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Many Thanks to These Communities who have Given in 2016

Coho/US exists to nurture our Cohousing Communities, established and forming. Gifts from our communities, as well as individuals and sponsors, enable us to provide programs and services that benefit you. Visit our Sustaining Communities webpage for giving options.

We are grateful for these communities who have given or pledged to Coho/US in 2016.

Fannie Mae Supports Loans for Cohousing Homes

Success! In response to seeking Fannie Mae support of cohousing, Fannie Mae has included specific language in its online FAQ’s to clarify that they will do loans on cohousing homes. While it is a relatively small step in the larger scheme of things, it is a big step for cohousing to be formally recognized by Fannie Mae, the entity that sets the standards for home mortgages across the country. In addition, we now have a relationship with Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae Language Supporting Loans for Cohousing Homes

Fannie Mae, the entity that sets the standards for home mortgages across the country, has confirmed that they will do loans on cohousing homes. They have included cohousing in their Project Standards Requirements FAQs.

Click here to link to the Fannie Mae Project Standards Requirements FAQs, and scroll down to Question #22.

Percentage of Members Needed to Build

These are select responses to Susan Adams (Jubilee Cohousing, Floyd, VA) query on Cohousing-L: What percentage of your anticipated membership did you have before you began to build your homes?

How many buy-ins does it take to build? There is no universal number. It depends on how you are proceeding, so others can respond regarding up-front building, and work with developers. Just for contrast, RoseWind Cohousing in Port Townsend WA was what's called a "lot-development" model. Buy-in cost (20+ years ago it was about $36K) went in about equal thirds to land purchase, infrastructure we were required to install (to convert pasture land into City roads, parking, drainage, sewer, water, power, etc.), and our common house.

Unpacking Impacted Tensions

As a professional consultant in group dynamics I rarely get asked to work with a group when everything is going fine. Usually they're leaking oil, have a busted leaf spring, or can't seem to shift into third gear—and are hoping for inexpensive repairs from me, the itinerant shade tree mechanic.

Overcoming Inertia
First of all, it can be awkward admitting (to a stranger, no less!) that your group has troubles that it's not able to navigate on its own. For most of us that's a humbling admission.

Is it Cohousing? Dorms for Grownups

R. Philip Dowds is commenting on the Atlantic Magazine article: Dorms for Grownups: A Solution for Lonely Millennials? In a new model of living, residents will have their own “microunits” built around a shared living space for cooking, eating and hanging out.
The single family home, and the condominium within a professionally managed building, remain our two primary models for residential accommodation. Of late, there is considerable — although not yet widely accepted — experimentation in variations that involve less privatized amenity and more shared common facility. In the eldercare sub-market, retirement housing, assisted living and congregate care have advanced in sophistication; the floor plan shown in the Atlantic article might be dorm-like for the youthful, but would be understood as a variant of congregate care if serving seniors.

Culture of Appreciation

The "blue team" shows off their synchronized swimming moves during the Nevada City Cohousing Summer Olympics.

Reposted from Katie's Insights via CoHousing Solutions
Living in community, we have an opportunity to create a culture of appreciation, or not. This doesn't happen casually. I consider myself a typical cohouser, in that, if you ask me, I'm guaranteed to have an opinion. But sometimes we don't need more opinions, we just need people to appreciate our efforts. In my community, Nevada City Cohousing, we found ourselves overwhelmed with too many opinions after move-in, ten years ago. Everyone wanted a say on everything. We had to consciously tell ourselves "assume best intent," rather than questioning why someone or some committee did this or that.

Keep affordable housing from being an elephant in the room

Silver Sage Village in Boulder, Colorado consists of 10 market rate and six affordable homes.

The Dealing with Diverse Personalities retreat is coming up st the end of September – there’s still time time to sign up. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Like dealing with issues of housing affordability, it’s not an easy topic to discuss since it requires people to step out of their comfort zones.

Most affordable housing discussions are about density and development scale, parking, traffic, grants, public / private partnerships – the “stuff” of affordability.

500 Communities Program 2015 Class

CoHousing Solutions is proud to announce our first graduating class of the 500 Communities Program! This year-long training is spearheaded by Katie McCamant, and gathers passionate cohousing entrepreneurs who want to devote themselves to the goal of building the next 500 communities while working collaboratively, supporting each other and making a good living.

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