Re: housing options
From: RodLambert (
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 18:18:21 -0700 (MST)
In a message dated 00-02-12 22:24:45 EST, you write:

<< It still might work, if the ownership was structured as a cooperative.
 -----Original Message-----
 From: Chris ScottHanson [mailto:chris [at]]
 Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2000 7:13 PM
 To: Multiple recipients of list
 Subject: Re: housing options
 on 2/12/2000 6:17 PM, Rob Sandelin at floriferous [at] wrote:
 > Well just to play the other side of the idea, you could just build spaces,
 > and let each individual do whatever they wanted in terms of finishing it
 > out. Seems like a lot of the passion goes into stuff like bathtubs,
 > kitchens, etc. So you build a shell and let people fill it in to their
 > and budget. The shell framework is the same, the plumbing is set, but the
 > cabinets, sink, faucetts, bathtub, carpet type, paint, colors etc are
 > by the owner.
 > I heard of a local condo doing this with great success, can't see why it
 > wouldn't work in coho.
 Rob's idea makes a lot of sense, unless you need a mortgage to own you home.
 This is the only thing that gets in the way.
 Chris ScottHanson >>

This is an interesting thread. Here at EcoVillage at Ithaca, we are in the 
predevelopment stage of building the a 30 unit 2nd Neighborhood Group (SoNG) 
and are likely to settle on coop legal structure as with the First Resident 
Group (FRoG). We are also considering, as one of our options of getting 
built, using the services of a local "Panelizer" to get the shells built. In 
order to accommodate the affordability needs of this particular group we have 
to consider allowing major sweat equity as well. This particular panelizer 
seems eager to accommodate our needs. They would also take our schematics and 
produce construction drawings for $500 per design (free if we buy at least 
one house per design) - they make their money supplying materials packages. 
They are willing to let several iterations happen after that (after the 
membership has had a chance to react to the drawings). They are prepared to 
supply and "install" turnkey homes and some construction management as 
needed. Further negotiations will be needed to pin down the trade-offs some 
of which I'm sure will derive from their corporate approach to things.
As for our schematics ("programmed" by a cohousing expert), they took a lot 
of work but without significant member input they would not have worked very 
well for our group. Nonetheless the idea of less time spent on design and 
"nuts and bolts" does make some sense. Perhaps the design team approach 
suggested by Ann is the way to go.
We have a local bank willing to participate in the infrastructure stage as 
well as the standard construction loan process starting at foundatins and 
willing to credit sweat equity toward down payment. They are still a little 
nervous about our interset in Community Land Trust structures (which we are 
investigating in order to preserve affordability for future generations). 
Their confidence arises of course from the success of the first nbhd., a head 
start which many groups don't have. Downpayment requirements are still to be 
worked out and could pose a hurdle. 
Stephan, I was interested in your comment above about the coop model, care to 

Rod Lambert
Development Mgt.
122 Rachel Carson Way
EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY  14850

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