Re: Socioeconomic Diversity in Cohousing
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 01:28:37 -0700 (PDT)
Our experience at Cornerstone is not dissimilar.  We carefully avoid learning 
the details of who has how much money, but even so, we’ve got some theories 
about household financial standing.  For instance, we think that some of the 
families in our City-managed limited equity units have more budget flexibility 
than some of the families in our market-rate units.  

Moreover, there isn’t always an apparent strong correlation between household 
budget flexibility and willingness to invest in the community.  It seems as 
though some households thought to be on a “tight budget” never complain about 
assessments, while others that appear “well off” are resistant to any 
expenditure that doesn’t offer an immediate benefit to them.

In general, what do condos and HOAs argue about?  Money.  Cohos are not much 
different, although we like to think we do a better job of it.

Do we?


> On Mar 15, 2015, at 8:35 PM, S. Kashdan <s_kashdan [at]> wrote:
> Here at Jackson Place Cohousing in Seattle, now fourteen years into living 
> on site, we didn't consciously aim at having socio-economic diversity. Given 
> all the work of putting together our project, it seemed too complicated for 
> anyone to try to qualify under the laws of Washington State for having 
> affordable units. However, over the years, it has developed that we have 
> residents with diverse incomes. There are some quite well-off homeowners, 
> some who are less so, some living on limited retirement incomes, and a few 
> who were only able to buy their places because they were helped with private 
> loans from others when we were first moving in. We also have some people who 
> rent rooms in the homes of owners, and a few who rent entire apartments. 
> Some of the renters are earning decent incomes, and some are living on 
> limited incomes. Renters do not have any say in financing issues, although 
> they can be as fully involved in other kinds of decisions as they want to 
> be.
> There is generally a cooperative spirit among all residents. But, sometimes 
> owners who are well-off and owners who are less so may differ on how to fund 
> new projects, such as getting solar panels for our common house. However, 
> differences over how to finance projects also occur between people with 
> different ideas about how to manage funds, even if they have similar 
> economic resources.
> All my best,
> Sylvie
> Sylvie Kashdan
> Community Outreach Liaison
> Jackson Place Cohousing
> 800 Hiawatha Place South
> Seattle, WA 98144
> info [at] 
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