Re: Two monthly fees: Homeowners (HOA) and CoHo Assn
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 06:14:59 -0800 (PST)
To be clear almost no cohousing community has two separate fees like ours. We 
were mandated by the state (or town? details aren't my strength) to make it so 
the affordable buyers didn't have to "join" anything if they didn't want to.

AND we are two coho's on the same land, each with different solutions to that 
Camelot Cohousing rolled everything into HOA dues and said, there, there is no 
reason to "join" anything. 
Mosaic made two separate fees, with the smaller coho amount on a sliding scale, 
in an effort to have a sliding scale component to our fees. (We had planned to 
have our HOA dues sliding scale, before we understood that that was legally 
impossible or impractical or both.)

On the "truly voluntary" yes, you can really choose not to pay them. We were 
required to make it so they can use the Common house (they own part of it, of 
course). But the reality of our situation is we are not near public 
transportation, by the time we were selling our "affordable homes" cost the 
same as a depressed market city townhome, and we are far from the 
only people who wanted affordable homes here were people who were looking for 
cohousing. So its really voluntary in that people choose where they are on the 
sliding scale, but no one chooses not to join. (Actually so far I believe the 
only people who didn't join were market rate buyers who never moved in.)

I think the valuable question is "what did urban locations who have low HOA 
fees do to make them low"? Because our high HOA fees certainly hurt our sales. 
(We have the highest fees around and there were several non-buyers who 
mentioned the HOA cost as prohibitive.)

Berlin, MA almost rural cohousing

On Feb 14, 2015, at 7:46 PM, Robert Tabak <rtabak50 [at]> wrote:

> This is my first post. My wife and I  (are hopefully) part of the
> under-development Wissahicon Village Cohousing (WVC) in the Mt Airy
> neighborhood of Philadelphia.
> I have a few questions:
> 1)  What are the reasons (legal. practical, or ideals) for two separate
> fees?  Why not one combined fee?
> 2) Though fees can vary greatly, I am interested in anyone who is in an
> urban apartment building-like setting (not townhouses).  What are your
> actual fees?
> 3) For those with separate fees, are CoHo Assn fees truly voluntary? Can
> one say, "I was just looking for a condo and don't care about this
> Cohousing stuff?" and not pay anything?
> Isn't that person still able to access and use common space, etc?
> Thanks,
> Bob Tabak
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