Re: Permanently Affordable Cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 09:43:54 -0700 (PDT)
> On Apr 19, 2021, at 9:33 AM, Zev Paiss <zevpaiss [at]> wrote:
> At Nomad Cohousing here in Boulder, Colorado the City placed a permanent 
> restriction on 7 of our 11 homes. When one of these homes comes up for sale 
> the City provides the selling price to the seller (80-120% of the AMI) and 
> also prequalifies buyers for income caps.

Thank you, Zev. Do you think the homeowners are reasonably compensated with 
this formula? The big bug of rentals and subsidized housing is that the least 
wealthy do not have access to the major means of building wealth in our 
economy. The value of ownership is the housing security that the building of 
wealth, however small, provides the household.

The government subsidizes homeownership to the tune of $150 billion a year. 
That means $150 billion is transferred to the pockets of homeowners. Without 
doing the research, I suspect that those in rented, subsidized, or permanently 
affordable housing do not receive anywhere near that bonus even if you add up 
the rent money saved. And people in rented and subsidized government housing do 
not have control over their living conditions. Oddly, as much as we revere or 
revile homeownership, it is lower in the US than in other countries:

> Even with homeowners subsidized with $150 billion each year the United States 
> is very low on the list of countries with the highest percentage of 
> ownership. Romania has a homeownership rate of 95.8%. Hungary, Slovakia, 
> Singapore, and Cuba have rates of 90% or more. The United States is 
> significantly far down the list with 65% ownership. Below Mexico (80%), 
> Greece (75%), and Brazil (74.4%).

I’m dubious of housing programs that seem to equalize or try to equalize but 
don’t contribute to security that lasts longer than the subsidy.

Sharon Villines
affordablecohousing [at]
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