Re: Governance & Income Inequality [ was Common house design, rooms, and room sizes?
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 07:38:26 -0800 (PST)
A technical question, and a political one:

Technical: When you say home price, you mean price at the date of first sale, 
first occupancy?  Or, do you end up re-adjusting the ratios according to 
current market activity?  (At Cornerstone, “share of community”, or "percent 
interest”, is pegged to square footage, not to an artificially suppressed or 
volatile market value …)

Political: Based on your experience …
     (1) What’s the typical ratio of cohousing dues to HOA dues?  1:2?  1:5?  
     (2) What kind of common expenses are NOT in the cohousing dues?  E.g., you 
see cleaning the common house as “optional", but what about heating it?  Or 
roofing it?  Or insuring it?  Is your community website optional?
     (3) What’s the typical distribution of voluntary payments?  Almost 
everyone at 100%?  A few at 100%, with many others a little below?  Variable 
from year to year?  What?

> On Feb 10, 2015, at 9:44 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 
> wrote:
> We have both HOA dues and Cohousing dues. HOA dues are based on the share a 
> household has of the community, and that is based on home price, and thus the 
> HOA dues are less for the affordable homes.
> Then the cohousing dues are sliding scale. We put into the cohousing all 
> "optional" items, the washer dryer, the furniture in the common house, the 
> hottub maintenance, ch cleaning, etc. We calculate the average each year and 
> people pledge what they can pay... the minimum pledge is 5% of the average. 
> If we come in short we either ask folk to increase their pledge or we cut 
> something from the budget. So far so good, but we are new at this (going on 
> six years I think.)
> And then our meals program is pay for the meals you sign up for. That team is 
> presently discussing creating a "good neighbor fund" for the occasional 
> person who has accrued a balance and has reported they are unable to pay.
> The state program we used is "moderate affordability" so those homes were 
> priced for people who make 80% of the area median income. Many room for rent 
> folk make less than that. 
> Honestly we've agreed from the beginning that being financially diverse was 
> one of our goals. Even people who can afford better things are always asking 
> if we are keeping our expenses affordable for everyone in the group. We have 
> issues as to whether we really have equal participation, but the line is not 
> based on money...
> We worried about this issue before move-in but our experience has been that 
> the financial differences between us are really not the fault lines.
> -Liz
> (The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
> <>
> <>
> 508-450-0431

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