401K's and IRA's evaporate over the past several years  
(myself included) and may no longer expect or want to have a mortgage  
as they move into their later years. What they (we) do want is  
stability and the security that we will not be kicked out of our homes  
because someone else has control over the property.

I suggest we investigate the possibility of creating 5-20 year rental  
agreements so those people living in home they do not own, are still  
able to have the long term security of homeowners.  This kind of  
arrangement would open up cohousing and cohousing-like communities to  
many people who can no longer qualify for a mortgages or for whatever  
reason, do not want to own.

Zev Paiss
Nomad Cohousing
Boulder, CO

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