Re: to borrow or not to borrow?
From: Patricia Lautner (
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:23:25 -0700 (PDT)
I recommend that you set it up the following way:

1) The equity membership dues should be non-interest baring.  These should
be set up as a percentage of the estimated unit price - many groups choose
10%-20%.  At JP Cohousing, we required an EM fee of 10%.  As the budget
changed over the development period, members would need to contribute more.

2) Create a low/mod EM fee of something less - say 5% of estimated unit
costs.  You could also allow eligible members to make payments toward the
5% over time.  This will allow your lower income households to participate.

3) You should absolutely accept loans from members after the EM fees are
met.  Why not offer the interest to your membership first?

Good luck,

Communitas Development
JP Cohousing - Boston MA

On Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:09 AM, Maggie Dutton <maggiedutton [at]>

> We are dealing with contributions too and wonder who you
> name and where?.
> Maggie Dutton
> Aldermuir Cohousing
> In Qualicum Beach, British Columbia.
> > On Mar 23, 2015, at 2:07 PM, Seasons of Food <seasonsoffoodhcc [at] 
> >>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > We’re a new yet-to-be built co-housing community. Equity members have
> invested $20,000 to our collective pot. We hope to break ground in July
> 2015 and will be borrowing at 5.5% interest. There are mixed feelings about
> borrowing, some support borrowing from the bank, others think we should ask
> for voluntary contributions from EMs that can “afford” it  (so far 4 of 13
> EMs have pledged $100K for a lower interest return than 5.5%), and yet
> others feel we should ask for a next instalment of funds from everyone,
> like 10-20% of unit cost. Some are afraid that we will lose EM’s as perhaps
> not everyone can access the funds currently. What have others’ experience
> with this sensitive item been and what is most successful?
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