I am with Treehouse Village Ecohousing in Nova Scotia, and we are looking into affordability strategies for our community. I am curious if there are any co-housing communities out there that have implemented Affordability Covenants and/or Rent To Own programs for their homes. We have connected with Quayside Cohousing in BC, and we are curious if there are any additional examples out there. Do you know of any additional established co-housing communities that have affordability strategies in place?
Hi Meg! As usual, the wonderful folks at Treehouse are thinking about the same things at the same time we are! We are about 2 years younger than you and are really excited to see your progress. We have been working on this issue for the past 4 months. We have a multi-pronged proposed attack and draft proposals (Affordability Covenants) drafted based on research into what has worked and not worked around the world. There are too many different ways to go at this and too many details to share in response here. We are looking at 4 different strategies to target 4 different aspects of this larger issue you mention. One sample of one program- we have taken Cherry Hill’s Covenant and some Danish Ecovillage covenants and customized them to our situation to create a blanket and modest resale price restriction policy (Covenant) that we hope provides everyone a reasonable profit but not a windfall- we utilize a formula of nearby city market rate rather than our own and add the cost of living and inflation index surcharge. This is not to create affordable housing but to counteract some incentives based on the likelihood in our case that our values will dramatically rise in the next 2-5 years after move-in. Another project we are working on is an impact investment strategy for rental units- we are attempting to give neighbor investors in rental units a high return through subsidies. It is complicated and we don’t know whether it will work. We have chosen again the traditional “4 affordable units and divide those costs among the rest of the community” approach we see in some communities. Email me (Pare) if you would like to chat about this with our Budget & Finance circle. We could use more brainstorming and problem solving, but we have done significant research: GreekVillageCohousing@gmail.com