Re: Cohousing Helping Funds?
From: fergyb2 (
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2013 08:13:58 -0800 (PST)
   At Swans Market Cohousing we try very hard to make realistic predictions 
about what it will cost to replace or repair our commonly owned things in the 
future and make fairly substantial payments to our reserve fund every month as 
part of our HOA dues so that hopefully we will never have to face large 
   However during the worst of the recent economic downturn we did establish 
what we call a Spare a Dime fund (we were singing a lot of Depression era songs 
at that meeting) to make temporary loans to households who face unexpected 
financial difficulties so that they can pay their HOA dues in a timely manner.  
Each family contributed $15 a month to the fund for about a year to get it 
established.  Essentially it's a kind of insurance scheme.  The Treasurer and 
President can make dispursements from the fund if they feel the need is 
legitimate and it is a loan which must be repaid.  We established the fund at a 
time when 10% of our households had people out of work and we were worried 
about everyone being able to make their monthly HOA dues.  We no longer 
contribute to the fund but have been rolling the money over every year so we 
still have it available for this purpose.  Everyone is back to full employment 
at this time but every year we discuss whether to put the money back into the 
general fund or keep it as a Spare a Dime fund and so far we're keeping it.  It 
has worked well, been used several times and been repaid. All part of our 
creative attempts to support each other during hard times.
          Bonnie Fergusson
          Swans Market Cohousing
          Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

On Dec 17, 2013, at 9:29 PM, Barbara Moulton <bcmhorse [at]> wrote:

> Hi, Cohousers,
> In my community we’re facing a substantial per unit assessment to cover major 
> repairs to our buildings.  We’re interested in setting up a “Helping Fund” 
> whereby those who are able to donate or lend could help those who would have 
> serious difficulty covering their assessment.  
> We would like to know if any of you have ever set up a “Helping Fund,”  what 
> were the mechanics of it, did it work out well?  Problems?  We’d like to 
> learn from your experience.
> Thanks,
> Barbara Moulton
> Santa Rosa CA 95405
> bcmhorse [at]
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