Re: CoHousing HOA DUES: How does your community decide how/what goes into yours?
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2021 10:05:29 -0700 (PDT)
We have HOA dues which are set based on "percentage interest" in the same
way a condo would set them. Some formula of home size, distance to common
house, I don't know what else. It matches the comparable price of the homes
at the start of selling. It covers what an HOA would cover: reserves,
septic, water, plowing, the master insurance policy.

Then, we have the cohousing dues. It covers what makes us cohousing. This
is sliding scale--we calculate the average required per household and the
minimum pledge is 5% of that average. I think the highest pledges are a bit
more than 200% of average. The obvious things are the bouncy house, new
year's eve party, hot tub, stuff that is clearly not HOA.
Not as clear is our little "mini-reserve" for lawnmowers, a snow blower,
shovels, washers and dryers. We keep these in Coho, although if coho fell
apart we'd still need them. Furniture for the great room, landscaping,
garden, all things that might be considered more optional.
We also, every year, futz with the electric bill. It is "essential" and yet
the more expenses we can put into cohousing dues, the more people with less
resources can have lower costs. So we move a bunch of electric to
cohousing. But we know it *must* be paid.

The difference is we can force HOA dues to be paid at the sale of the home
if a person is in arrears. If someone doesn't pay Coho dues we up shi*'s
creek without a paddle. That's the worry.

Worry becomes less and less as the years go by and the disaster doesn't
come, and the reserves grow.

Our HOA dues are *very high*. Mine is almost $500 per month and I'm in the
middle-sized home. Coho is slowly going down--has been as high as $97/month
on average, is around $89 this year I believe.

(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

On Thu, Sep 2, 2021 at 2:42 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > On Aug 31, 2021, at 4:53 PM, Ann Lehman <ann [at]>
> wrote:
> >
> > PDX Commons (Portland, OR Senior CoHousing) is revisiting how we decide
> > what goes into our HOA dues.  We are asking how others make this
> > determination, what are some of the major decisions (by individuals, sq
> ft,
> > units, kids, access, affordability, maintenance vs fun ect). Also and/or
> > other dues you have that might not be HOA but help pay for overall
> expenses.
> Everything we decide to do as a community, goes into the operating budget.
> It’s all one lump sum. It all benefits everyone. If not because you use
> that facility or service, because you benefit from living with people who
> do.
> I have difficulty understanding how things can be separated out as
> “business of the community” and “not business of the community.” Some
> people will donate funds for particular events or for this or that reason
> but it is all viewed as part of the community.
> HOA dues are something I keep looking for an expert analysis of what is
> equitable. We pay 50% of the dues as an equal share, and 50% is variable
> depending on SF and LCEs (not accurately but sort of).
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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