Re: John Trudell and why not park models?
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 09:45:45 -0700 (PDT)
I keep looking a at the disaster that Detroit has become, with home values
falling to comically low levels (not comic, of course, to the folks who
lost their homes and their shirts in the process; for them, its tragic) and
wondering if there are cohousing ways to take advantage of those.  It would
be awfully scary to move into a city whose future is uncertain, whose basic
infrastructure is in such tatters...but it could also be the opportunity of
a lifetime to own a home in a community for people who would otherwise
never be able to afford that.  I imagine the city would be VERY willing to
bend and change existing rules to encourage development!

Not only would such a project take advantage of unprecedentedly cheap
homes, it would be near ideal from an environmental/green standpoint.

On Thursday, August 8, 2013, Ann Zabaldo wrote:

> Hello Marsha and all --
> Are you talking about what we used to call "mobile home or trailer parks?"
>  These are great models of cohousing -like development.  "Manufactured
> housing" a.k.a. "mobile or trailer homes" have come a very long way since
> the '50's and '60's.  Now, the wheels are just used to move the home to the
> building site from whence it never moves again.
> Manufactured housing is an option I've talked about for a long, long time.
>  I met a man at the 2012 conference in Oakland, CA (another good reason to
> attend coho conferences!) who is converting a former campground to
> cohousing and also a mobile home park.  These are great options. AND ...
>  as at least two people have pointed out there are trade offs.  They are
> rural or way out of town.  There are zoning regulations in most cities that
> prohibit mobile home parks.
> I thank Rebecca Lane for pointing out that cohousing is NOT a financing
> model.  She suggests using a Community Land Trust to gain affordability.
>  This is an excellent alternative.  BUT this is not free either.  Someone
> has to put up the money to fund the CLT.  Generally, a municipality.  So
> move where there is an active CLT and start a cohousing community there.
> Look.
> Nobody gets a free lunch in development.  The money comes from somewhere.
>  Affordable housing is subsidized by taxpayers.  Your house may be "low
> cost" or "below market"  to you but someone paid the difference between
> what you can afford and what it cost to build the home.  You say you can
> afford a $200K home.  How much cash do you have to fund the development
> process?  Getting a mortgage to buy a home is only one very small part of
> the development process.  Someone has to put up the MILLIONS -- yes,
> MILLIONS -- of dollars to get the project started.  Takoma Village in DC
> was a $6.5 million project; Eastern Village was a $15 million project.  Who
> put up that money?  If you're just getting a mortgage ... that's great but
> that's the end of the process.
> What I hear you saying Marsha (and others) is that you feel sad and even
> angry at not being able to afford the cohousing communities you see built
> or being built.  This is a way of life you want so much and yet ... not
> able to get in the door.  Very frustrating.  Very frustrating indeed.  It's
> annoying at the very least, confusing and angering at the other end.
> However, there ARE alternatives for you as people on this list have
> pointed out.  Daybreak has a house under $200K.    You can do retrofit
> cohousing as a group in the DC area wants to do -- DC is a very very high
> rent area of the country.  Yet, this model may very well make it possible
> for this group to create their community.  The trade off is:  time.  Since
> they don't have money to develop a site from scratch they will take their
> time to create a community as houses become available in a single
> neighborhood.    And they will not be living on Foxhall Rd with the
> Cafritzes and Bennets.  Richmond, VA is a sweet little city with every
> amenity of a large urban population.  There is a lot of good housing stock
> already available in the city. And there is an active group there.  As I've
> already mentioned,  Baltimore is another city that has been on a major
> marketing binge for many years to attract people to rehab urban homes.
>  They have classes, workshops, financing, etc etc etc.  They are set up for
> first time homebuyers and ready to do business with you.   As a city
> government, they are doing everything they can to get people to move to
> B'more.  Plus it's just 45 mins. by train to DC.  Many people live in
> B'more and work in DC.  And ... o my goodness ... Florida.  A zillion town
> homes for sale ... still.  Take your pick.
> I still believe that retro fit cohousing is the best alternative for being
> able to create a cohousing community over time with little or no upfront
> money beyond the individual homeowner's mortgage.  Plus, it's
> environmentally sustainable in every sense of the word.  You can live in
> your home right away and upgrade your home as money becomes available to
> you.
> I urge you to take advantage of this list, ask for people who believe as
> you do to step forward and find out if there is a location of the country
> to which you are wiling to move that is not one of the "high rent"
> districts such as San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, NYC,  Boulder,
> Denver, etc.
> Just making an intuitive leap here ... my thinking is ... that this all
> must seem completely overwhelming to you.  Where to start?  How to start?
>  The process seems daunting.  Just trying to find people seems daunting.
>  Start w/ little steps -- find out who is out there, where you want to
> live, how much you can afford, how much cash you will need ...  There are
> professionals who are willing to help you, can save you lots of time and
> money but you have to have money to hire them.
> No free lunches.
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church VA
> 703-688-2646
> On Aug 7, 2013, at 11:57 PM, Marsha Beesen wrote:
> >
> > "It's like there is this predator energy on this planet, and this
> predator energy feeds on the essence of the spirit."
> > -- John Trudell
> >
> > Why not Park Models? People may think theory are ugly but there are some
> cute ones. What is the most important thing in Cohousing anyway? Not the
> type of house but the community and the common house. If 30 people bought
> 30 park models then set them all up then everyone pitch in and build the
> common house (as the Amish do) wouldn't that cut the costs? Composting
> toliets and ponds for grey water. They've made it work much less
> expensively at Earthaven Ecovillage.
> > Anyway more thoughts and to stay on track!
> >
> > Sent from Marsha's iPhone
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> >
> >
> >
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.