Re: Helping members with Covid-19 related hardship
From: Diana Carroll (dianaecarrollgmail.com)
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2020 08:37:51 -0700 (PDT)
That makes sense and seems like a great approach for your situation.

On Wed, Apr 8, 2020 at 11:24 AM fergyb2 via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> wrote:

> Diane,
>   We are a small community, just 20 households and we can’t pay the bills,
> particularly the insurance bills at the start of the year if people don’t
> pay their HOA dues. Now we have a pretty big Reserve fund we could possibly
> borrow from but it wasn’t so big then, in 2008.  And a couple of folk were
> laid off and we worried what might happen if more layoffs occurred.  So we
> set up this kind of self insurance scheme to cover ourselves in case things
> got worse.  And once it was established we kept it, just in case.  In a
> larger Community maybe we could have adopted your approach but it feels
> inappropriately risky to us, small as we are.  This way people might not be
> able to pay for a few months but the community as a whole is not negatively
> impacted.
>       Bonnie
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> > On Apr 8, 2020, at 7:02 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at] gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Bonnie, can you say more about this: "People with temporary financial
> > difficulty paying HOA dues could apply to the treasurer for a loan from
> > this fund to cover HOA fees. "
> >
> > How is that different than just letting them not pay and catch up on
> > payments when they can? As the bookkeeper here at Mosaic Commons, that's
> > just how I've always done it.  People sometimes don't pay for a couple of
> > months.  When that happens, I'll check in with them -- usually they've
> just
> > forgotten, and they (hopefully) will go ahead and pay, but sometimes they
> > say they are having a tough time financially.  At which point I stop
> > harassing them for awhile. In every case, even when people have gone 6
> > months in arrears, they eventually catch up.
> >
> > Diana
> > Mosaic Commons
> > Berlin, MA
> >
> >> On Wed, Apr 8, 2020 at 9:30 AM fergyb2 via Cohousing-L <
> >> cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> wrote:
> >>
> >>      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] gmail.com>
> 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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> >>> http://L.cohousing.org/info
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
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> >>
> >>
> >>
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