Re: hoa dues based on per capita basis? square footage?
From: Dick Margulis (dickdmargulis.com)
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 03:01:05 -0700 (PDT)
On 10/23/2017 10:40 PM, Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L wrote:
Cohousers - I’m wondering if other communities assess households based on a per 
capita basis, square footage basis, a combination?

Rocky Corner will be the first cohousing community in Connecticut. As such, we were strongly advised that the only practical strategy was to work within existing condominium law, as that's something lawyers, bankers, insurers, and bureaucrats understand.

Our housing consultant initially proposed a formula that he suggested is a mainstream approach that condominium developers take: 50% of the monthly charges would be based on square footage; the other 50% would be evenly divided per unit. Then there was a complicated discount to be applied to the income-qualified affordable units.

After consideration, we rejected that approach and decided that all units should be charged the same monthly fee.

Here was our rationale:

1. The base home models range from 670 to 1,150 square feet (according to the way architects figure square footage), with options such as dormers that can add to that. However, when you add full access to a 4,500 square foot common house, the percentage difference is small. The range is 5,170 to 5,650. On top of that, when you consider that everyone has full benefit of a 33 acre property, the difference is truly minuscule.

2. To the extent that home size reflects household size, the bigger the family, the greater the demands on the family budget. So charging more for a larger home (likely a larger family) seemed punitive.

3. Connecticut determines eligibility for an affordable home based on income rather than wealth. The fact that someone qualifies for an affordable home doesn't mean they are without sufficient resources to pay the same monthly charges as everyone else. (For example, someone who is retired and living on Social Security can easily qualify, even if they are downsizing by selling a million-dollar home they own outright.) So it seemed unfair for the market-rate buyers to have to permanently and automatically subsidize the monthly charges for all of the affordable buyers. That doesn't mean no one will ever need help, but we trust our ability to deal with that situation if it arises.

4. Finally, the approach we are taken is not graven in stone. We can modify it in the future if that seems prudent.

Dick Margulis
Rocky Corner cohousing
Bethany CT



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