|Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 90, Issue 14||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Ann Maria Bell (annmariabellgmail.com)|
|Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 14:21:33 -0700 (PDT)|
> Message: 3 > Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 11:12:24 -0400 > From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com> > Subject: Re: [C-L]_ cohousing vision > > On 8 Jul 2011, at 2:07 AM, Ann Maria Bell wrote: > > > So long as cohousing communities are based on home-ownership they will be > > "middle class" by definition. > > Which definition are you using? Many working class people own their own > homes. > I was responding to the original post titled "cohousing vision" by Gerald Manata which used the term "middle class" repeatedly. I don't find it a useful or well-defined category which is why I put it in quotes. Coincidentally, Rep. Alan Grayson has a list of the 5 things that you need to be "quote 'middle class'. Number one, having a job. Number two, owning a home. Number three, owning a car. Number four, having affordable health care, and number five, a pension." **http://bit.ly/q6H5I7 > > > Here at Arboretum Cohousing 100% of our homes > > are owner-occupied. [snip] At its highest, the home ownership rate in the > US > > was about 60%. That means that 40% of the population is eliminated from > the > > pool of potential cohousers from the start, including the poor & most > young > > adults. > > "Eliminated" in what way? > The home-ownership model eliminates people who either can't afford to own their own homes or who are at a stage in their life where it doesn't make sense. We've designed our cohousing communities so that people in the bottom third of the income distribution will not be represented. Structuring a community around ownership means less economic diversity. As you pointed out, owning a home doesn't make sense for a lot of people. The basic cohousing model has no place for them. In cohousing, the movement is just too small to absorb people who can't > manage risk. At last calculation only about 1600 people live in cohousing in > the US. Not sure if those figures include Canada. Even at 3,000 it would be > less than one urban housing project. That is a very small number to make any > economic difference in terms of ability to raise funds and get government > subsidies of any size. > Arboretum Cohousing was able to get some grants from CDBG, some from the city of Madison, and a credit against the purchase price of the land (which we purchased from a hospital) to build affordable units. In addition, two of our homes (a duplex) were built by Habitat for Humanity. However, they are still based on home ownership. I don't think the issue is the number of the cohousing communities, it's that we've chosen a particular ownership-based structure that excludes poor people. In this sense, the original poster was right. Cohousing is a "middle class" movement based on private home ownership. In contrast, you could imagine a developer building a cohousing apartment complex then leasing the entire thing long-term to a community which is responsible for renting the units out and doing some of the maintenance. Madison Community Coop basically does this for shared cooperative housing. Madison also a complex of cooperative apartments where the residents maintain the property, but unfortunately it doesn't have any common space indoors. Ann > Sharon > ---- > Sharon Villines > Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC > http://www.takomavillage.org >
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