Re: Low cost housing
From: John Faust (
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 10:53:03 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks for the history and encouragement. I will dig further into it as well
as into the information Jessie provided. I will also pursue the issue of
pooled resources among cohousing communities. I'm sure it won't be easy to
create such a financial institution. But it seems that it might be patterned
after similar efforts to specialize investment. It doesn't seem to be
necessary for those communities that are well-financed. It seems to be more
important for those targeting low income communities.

John Faust

PS. Rob Hopkins (Transition Town Totnes) is doing some encouraging stuff at
the city level. He may have a more receptive audience in the UK.

On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 1:38 AM, <balaji [at]> wrote:

> John,
> You are right to call for the development of new financial institutions.
> A cohousing bank?  It could work.  But I shudder to think of the capital
> requirements.  We're not talking Grameen-level loans here.
> It is interesting to note how the same call for financial innovation was
> made in the 19th century, in the hay-day of the Associationist movement.
> People like Albert Brisbane and Horace Greeley tried to set up lending
> programs that would operate within the "phalanxes" (what we call
> "cohousing") and thus avoid the perils of conventional banking.  The
> Mormons tried something similar in the 1830's in Ohio with the "Kirtland
> Savings Association."  Unfortunately, their efforts did not bear fruit --
> the Kirtland Bank exploded quite spectacularly -- and the cohousing-like
> phalanxes all collapsed, one by one, leaving mountains of debt in their
> wake.
> For these reasons, unfortunately, we have been thrown back on the
> convential mortgage system.  Most praticing cohousers I know have made
> that work, some realizing significant gains on their investments.  But
> others, many others, have been shut out, and the rest of us find it
> unbelievably difficult to secure financing and approval.  I hope you are
> right and new systems can be created.  The TRANSITION TOWN movement,
> started in England and now spreading worldwide, gives me hope.
> Best wishes,
> Charles Nuckolls
> Utah Valley Commons
> ________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.