Re: Low-cost Cohousing
From: Ron Ingram (
Date: Sun, 3 May 2020 17:09:35 -0700 (PDT)
Households are there. There is a barrier of rhetoric to be torn down
regarding low income, what it means regarding what you get. Also, people
with low income have been disregarded so long as far as being asked to
contribute in a meaningful way, they may have stopped looking for other

Imagine being low income and being told you onlyqualify for a particular
kind of home around a specific set of people in a certain way.

So glad to see this conversation is being had. Happy to see that all kinds
of people on all strata are being included in the conversation . It's been
frustrating to be excluded from even offering solutions because of the lack
of funds. Low income or no income we have value and suggestions. If you
really wanna cut costs, ask a single mom who has managed to stay above
water while working, feeding her family and making ends meet. You wanna
save money or keep to a low budget? Ask a low income family how they cobble
together resources to sustain themselves. I can make $20 stretch 6 ways
from sunday and still have some left over to make my neighbor some pie :-)

Sharon, let's keep this going! It's a new day out there, a new normal is
here. Let's do this together, we got this!


On Sun, May 3, 2020, 3:41 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> Odd how being required to stay home brings everything in life to a stop.
> All eyes on the novel virus.
> I’ve been doing some research on low-cost housing — and certainly options
> are out there. People are finding new ways to build and strategize about
> about getting it done. But whenever I being to write about any one option,
> I come against something basic — what group of potential cohousers will
> take advantage of this?
> I’ve talked with developers who are working on plans to build a house to
> sell for $100. Modular home builders who are willing to work with a
> community to develop a plan that will meet the needs of low-income
> households. Developer/community organizers who will work with a
> neighborhood on retrofit housing. I’ve looked at land trusts that are
> structured so investors can invest in land and households can invest in
> housing, building equity for everyone.
> But first there has to be a group of people. To get to the next step
> requires a group of people who understand what they need and what they can
> provide to get a community started and then built.
> My argument has been that the only way a low-cost cohousing group will be
> able to form independently of subsidies is if the entire group shares that
> goal. Low-cost housing is a specific goal. To stay focused, everyone needs
> to be committed to that goal. First a group and then a plan.
> Without a core if at least 2-3 households, it is very hard to even discuss
> the alternatives because there really are so many.
> Building housing takes time and energy. And commitment. Those who have a
> commitment to low-cost housing have to find each other.
> A person for whom market-rate housing is the norm thinks about low-cost
> housing from the point of view of what can I have to give up? It’s
> do-without, not build-it. To get low-cost housing built it has to be a
> winning game. The decisions and research need to focus on what is it we
> really need that we can afford?
> It won't happen with people in the room who want all the green building
> and electrical technology that make them proud to be saving the planet. It
> becomes a guilt trip. But don’t you want a solar energy and a green roof so
> we can save the planet? Don’t you care? When that argument enters the room,
> low cost housing goes out the door. That doesn’t mean low-cost housing has
> to be technologically stupid. It has to be smart, but smart has to fill the
> needs of the households.
> But first we need the households.
> Sharon
> ———
> Sharon Villines
> sustainablecohousing [at]
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