This will be decided by the equity members based on their requirements and location availability. The ‘early adopters’ would like to focus on an urban location within the City of London. Requirements could include decisions such as choosing the desired building format: townhouse, stacked town, apartment, four-plex or a mixture thereof. Do we need access to amenities such as public transit, recreation/green space, schools, places of worship or more. Parking? Basements? Zoning regulations within the London Plan and availability of infrastructure? These are just a few of the decisions to be made. If you’d like a vote in the process, then please consider becoming an equity member.
That will depend on the building format chosen, and space. Passive haus designs (if that is what the group chooses to follow, as an example) tend to be quite sleek and minimalistic. Maybe the group decides on something a little more traditional, with big front porches? Who knows? If you’d like a vote in the choices, then please consider becoming an equity member.
The $64,000 question! The ‘downside’ is that cohousing communities often cost more than conventional builds, especially if members have elected for more sustainable building methods, and/or want very extensive common spaces. The ‘upside’ is that substantial cost-of-living savings can be achieved after move-in due to things like group purchasing discounts, shared resources, self- maintaining the property etc. Equity members need to be able to obtain mortgage approval for a typical property (example, $450,000 for a new townhouse) and also be able to make some upfront equity investment to get the project started.
How will it be governed?
Members will decide on the governance structure, which will be written into the bylaws. Either consensus, sociocracy or a blended model will be adopted. These are decision making processes in which every member has a voice and a vote, with the ultimate goal being to arrive at a decision everyone can live with.
Will it be a gated community?
No. Cohousing communities strive to be good neighbors to the greater community in which they are located. Gating is too isolationist.
What if I want to sell my cohousing unit?
If the members have adopted a condominium or co-operative structure then you will be able to sell your unit/share on the open market. Any conditions surrounding the sale would be set out by the members in advance through the bylaws, as will rules for inheritance/estate dispersal. Obviously though, whoever purchases the unit needs to cohousing minded, and therefore a good 'fit' with the community. It's perhaps useful to note that many communities end up with waiting lists of interested purchasers. The Spokane, WA community had a waiting list before they had even broken ground on their project! Click to read article
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