Re: how cohousing communities decide on new members
From: Lew Bowers (
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 10:39:27 -0700 (PDT)
It is important to not discriminate when seeking cohousing community

However, there is an important distinction. When you are building your
community and recruiting your initial members, you are likely to be
structured as a LLC (limited liability Company) as that is the most
effective legal vehicle for real estate development. At this stage, you are
not selling housing, you are offering membership in a LLC which gives you
the later right to purchase a completed housing unit. The federal fair
housing act does not apply. That is why forming communities go through all
kinds of  discussions about what kinds of members they are seeking.

Once the units have been initially purchased, the cohousing community likely
becomes a condominium association and now you are in fact selling real
estate and all Federal fair housing laws apply. So, for all resales these
laws definitely apply. 

I point this out to make sure that folks understand that they are operating
under different legal structures at different stages of their project and
each stage offers specific opportunities and constraints. 


Lew Bowers


Bowers & Bowers Development LLC

Founding Member of PDX Commons

Certified Cohousing Consultant

Board Member, Coho US


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