Owning and Renting in Cohousing [ was Diversity Problem
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 11:05:40 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 7, 2018, at 12:23 PM, Lynne Markell <lmarkell [at] rogers.com> wrote:
> I like the idea of a combination of rental and ownership, but how does the 
> new cohousing group get the money to construct the rental units? Even if 
> there was a government program to provide a mortgage, no one provides 100% 
> mortgages.  Where do you get the down payment?  Our members are mostly 
> seniors and are using current house equity to buy their units.

I met a woman on a bus tour at a cohousing convention who wanted just this. We 
talked over the weekend and she left planning to buy one of the small rental 
buildings in California that had very small 1940s units built around a 
courtyard. Gradually as people moved out, she would fill the units with people 
interested in cohousing. And take 2-3 units for a Commonhouse. She was able to 
afford that.

So don’t assume there is no one out there without money, or access to money, 
who wants to do this. For example, the pod unit might not be larger than one of 
your single household units.

If you build using a modular system and can’t find a person to purchase the pod 
unit, it can be redesigned as a regular unit(s).

I would collect examples of similar living situations so you have an idea of 
what you can build and mouth it around. I would focus on cohousing and 
intentional community news sources. The reason is that you want a committed 
cohouser. Since this is a new format, you might attract people who would be 
more interested in being landlord than renting to budding cohousers.

Many older people are looking for just such an arrangement. It would also make 
it much easier to hire a cleaner and other help if all the people were seniors.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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