Re: Concessions for Affordability
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2012 18:00:45 -0700 (PDT)
I'm not sure what you mean by assessments?

Our affordable homes (25% of the total homes) have a lower condo fees in 
perpetuity. They are calculated at a lower percentage of the project. 
(condo fees are proportional to the original asking prices of the homes).

For cohousing fees, we have as sliding scale: pledge what you can afford from 
5% of the average needed, to as high as you choose to go. (We publish the 
average needed based on teh budget, then households pledge. So far, it always 
brings in a bit more than the minimum proposed budget.)

So the condo fees will be lower forever. The coho fees are higher or lower 
based on each households own perception of their ability to pay.

Our affordable homes are required by law to stay affordable when re-sold.

Elizabeth Magill

On Jul 15, 2012, at 5:45 PM, R Philip Dowds wrote:

> Folks —
> The City of Cambridge has something called "inclusionary zoning", which 
> stipulates that all "large", private residential developments must include 
> "affordable" dwelling units made available to the City for below-market 
> housing controlled by the City.  I have no problem with this; in fact, I was 
> one of the citizen activists promoting the idea 15 years ago.
> Interestingly enough, Cornerstone Cohousing was the first private development 
> to be captured by inclusionary zoning, and now has 4 affordable units as a 
> permanent part of its 32-unit mix.  The details of how all this works are not 
> important here.  What we're trying to figure out is, Should assessments on 
> the affordable units be discounted, relative to the assessments on the market 
> rate units?  So my questions are ...
> Do you have a comparable program of subsidized units in your coho community?  
> And, if so ...
> What consideration in assessments, or other requirements, do you extend to 
> "affordable" units, such that they remain "affordable", and that your 
> community thus supports economic diversity?
> R Philip Dowds AIA
> Cornerstone Cohousing
> 175 Harvey Street, Unit 5
> Cambridge, MA 02140
> 617.354.6094
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