Re: rental cohousing?
From: Wayne Tyson (
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 14:48:37 -0800 (PST)
The cutting edge is honed by novel ideas, not by dulling paradigms, so with all that brain power in Cambridge, it would seem that, mit all places, this would be at least a cold-frame if not a hotbed of change agents . . .


----- Original Message ----- From: "R Philip Dowds" <rpdowds [at]>
To: "CoHoL" <Cohousing-L [at]>
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:13 AM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ rental cohousing?

I¹m sure other states have differing opportunities and constraints, but in
Massachusetts we¹re just one more condominium association as far as lenders
are concerned.  Maybe we eat together a lot, or make our decisions by
casting the I Ching, but this is of no interest to the banks, and does not
affect the availability of capital.

Many factors have made ALL housing expensive, including the stagnating wages
of the middle class, and until 2008, a preposterous and unsustainable
increase in housing values relative to household income.  The blame cannot
be laid at the doorstep of the cohousing model, which, on the whole, has no
reason to be more expensive or less expensive than the other models.  This,
in fact, is a bit of a problem at Cornerstone, where it seems as though some
households moved in with an expectation that cohousing would be an
inexpensive way to live.  Inexpensive housing in Cambridge?  Now there¹s a
novel idea ...

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

On 2/9/11 12:00 PM, "Sharon Villines" <sharon [at]> wrote:

On 9 Feb 2011, at 3:18 AM, Grace Kim wrote:

> I think the conversations on this topic have been great and highlight > the fact that we, as the "cohousing movement", are ready to look seriously at how
to incorporate affordability

In support of Grace's message, I want to clarify that "ready to look
seriously" should be read as "able to be ready to look seriously at

Cohousing has been unfairly criticized for not being more affordable. Although
many communities do have units that are perfectly affordable according to
government guidelines, the real reason why cohousing was not more affordable is that it was seen as a risky investment so no funds were available, private or public, to help anyone build cohousing. For many it was a great sacrifice just to get their own homes built, and many failed losing tens of thousands of

It is only after 25 years that it has established a track record and is now
being listened to that Coho Us is able to move forward with seeking
development support.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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