Re: Diversity Problem
From: Philip Dowds (
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2018 06:31:27 -0700 (PDT)
National averages are about two-thirds home ownership, one-third rental.  In 
Cambridge, MA, the stats flip: One-third ownership, versus two-thirds rental.  
Cambridge is one of the safest, best-organized, well-serviced, income-diverse, 
and fine-grain-integrated cities in the nation.  Even so, many of my 
Cornerstone friends and neighbors remain convinced that home ownership 
correlates with stability and civic responsibility, while tenancy … well, is it 
really possible to rely on a neighbor who lacks an equity stake?  Some think 
that a high ratio of rentals will hurt our property values.  At this time, we 
are 100% owner-occupied.  (I should not fail to mention that, by zoning 
requirement, we include four limited-equity ownership units for which resale is 
controlled by the City.)

If our cohousing goal is to be a better cross-section of society, and to 
include greater ethnic and racial diversity, then I think we should be 
exploring models where the dwelling unit program is designed as two-thirds 
ownership, and one-third rentals — said rental units owned and managed, of 
course, by the communal HOA.  And every resident franchised by, and in, 

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

mobile: 617.460.4549
email:   rpdowds [at]

> On Aug 5, 2018, at 8:58 AM, Crystal Farmer <crystalbyrdfarmer [at]> 
> wrote:
> As far as race, only about 40% of black households own their home, vs 71%
> of white households.

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