Re: FHA Approval
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:34:29 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 31, 2014, at 1:10 PM, Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at]> wrote:

> I would strongly suggest you remove "cohousing" from your legal name as it
> will just make it more difficult for your members to get financing....
> Over the many years the community exist.... No matter what happens with
> the current discussion with FHA.

I strongly disagree with this. Government employees and agencies cannot 
withhold benefits based on their own personal biases. Only cohousers can 
correct this by stepping up and say no. Winning this battle will also help 
other groups that have been discriminated against, so this isn't a privileged 
middle class fight. The civil rights movement benefitted all of us, not just 
dark-skinned people.

If the national organization doesn't take this on, I don't know what they are 
good for. A strong statement but I completely believe it. Use CrowdSourcing to 
up a legal defense fund and do a press campaign. If people can build such 
unlikely things as cohousing communities, they can certainly take on the FHA 
and the mortgage system.

The government can't hide. I remember when I wasn't allowed to have the gas and 
electricity hooked up because I was married so my husband had to do it. I 
couldn't get a credit card in my own name. The telephone company refused to 
list my name in the telephone directory because it was "dangerous for women." 
We had no sports and a tiny gym until women got Title IX passed. That stuff 
didn't change because people changed their names, though some did give their 
girls traditionally male names. The government couldn't hide behind their 
excuse that these were private companies and they had no authority.

The FHA has NO data on which to base their refusal to guarantee mortgages for 
cohousing. But we have to prove that to them. Otherwise they continue as they 
please based on uninformed opinions and not the law.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Nothing exists without order. Nothing comes into existence without chaos." 
Albert Einstein

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