Re: hoa dues based on per capita basis? square footage?
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 03:14:36 -0700 (PDT)
Cornerstone relies on a variety of assessment formulae:
  —  Common (single meter) water is billed out per capita (occupant).  The 
occupancy load is re-calculated once a year as part of annual budgeting (close 
enough for billing purposes, we think).
  —  Municipal gas is metered separately for nine townhouses and two apartment 
buildings, for a total of eleven meters.  The apartment buildings consist of 
common spaces and dwelling units, and the gas bill from the common meters is 
divided among the 23 apartments and the whole community according to the “gas 
formula”.  The Treasurer understands the “gas formula”, but for many other 
members, it’s a matter of faith.
  —  Each dwelling unit and each apartment building has its own electric meter 
(34 meters total), which results in a higher kWh price, and additional 
complexity in calculating and sharing costs for the solar panel retrofit.
  —  Common laundry machines are paid for on a per use basis:  Each time 
someone uses a machine, s/he writes his/her name in a logbook.  The collected 
per use fee is meant to cover the replacement cost of the equipment.
  —  Most other costs (insurance, the roof, landscaping, etc) are apportioned 
according to the deeded “percentage interest”, which is close to, but not 
perfectly, proportional to recorded unit size in sq ft.  Thinking here was that 
of two 1200 sq ft units, one might be “better” than the other due to location, 
view, layout, etc.

This level of complexity evolved, I think, with the goal of minimizing the 
possibility that some households might pay for things they don’t use, or 
subsidize the benefits or behavior of some other households.  My personal view 
is that all the formulae are “fair”, and “work”, but I’m not convinced that the 
enhanced precision of cost allocation is worth the bother of parsing it all out.

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

> On Oct 23, 2017, at 11:10 PM, Richard L Kohlhaas <rlkohl [at]> 
> wrote:
> Hi Alan:
> At Casa Verde, the assessments are based partly upon  footage (for those 
> items that relate to 
> units size), and partly per unit.  We used to do partly per capita, but that 
> got too complicated, 
> with changes in occupancy several times a year.  
> Dick
> Date sent:            Mon, 23 Oct 2017 20:40:42 -0600
> To:                   cohousing-l [at]
> Subject:              [C-L]_ hoa dues based on per capita basis? square 
> footage?
> From:                 Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
> Send reply to:        cohousing-l [at]
> Copies to:            Alan O'Hashi <adoecos [at]>
>> Cohousers - I´m wondering if other communities assess households based on a 
>> per capita basis,
>> square footage basis, a combination? Thanks, Alan O
>> Alan O'Hashi - Cyber Office
>> Views from Behind the Lens
>> Colorado..303-910-5782
>> Wyoming.307-274-1910
>> Nebraska.402-327-1652
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> ------------------------------------
> Dick Kohlhaas <rlkohl [at]>
> (719)633-8170   
> Resident of  Colorado Springs Cohousing Community at Casa Verde Commons
> Completed March 2003. 34 units on 4 acres
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