Re: Are We Done with the Rental Issue?
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 16:00:44 -0800 (PST)
Many of those who live in city multi-family are really trying hard to get to
? or at least dreaming about ? the suburbs and a single family home.  Very
few of those who have made it to the single family suburbs are anxious to
get back to an apartment building in the city.  Many of us who live in
cities by choice are a little out of touch with the dreams and values of
those who live otherwise.

I have no beef with those who rent, nor with they who offer rental
accommodations to those who can¹t, or won¹t, buy.  But I will continue to
point that when evaluated for equity formation and lifetime personal
savings, renting falls way short of owning.  Creating rental opportunities
for low-income families may add some luster to our cohousing communities,
but isn¹t necessarily much help financially to those in need.  If we
co-ho-ers were to use some of our excess personal capital to create and
support a rent-to-own model (in other words, become mortgage lenders to
those who might otherwise have a problem borrowing), then we would perhaps
be doing something more important.

As a renovation architect, I agree completely that finding creative ways to
convert old buildings into successful, modern living accommodations is a
goal to be highly valued.  But in some cases, it will require households to
re-understand what constitutes an acceptable residential environment.

Change is hard on all of us.


On 2/17/11 7:51 AM, "Fred H Olson" <fholson [at]> wrote:

> Grace Kim <grace [at]>
> is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
> Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
> after deleting quoted digest and restoring subject line.
> --------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
> Philip-
> To your point, in the urban areas people. Don't think living in apts
> is second class to sgl family homes. In fact, I am involved with a
> small forming community in downtown seattle. We've not advertised at
> all and people are finding us (2-3 new visitors monthly) because they
> are interested in urban flats/apts. Daybreak cohousing is also an
> example of very urban/dense but with lots of common area - doesn't
> look/feel inferior to sgl family. And sgl family homes can be rented
> as at Ravenna Commons in seattle, when they are existing homes.
> I think there needs to be a paradigm shift in cohousing, not only in
> rental vs ownership, but also new construction vs existing bldgs.
> grace h. kim
> schemata workshop
> (sent via mobile messaging)

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