Re: FHA Approval
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 11:55:49 -0700 (PDT)
It seems like my message 24 hours ago with all the details and history of
this campaign, and our multiple years of research on the subject in the
effort to get our property HUD-approved so my neighbor Alice can stay in
the community, may have landed in people's spam folders, as I don't see any
reference to it in all the responses since yesterday - please check your
spam folders, and add your comments, or read it here:

We have found condo projects with the word "cohousing" in the name approved
under previous looser approval standards, where lenders were authorized to
do their own delegated approval. This has not been available since 2012.

The traditional best-practice for cohousing development (as done by The
Cohousing Co, Cohousing Partners, Wonderland, et al for decades) is to use
universal generic project names for the purpose of project development,
financing and approval. For example, our community, Berkeley Cohousing, is
legally Strawberry Creek Commons. This simplifies the process of getting
approval and financing - we aim to be fully HUD-compliant condos that can
qualify for the simplest approvals and best competitive financing.

The challenge these days is that HUD is not operating at a vacuum. They've
heard of "The Google," and they even may look at satellite photos and
review community documents in great detail, with the proverbial "fine-tooth

So if you send in a budget that says "cohousing" or references expense or
income categories that aren't standard condo, your application may get
red-flagged, as ours was. Now that we're under that level of scrutiny,
we've got to work much harder to make the case that they can treat it as a
standard condo in the event they end up holding the bag after a lender
forecloses on a unit or they do when a lender folds.

Your signature on Alice's petition and support for our campaign will
definitely help.

Learn more on the website:

Raines, Cohousing Coach and Community Organizer

Certified Senior Advisor and Audacious Aging "Aging-in-Community" chapter
Cohousing California/East Bay Cohousing

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.