Re: Requesting info about income-sensitive fee payment structures for developing community
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 06:16:55 -0700 (PDT)
Personally I think income-sensitive fee payment structures are very difficult to administer. There are just too many variables that come into play. Particularly in small groups it means everyone sinks to the lowest common denominator as those with more income use it to support the group or leave. I think grants or temporary subsidies can be used effectively but a whole economy set up on some paying more and others paying less is very difficult to maintain without a very high level of interaction to build trust and understanding, or a huge government bureaucracy. Most people cannot maintain that level of interaction over long periods -- and those who want income leveling don't want bureaucracies!

Another approach is to learn more about money and money management. I've learned more since I joined cohousing about how to finance real estate and how developers waste money than I ever thought possible. So much money is simply wasted through poor management. Hiring the wrong people, not supervising them, not checking their charges, not following up on repairs, installing complex fixtures you can't maintain, hiring the lowest bidder, etc.

The most affordable housing comes from thinking it through and building a secure financial base. Put more time into investigating and consulting and supervising the dollars spent. And ask for help. There is so much information out there. It isn't easy but it's effective and builds a secure future.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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