Re: Cohousing is based on home ownership
From: David Heimann (
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 20:26:51 -0700 (PDT)


At least in Massachusetts there are ways of getting "the next level down in income" (households with somewhat less, but not substantially less, income than the lowest income needed to buy into the community directly) into cohousing. Massachusetts has a "40B" provision (named after its section of the code) that allows developers who provide such "affordable" (the quotes are because the code defines this term very specifically) units to bypass a significant amount of zoning resistance. For current information how that plays out, maybe someone in Mosaic or Camelot can provide more detail, since I believe 25% of their units are in this category.

At Jamaica Plain Cohousing we set up an affordability fund that allowed an additional three units, beyond the "affordable" units, to be purchased by households who otherwise could not afford them. The monies were provided by investors (internal and perhaps external) who are willing to wait a long time to get their money back, and who are being slowly paid back through a condo fee surcharge included in the condo Bylaws.

In these ways at least, we (most or all of the Greater Boston cohousing communities) have been able to get the "next level down in income" of households into cohousing. Further down in income from there, I leave to this list and some of the other sites that people have suggested.

        See you soon here next month!

David Heimann
JP Cohousing

Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 09:25:47 -0700
From: "Rob Sandelin" <floriferous [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Cohousing is based on home ownership
To: "'Cohousing-L'" <cohousing-l [at]>
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In general, cohousing is set up for home ownership. This means it will
exclude those people who do not have the income, credit, job history and
down payment ability to qualify for a mortgage from a bank. The housing
market in some places is very expensive, and even people with reasonably
good jobs and credit history can  not afford to buy a home.

This does not mean if you are excluded from home ownership in cohousing you
can not have community in your life. Cohousing is only one kind of
community. There are many others, many of which are not based on home
ownership.  Check out for info.

Rob Sandelin
Who could not afford to live in
Sharingwood Cohousing
If I had to buy my home today.

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