Re: Affordable Cohousing Model?
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 07:24:20 -0700 (PDT)
I think what we're seeing is an explosion in creative housing solutions partly 
due to the market but also shifting social mores as people realize being 
isolated is not healthy.  

This coop you identified in S. Austin is almost too good to be true.  For one 
thing … it's CLEAN.  Having lived in a group house w/ 8+ people plus cats it 
was a challenge keeping up but we did it.  As w/ your idea, it was a McMansion. 
 My rooms were indeed a suite and I shared a BA w/ just one other person.  So 
that was nice!  However, it was not a shared ownership model and I did NOT like 
living w/ the owner who had the first and last word on everything.  I left 
after about 9 mos. I think.

I love these models that are popping up.  And I'm keeping this one for sure as 
it's a model for a "Golden Girls" type living arrangement.  I get calls about 
GGs at least 3x's a month.  So now I can refer people to this site!

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA
703 663 3911

On Aug 10, 2011, at 9:22 AM, Sharon Villines wrote:

> This might be a good model for affordable cohousing. A non-profit, 
> member-owned cooperative community in which members have rooms, not 
> apartments, and share common space — like three living rooms. Meals 7 nights 
> a week.
> Not for families, probably, but could work if children were limited to a 
> certain number depending on facilities.
> I once investigated starting a group home in a large — as in mansion-like — 
> home on the banks of the Hudson. Late 19th century Victorian. The rooms were 
> very large, more like suites, with built in shelves and sinks. Large shared 
> bathrooms.
> The first floor had a huge kitchen and dining room, several sitting room 
> areas including an enclosed wrap around sitting porch. Full basement with a 
> skylight across one side of the house. Since the house was on a hill, the 
> basement was partially above ground.
> A large den on the first floor for a guest room or transitional room to be 
> used when one person was ready to move in but another wasnt' ready to move 
> out.
> The cost was manageable with 8 suites rented, five on the second floor and 3 
> on the third floor. it also had a stand-up attic.
> Something like this with studio apartments — Murphy beds, pullman kitchens — 
> could work well.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines, Washington DC
> "Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard 
> Endenburg
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