Re: Helping members with Covid-19 related hardship
From: fergyb2 (
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2020 06:30:21 -0700 (PDT)
      At Swans Market we set up a similar plan during the 2008/2009 financial 
meltdown.  Although we funded it by everyone paying in a small fixed amount, I 
forget  if it was 10 or 15 dollars each a month as a kind of insurance fund for 
a year or two.  We call it our “Brother can you spare a dime” fund since we 
were singing a lot of depression era songs at the time.  People with temporary 
financial difficulty paying HOA dues could apply to the treasurer for a loan 
from this fund to cover HOA fees.  We have discussed folding the money back 
into our general fund and eliminating this deal at various times over the years 
but so far we’ve always decided to keep it as is.  It has been utilized a 
handful of times over the years and the loans have always been paid back.  So 
far in our community everyone is either working remotely or retired so 
financial woe has not been a big issue here in this crises.  But if that 
changes we still have our fund available.
   Bonnie Fergusson
Swans Market Cohousing
Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 7, 2020, at 2:04 PM, David Jaggar <davidjaggar [at]> wrote:
> *Neighbors Helping Neighbors*
> A little more than a week ago, a couple of people in Washington Village
> began discussing the COVID19 pandemic and how it might impact our
> community. Our Common House had been already been closed and we knew some
> members had already suffered losses in employment.
> We realized the government would be sending out $1200 checks to all adults.
> While to many people this would be a necessary lifeline, for others it
> would be just extra cash. One member suggested asking for donations from
> the community to assist those who would be directly impacted.
> The idea caught on and our community responded rapidly. We named the
> program *Neighbors Helping Neighbors. *Members rallied to make donations
> and we recruited volunteers to assist in the disbursement of funds.  Since
> we assumed a fair amount of money would be collected over time, we realized
> that members with accounting expertise would be necessary to act as a
> “bank”. One method of ensuring transparency and accountability is to keep
> our records open to donors for review. We also informed donors that
> donations would not be tax deductible since we did not have 501(c) 3 status
> as a non-profit.  For reasons of privacy, all donors and recipients are
> anonymous.
> For recipients, we limited “need” to income loss such as job loss or
> furlough, reduced working hours or business closure as a direct result of
> the COVID-19 pandemic. Other sorts of financial emergencies are not
> eligible for grants. Then we urged community members impacted by the
> pandemic to apply for fixed sum $400 monthly grants to be used for HOA dues
> and mortgage relief as long as they were in need and the funds held out.
> In a little more than a week from when the idea was first generated, we
> will have grants sent out to impacted members of the community who filled
> out a simple application.  If any other communities are interested in
> developing a similar program, we will be happy to discuss how we developed
> our program.
> *We’re all in this together*
> From Washington Village Community
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