Re: Regarding affordability in cohousing
From: David Heimann (
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:02:45 -0700 (PDT)

Hello Everyone,

From Katie's post:

        "Traditionally, your most affordable housing is older homes."

That looks right -- for many folks their first owned home is an older one becasue it is older buildings that have the affordable prices. So that leads to a conclusion -- for affordable cohousing use existing older buildings.

We've discussed on this list using older housing stock, but with this thread and interest in affordable cohousing maybe we can focus again on this approach. I can see several possibilities:

o  An apartment building up for sale.

o Mutiple duplexes, triples, and/or quads available in a given neighborhood. A cohousing community doesn't necessarily have to be physically contiguous, having 30%-70% or more of the neighborhood may be sufficient, working its way gradually to 100%.

o A church or other such building -- a group here in Jamaica Plain nearly did this one.

o A rural farmhouse, barn, and outbuildings, with the barn and outbuildings being converted to dwelling units.

o  (Your ideas here)

Thinking outside the "newly-built" box,
David Heimann
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 22:54:01 +0000
From: Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at]>
To: "cohousing-l [at]" <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Regarding Affordability in Cohousing
        <A28FD7D0-05A1-4374-9D9F-131FBBA966FE [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Sharon said: Perhaps one way to help communities for low income households get built would be to form a non-profit staffed by volunteers who could offer the skills to groups that don?t have them.

There is already one?.Partnership for Affordable Cohousing

But as a society, we have not ever decided that ?good? housing is a basic right, so there is very little, highly competitive funding to underwrite the cost of housing development to make it more affordable. This is not an issue for cohousing, so much as it is an issue for all new housing built in the US. Traditionally, your most affordable housing is older homes but that leaves no room for new, more appropriate housing design/solutions that are desperately needed. This issue will not be solved by individual cohousing groups, but rather needs political attention, at every level.


Kathryn McCamant, President
CoHousing Solutions
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

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