Presented at the 2010 Cohousing Conference
Report: In January 2010, the Cohousing Association of the United States (COHO/US) chartered an Affordable Cohousing Task Group. The purpose was to address the need for more affordable units in cohousing communities. Many communities have struggled to
create affordable units in their communities, with varying degrees of success
Summary: This summary has been created by the Affordable Cohousing Task Group of The Cohousing Association of the United States (CohoUS). It is intended to be a resource for existing and forming cohousing communities for researching affordable housing subsidies. The summary describes a variety of public and private subsidies which may enable cohousing groups to financially integrate affordable housing units in rental and homeownership cohousing structures. Each summary provides a basic description of the subsidy, the types of projects the subsidy may apply to, the required level of affordability, and the application process. As each financial subsidy is introduced units are able to be designated as affordable units at a certain level of the area median income.
Cohousing groups should use this summary as a guide for initial research for potential affordable housing subsidies that may apply to their projects. Each subsidy description includes a financial analysis indicating the financial effect of the subsidy starting from a market-rate baseline. Note that many of the public and private subsidies summarized here are available through competitive funding application processes. Cohousing groups may want to consider partnering strategies (for example with local non-profits) with experience in these competitive applications.