Re: Affordable / rental cohousing
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 06:50:07 -0700 (PDT)
Good morning, Fred!  And all!

See below.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA

On Sep 8, 2013, at 8:35 AM, Fred H Olson wrote:

> I would hope this does not just imply a few execeptional communities
> with rental units. I think we would be more successful if most
> communities had some rental.  That is I would urge all forming
> communities to be "interested in rental or permanently affordable
> cohousing". It further complicates a difficult process but I think it
> is important to broaden and deepen our success.

This still begs the question of how to FINANCE these rentals.  Someone pays for 
this.  Affordable housing or rental housing  is not free.  Someone has to put 
up the bucks.  If you get $$ from a municipality you can believe the government 
is going have some say so in renting the homes.  Maybe not a lot ... but some.
> Some non-profit affordable housing developers retain ownership of
> units as rental or have an affiliate organization who owns and manages
> the rental. Partnering with them to own some cohousing units seems like a
> viable option.

Well.  I think the community should think long and hard about having the 
developer retain ownership of units in your community.  Remember, he/she will 
be a "voting" member of the community and his/her goals and needs may very well 
not match the group's.    Will the owner of rental property get one vote for 
every rental unit owned?  
> Another route to affordability (tho not rental) that has been
> discussed here is the Land Trust route.  Having a Land Trust own a few
> ( or more?) units in cohousing seems worth exploring.

Land Trusts are great!  If there's one in your area take advantage of it!  But 
again ... not free.  For a Land Trust to operate it needs funding from some 
source.  Land Trusts have to be established and they have to have operating 
funds as well as investment funds.  

You know I do like the way rentals have worked at TVC.  We go through periods 
where we have no rentals available and other times when we have several 
renters.  When rentals are available people interested in "testing the waters" 
can jump in.  Right now, I believe we have three homes being rented.  BUT ... 
let me tell you the monthly RENT on these homes is NOT cheap in our area.  One 
3 BR home is renting for $2600.00 or $2700.00 a month.  A 2 BR is renting for 
$2400.00.  Most of this is because of where we are located geographically.  

This whole affordability thing is complicated even w/out cohousing in the mix.  
There are developers who specialize in affordable housing.  I agree with Katie: 
  find an affordable housing developer in your area and work w/ him/her.  If 
there's funding available for affordable housing in your area, an experienced 
affordable housing developer will know how to access those funds. In any event, 
whether you are building affordable or market rate cohousing ... work w/ a 
professional.  Will save you time, money, energy, and heartache.

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.