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Musings about the Cohousing ‘Dealing with Diverse Personalities’ Retreat

“Forget Arcosanti, we’ll always have Mayer …’

These movie line maloprops from “Forget Paris” and “Casablanca” struck me when I started writing these musings.

Good memories.

Besides, I have to make some sort of movie reference since it was my “Dealing with Diverse Personalities” retreat presentation theme at Arcosanti in Arizona which wrapped in early October and sponsored by the Cohousing Association.

Call for Presenters: 2017 National Cohousing Conference - Due Oct 20

Coho/US welcomes proposals for presentations at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference, May 18-21.

Cohousing encourages the development of valuable skills that support community, foster sustainable approaches, enhance lifestyles, and encourage civic engagement. This conference will seek to advance those skills within our communities and outside our cohousing circles to grow our movement.

Growing Demand for Cohousing Leads Fannie Mae to Update FAQ's

Media Contact: Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
alicecohous [at] gmail [dot] com 919-824-4799

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Press Release

GROWING DEMAND FOR COHOUSING LEADS FANNIE MAE TO UPDATE FAQ’S
Guideline for underwriting purposes establish this increasingly available housing type as no different than condominiums or cooperatives.

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. Sustaining Communities are in bold; they have committed to giving $300 or more every year for five years.

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.

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