Affordable Cohousing Toolkit

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.

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A. PUBLIC AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUBSIDIES AND FINANCING SOURCES ........................... 8
A.01 Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)...........................................................................................................9
A.02 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) .................................................................................................................................12
A.03 HOME Investment Partnerships Program..................................................................................................................................15
A.04 Federal Private activity tax-exempt bonds for housing...............................................................................................................18
A.05 Federal Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers.............................................................................................................................21
A.06 Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)........................................................................................................24
A.07 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).......................................................................................................27
A.08 Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)................................................................................................................................30
A.09 New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) ...............................................................................................................................................33
A.10 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PB Section 8)..........................................................................................................................36
A.11 Rural Housing And Economic Development (RHED) ................................................................................................................39
A.12 Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly..........................................................................................................................42
A.13 Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing ..........................................................................................................................................45
A.14 Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities ...................................................................................................48
A.15 Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) ........................................................................................................51
A.16 State and Local Housing Trust Funds..........................................................................................................................................54
B. PRIVATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUBSIDIES AND FINANCING SOURCES....................... 57
B.01 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) Affordable Housing Program (AHP) ...............................................................................58
B.02 Community Self Financing............................................................................................................................................................61
B.03 Not-For-Profit Intermediary Organizations................................................................................................................................64
B.04 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)............................................................................................................67
B.05 Private Buyer & Investor Model ..................................................................................................................................................70
B.06 Private Foundation Grants ...........................................................................................................................................................73
C. GENERAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING MECHANISMS........................................................... 76
C.01 Community Land Trusts...............................................................................................................................................................77
C.02 Small House Design .......................................................................................................................................................................80

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