Re: Cohousing's Diversity Problem, Golden Gate affordable?
From: gerhardleib (
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:51:07 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Raines,
Thanks for your email.
Could you please explain how the all-affordable-rental nonprofit-ownership 
non-equity model at Golden Gate Cohousing, enables them to charge below-market 

Golden Gate Cohousing sounds like it is a coop, which owns the property and 
then rents out the units.  So I understand the renters do not need to have a 
down payment.  But still, the coop must have had the same high cost of 
acquisition and renovation construction costs as any other landlord in the San 
Francisco area.  And the mortgage to pay for all of that must have required the 
coop to put down a substantial bit of down payment with an almost normal 
interest rate. Or not?

So how were they able to reduce the monthly rent payments that the affordable 
members must pay?

Your insights would be greatly appreciated by those of us seeking to build 
affordable cohousing in a similar high cost neighborhood on the East Coast.
Gary Leib

-----Original Message-----

Raines Cohen <rc3-coho-L [at]>

Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>

Re: [C-L]_ Cohousing's Diversity Problem - CityLab

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:46:40 -0700

I thought this group on this thread would appreciate the inspirational
self-description below by the residents of an East Bay cohousing
neighborhood in Oakland, California.

The community, Golden Gate Cohousing, uses a unique all-affordable-rental
nonprofit-ownership non-equity model charging below-market rents, as low as
a quarter of what apartments rent for across the Bay in San Francisco.

The residents are all renters, but they will (eventually) run the nonprofit
owning the property, and won't have to raise rents except to cover
underlying cost inceases.

By renting primarily to people with incomes below area medians, the
community qualifies for significant property tax discounts, making rents
more affordable -- a "virtuous circle." It has not received any other
subsidies; it just was able to buy two adjacent properties cheaply and make

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