Affordable Housing
From: Jane Harper (
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2020 07:59:57 -0800 (PST)

We are starting to creating two community-based neighbourhoods in SW British
Columbia - Sea-to-Sky Corridor (Whistler) and Sunshine Coast (Sechelt).

We anticipate that 25% of our members will be downsizing.  After purchasing
a smaller, less expensive unit in our community-based neighbourhood, many
will want to put their "leftover" real estate profit  $ back into a solid
real estate investment.

To provide them with such an investment, AND to meet our goal of a
multigenerational community (with no more than 1/3 seasoned citizens), we
are considering the following ideas:

1. Create an in-house private mortgage fund from the real estate profits
(above) and/or other investors who champion cohousing, but cannot/will not
at this time become members.  The fund would be ONLY  for young professional
singles/couples and young families who cannot "quite" make the grade for a
commercial bank mortgage. 
A banker-friend here says this is easy to set up and implement.

2. We also plan to set up a rent-to-own program for the rental portion of
our community (target 25%).   The members who have come from downsizing buy
their own unit and part of/all of one of the rental units.  Or we could set
up an in-house company that, upon initiation of our community-based
neighbourhood,  owns all the rental units, which over time get sold?

Anyone have experience with either of the above?  I know these are not new
ideas in the real estate world.



Message: 2
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2020 20:16:52 -0500
From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ affordable housing
Message-ID: <45A47371-5F8E-405D-B6E2-914F3C914517 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=utf-8

> Ty Albright <tmalbright [at]>

> Cash rules - cash is king - sorry - just the way the world works 
> despite all best intentions or effort.  Call it unjust - but this does 
> not change reality.

I wonder about the practice in Chinese communities in NYC of a group loaning
their money to one person to build a business. Then that person pays back
the money so the second person can start a business. Thus there are two
people loaning to the central fund. The process goes faster as more
businesses are established. Eventually everyone is established.

That kind of thinking might bring up some solutions. 

I think the city ? unless it is destitute ? is unlikely to be doable
location. But perhaps if the city is giving away buildings to get them back
on the tax rolls. But if they are habitable, a developer will snap them up
with cash.

The issue with various income levels is how wide the spread can go
comfortably. A friend has been teaching in a British school in Bejing. Her
daughter was a student there and mixing with extremely wealthy Chinese
families. They loved her daughter and invited her on trips and to parties,
etc. The daughter loved it, but her expectations were going in a direction
that would cause a lot of conflict when she was old enough to understand
that she would never be ?equal? in that situation. She also didn?t not like
the values they were teaching her daughter. Sort of like we are wealthy
because we are better than "those people.?

Education is another issue. I?m sure (but have not confirmed) that everyone
here has graduated from college and many have graduate school or some kind
of post graduate professional education. Some people with college degrees
are uncomfortable with me having been a professor. I?ve learned just to not
talk about it. But that cuts off 25 years of my life. How would people
without college educations feel in that mix? 

My son and his wife did not attend college and live in the same neighborhood
where they grew up. They have lots of  friends, all from high school, and
they have birthday parties or cookouts every weekend. Same crowd. They don?t
read newspapers or books. Or even watch the news on TV. With their friends
it would be wonderful for them to have a cohousing community (though they
sort of have one now) but not if it were peopled by college graduates or
professionals like psychiatrists and economists. The college graduates would
welcome them but they  wouldn?t welcome the college graduates. 

If the stretch was comfortable, cohousing communities would be more
socioeconomically diverse. One of the factors that led the NYTimes to
endorse Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar is that they ?feel? lower middle
class. They have kept the sensibilities and understand them. Other
candidates have not. It means something to people.

Sharon Villines, Historic Takoma Park, Washington DC Where all roads lead to


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