Voluntary Contributions
From: Kathryn McCamant (kmccamantcohousingpartners.com)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:04:23 -0700 (PDT)
Your story, RPD, confirms my experience...that you'll generally be able to
raise more than enough money for any important community improvement with
voluntary contributions..... And have a lot less resistance. I like
Cornerstone's solution with the 25% mandatory/75% voluntary contribution.

I think cohouser tend to come out of the "question authority" camp, so
just about anything that is "required" gets an immediate push back... But
if its voluntary contribution of work or money to MY COMMUNITY, and I feel
included in that decision... I'm am glad to do my fair share.


Kathryn McCamant, President, Architect
CoHousing Partners, LLC
241 Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

On 3/30/14 9:12 AM, "R Philip Dowds" <rpdowds [at] comcast.net> wrote:

>At Cornerstone, we recently consensed our way through a special
>assessment worth an average of $2K per household for the purpose of major
>capital improvements.  There was much concern about putting too much
>financial pressure on struggling households ? we had some theories, but
>no real information about this.  ³Means testing² was discussed, but
>promptly dismissed as too intrusive for a small community of neighbors.
>So we went to an assessment that was 25% mandatory and 75% voluntary; any
>household could step away from the 75% voluntary ³fair share² if it felt
>like a financial hardship.  Totally up to the household: no explanation,
>no evidence requested or needed.
>In the end, every household but one paid the full 100%, and one paid half
>the fair share.  So the two lessons we take away from this are ?
>We can deal with communal financial issues without getting involved in
>members' personal financial situations; and
>People often have more money than you think they do.  Or at least, are
>more willing to invest in the community than you first suppose.
>As a sidebar ? I am aware of situations where cohos, or select members
>thereof, contribute money to a household in exchange for a mortgage on
>the unit; the money returns to the lender upon the sale of the unit.
>This is a certainly a way that cohos can become, in effect, their own
>bankers, and escape the strictures of FHA-insured lending.  For reverse
>mortgages, maybe pestering the FHA is more trouble than it¹s worth.
>Cornerstone / Cambridge, MA
>On Mar 30, 2014, at 11:39 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com>
>> My concern about this is means testing. People have widely varying
>>perceptions of their ability to pay and their "necessary" expenses. But
>>how would we do means testing on neighbors and friends?
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