Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 115, Issue 6
From: Kathryn McCamant (
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 16:16:17 -0700 (PDT)
When we first started trying to create cohousing communities back in the
mid-1980's, we had lots of hope for the half ownership/half rental model.
However, the larger context in which we work ultimately drives many
financing options. 

Mortgage regulators (Fannie Mae and FHA)have strict restrictions on how
many rentals a community can have. The actual percentage moves around, but
the general recommendation I am hearing from various sources is keeping
the total number of rentals to 30% or less will help your community be
sure that you can get the most competitive mortgage financing rates. Keep
in mind that some of your owners may also want to rent from time to time,
so the number of "permanent" rentals should be less than that.

The other hurdle with rentals in cohousing is who is going to own them?
Its hard to be an investor when all of your neighbors are anti-profit.
Nobody within the community wants to be the landlord and do those lovely
landlord duties like raising the rent, dealing with late payments, etc

The other consideration that most people miss is that most affordable
housing, built by non-profit developers-- actually cost more to built than
most market rate housing.  I don't think you can get to a lot less
expensive home by cutting much out of construction costs.

If you are interested in rental or permanently affordable cohousing, I
would urge you to organize a group specifically with that goal and
approach the local non-profit affordable housing developers in your
region. They know how to put together the subsidies and financing to build
permanently affordable housing...of course, that also comes with lots of
regulations and requirements.


Kathryn McCamant, President, Architect
CoHousing Partners, LLC
241 Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

On 8/7/13 3:53 PM, "MJWB" <mjwyogini [at]> wrote:

>Hi Sharon,
>  I read all of your post and I understand your viewpoint. However,
>Cohousing communities
>could be built with 1/2 (for example) built as only rentals. I don't
>think it has anything to do with
>a person's willingness to be part of the community if they rent. It's
>only those who are really into "ownership"
>who think that way. (In my opinion)
>  I am not embarrassed by people who take opulent vacations. I think they
>should be embarrassed.
>Why? because I think it's so self indulgent. So you see, I have
>a different viewpoint. Capitalism is the root of all problems.
>  Thanks, take care,
>Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

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