Re: cohousing vision
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 04:29:25 -0700 (PDT)
On 13 Jul 2011, at 3:47 AM, peterpiper [at] wrote:

> That is why our new cohousing project ( is a Mutual Home 
> Ownership Society. Residents don't rent or buy. Rather we finance equity 
> shares in the co-operative with 35% of our income. Whilst there is a 
> minimum income required to become a member, it is possible for over 
> three quarters of the UK population. When we move on we get to cash in 
> our equity shares.

This is an interesting concept — especially because you can cash in equity when 
you move on. How does the project get built in the first place? How is "income" 
determined? What objective method do you use?

> Frankly we didn't want to live with just with rich people. We wanted a 
> mix. So the Mutual Home Ownership Society is a good way for us to ensure 
> diversity, and that our cohousing is affordable FOREVER.

"Forever" only if some people make enough money to make up what other people 
are not paying. The total cost of the project, unless you are subsidized by the 
state, still has to be paid by someone.

Again, like our discussions of "affordable," "rich" needs definition. While 
everyone at Takoma Village is well educated, I wouldn't call anyone "rich." A 
large number of us qualified for tax subsidies when we moved in and not much 
has changed. Others have purposely taken low paying, non-profit jobs in order 
to do the work they love. 

"Rich," "middle-class," etc. are so often used as emotional triggers that it is 
hard to address the issues accurately without numbers.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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