Re: Affordable CoHousing
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 18:21:54 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all —

I would be very wary of “vetting” buyers whether they are market rate or 
subsidized.  It’s too fraught w/ land mines, rip tides, wild animals and dirty 
laundry.  To say nothing of power plays, bad judgment, poorly interpreted 
information … “vetting” feels too much like pledge week. 

At Takoma Village we endeavor to give prospects information through experiences 
much as Zev talked about — meetings, social events, work events, written 
information — so the prospect(s) can decide for themselves if TVC is right for 
them.  Do they want to spend their Sunday afternoons in a meeting?   Do they 
really want to work on team projects?  Clean the CH?  They need to make that 

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Ex. Dir. & Mbr. Board of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

When Isaac Newton stayed home to avoid the 1665 plague, he discovered the Laws 
of Gravity, Optics, and he invented Calculus

NOTE:  I’m switching back to using zabaldo [at]  Many apologies!

> On Apr 19, 2021, at 8:27 PM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]> 
> wrote:
> Zev, the unusual and discomfiting is the part where the neighbors get to
> vote on who gets to buy. That practice...does not have a good history in
> our country.
> When Mosaic first started selling units, the town ran a lottery as to who
> could buy the affordable units. We didn't get to pick them. (Not that there
> actually WAS a lottery because there were fewer buyers than units because
> 2008. :( ). Now that it's resales, the seller can pick which offer to
> accept, just like with any other sale. (In reality, that doesn't
>'s very hard to qualify to buy one of the affordable units, so
> the odds that there would be two qualified buyers at once is very very
> low.) We, the condo association, never get to pick who gets to buy a house,
> which is exactly as it should be.
> Diana
> On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 8:19 PM Zev Paiss <zevpaiss [at]> wrote:
>> Diana,
>> I have no idea how unusual what we are doing is from a national
>> perspective. The City we live in is very desirable and very expensive. The
>> City requires all residential developments to contain at least 20%
>> permanently affordable homes. In our case since we originally asked for a
>> density increase during our development phase the City granted the
>> additional homes but required that all the additional homes needed to also
>> be permanently affordable. What we have are 3 homes at the low income level
>> (80% of AMI) 4 homes at the moderate level (up to 120% of AMI) and 4 market
>> rate homes.
>> When we first moved in the City was just setting up their affordable
>> housing selection process. Since they understood we are a community
>> centered neighborhood, we were exempt from the lottery selection process
>> they use for other permanently affordable homes as long as all applicants
>> passed their income guidelines for the home.
>> That situation is still in place but we now have create with review from
>> the City housing department a goodness of fit questionnaire we ask all
>> applicants to complete in addition to the series of “events” they must
>> attend to better get to know us. I will agree it is a multi-step process
>> but we also have no interest in attracting new households only looking for
>> affordable housing.
>> So far so good.
>> Zev Paiss
>> Nomad Community Room Coordinator
>> 1410 Quince Avenue, Boulder CO 80304
>> 720-925-5161
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