Re: Low cost housing
From: John Faust (
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 12:56:57 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks for the suggestions. I am not particularly knowledgeable in these
things. My instinct is simply that low income housing will always be a
problem and that most conventional institutions would like to avoid it. It
would be a nice surprise to discover there are sympathetic lenders who may
willing to help such a community.

For the low-income cases, it would seem that an institution whose primary
focus is on cohousing, low income in particular, would also acquire the
expertise needed to locate (and even promote) and incorporate all of the
government programs at various levels that support low income housing. My
guess is that conventional lenders would not view that as part of their
service and it would fall to the community or their professional
representative to handle this. Again, I don't know. In any case, I will try
and get these nuggets on affordable housing and low income financing
documented. Rob Sandelin's suggestion about the JotSpot wiki has been very


On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 12:05 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> On May 18, 2008, at 1:52 PM, John Faust wrote:
> >  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.
> Another option might be to negotiate with a national bank to create a
> "preferred lender" agreement. There is a lot of construction money and
> mortgages involved in cohousing that a bank would benefit from. One
> project can cost upwards of $10,000,000 to build and then there are
> all mortgages. With such an arrangement you could probably negotiate
> the lowest rates available. And it would make getting construction
> loans easier.
> I don't know if anyone has had difficulty getting a mortgage once the
> houses are built. Another way to reduce costs is working with one
> mortgage broker to do all your pre-qualifications and then mortgages.
> The broker can take all the mortgages to one bank and negotiate or
> reduce their own commission, which I think is half the points charged.
> Everyone might not want to go to the same bank, but if the broker
> makes it easy they probably will, unless they have special
> circumstances elsewhere.
> This might be faster than starting a whole new institution. Meeting
> the regulations alone must be daunting and then you have to find a
> bundle of money for reserves before you can lend anything.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines in Washington DC
> Where all roads lead to Casablanca
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