Monday, May 12, 2008

Discuss truly affordable cohousing

Truly affordable cohousing and accessibility are the current hot topics on the Cohousing mailing list. Although there is a concerted effort at many projects to have some units available to people with low incomes, posters (including myself) have suggested that many new building techniques can open the cohousing threshold to low-income and poverty-level people.

Most projects have an entry-level expense of about $200,000 to $300,000 and up. A typical three-bedroom home in cohousing can be the same price as comparable homes in that geographical market. Project home prices often are slightly higher than comparable homes when the shared expense of developing the community (Common House) and/or 'green' construction features are included.

Affordable housing examples that could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 include smaller houses (less than 1,000 square feet), prefabricated or modular homes, converted shipping crates, Katrina Cottages, or homes built entirely of recycled materials. Many of these types of dwellings are discussed on the Small Home Society mailing list and on a growing variety of web sites focused on sustainable and ecological building construction.

I'm looking forward to further discussions and will include new information here as the topic unfolds. Please contribute your observations or opinions about truly affordable cohousing in 'comments' to this post.


Galen said...

I was pleased to find your blog about affordable cohousing. All the cohousing projects in my area seem to be aimed at upscale folks. I look forward to reading more here!

mmhere said...

Galen ... that's also been my experience. For one to succeed, all members need to be committed to a particular price limit. What usually happens is people drop out as the price gets pushed up with extras. To learn more, check out the google group called Low_Cost_Community_Housing.
Need to add it to the links on the left side of the blog. Hope to see you there.

agnes said...

The strong sense of community in cohousing developments attracts homebuyers to neighborhoods they would not otherwise choose. The prospect of knowing their neighbors (all 20 to 100 in their community) on a first name basis allows the more vulnerable members of society — seniors, children, and women — to feel safe in an urban setting. This sense of security is strengthened by design considerations which encourage social interaction.



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mmhere said...

Agnes - I agree with your coments, as do many others I've met via the Internet who are looking for low-cost community housing. I've established a Google Group to this effect. I'd encourage you to join it. See my response above to Galen's post to find the URL for this group. Look forward to your contributions.