Re: affordable housing
From: Ron Ingram (
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 07:56:48 -0800 (PST)
I subscribed to this thread because I am a 31 yr old tired of renting
expensive housing with no sense of community since I have to move every
year because of rent increases. No I'm not here to complain. Just to give
some background and context. I started babysitting for a family that lives
in one of these intentional communities then I started babysitting for the
whole community especially for their financial meetings and what not. I
became curious as to how these are formed and how to buy. Well well
well....let's just say that affordability was not a key factor in building
and designing these, I know.

So... I still stay subscribed because one day I hope to get with a crew of
people who see humanity as people who need adequate housing and will join
forces to make it happen. Someone who will think outside the box of
capitalism. Some of us have to think and hope this way.

 I grew up in a habitat for humanity house. I'm an African American woman
living in Washington state now but I grew up In the American south. The
church I attended was a beautiful neighborhood church that served the
community. It was built and designed by poor but highly skilled members of
the community. I remember it was my job to go around with my mom to pick up
the big pots and pans of food that the elder women had cooked for the men
who were building and designing. None of these workers were paid money.
Zero dollars were given to electricians, plumbers, roofers, inspectors,
etc. to be honest, we didn't have any money. None of us. But we pulled
together and got it done. We valued sweat equity. That was in a less
fortunate city.

 I moved to Washington for work but was shocked by the housing market and
the lack of cooperation of those who needed housing. I was expecting to
band together and build something similar here. Nope. This intentional
community was all I found. Turns out if you are not wealthy, you can't
afford these communities. And it's funny that the intentional "diversity"
that is planned for were for refugee families who would live in the
rentals. That was interesting to me to want to include diversity yet still
exclude through means of ownership. Not complaining or judging, just find

I have been following this thread and reading without responding until now.
I like the idea of intergenerational living. But it's getting harder and
harder for younger people to live with older people because us millennials
do not have the cash. We just dont. We can't as easily save up for the high
downpayment. We have no GI bill or any tax breaks for us. Jus a bunch of
student debt and low wages.

So in short, it is my hope, that some old retired but highly skilled
architect, designer, and builders will feel the need to contribute sweat
equity for a cause, for economic justice for all. Seriously, though, that's
the hope that I have to keep alive. So serious. Some ppl will hate me or
call me lazy or say I'm looking for a Handout. Harriet tubman didn't run
the underground railroad by herself nor could she wait for the U.S.
government to subsidize her. She enlisted free blacks and white people with
housing to risk their lives and hide runaway slaves. I am the modern day
Harriet. This intentional community I live in right now does not charge me
rent or mortgage. They say that I value as a person in this community , not
just because I babysit their kids and they still pay me cash for it but
because I am human just like them and we all deserve decent housing.

That's my two cents.

On Thu, Jan 2, 2020, 7:18 AM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > On Jan 2, 2020, at 1:52 AM, Brian Bartholomew via Cohousing-L <
> cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> >
> > Houses are not investments, any more than your daily driver automobile
> > is. Buying a house does not build wealth, any more than buying your
> > daily driver automobile does. A house is not even a good savings plan
> > because it costs too high a percentage of savings for the maintenance,
> > just like your daily driver automobile. Yes, the numeric value of
> > your predicted resale price has increased more than 300% in the last
> > 20 years -- but the currency you're measuring it in has been inflated.
> > What actually happened is your house is worth less because it's older
> > and more worn out, while the banking authorities printed more
> > currency, making each currency unit worth less.
> This argument is sometimes true. The NerdWallet calculator below will give
> one estimate of whether it would be less expensive for one person to rent
> or buy — on a monthly basis. I don’t think it takes into account that even
> rentals cost money on top of the rent. Appliances are not always included,
> for example. Or paint. The landlord’s standards may be lower than yours.
> And rents go up and up and up. Mortgage payments, even when they are almost
> all interest, are stable.
>  But we are also back to the original discussion — cohousing has not yet
> accomplished building rental units.
> My housing costs have been well below what I would have paid for renting.
> And I wouldn’t have as many options at this point in my life from increases
> in value. If I had been paying $2,000 a month for rent, I would not have
> been able to pay another $2,000 a month into a savings account or
> investment.
> A house is totally unlike a car. The land doesn’t wear out and a
> well-maintained house will last 100 years? 200 years?
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> _________________________________________________________________
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