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nico [userpic]
property collective
by nico (v3g4n)
at August 8th, 2009 (01:13 am)

I seem to have this loose idea of a property collective, that works to make spaces more accessible. Essentially I would love to work on two projects, one that creates non-profit collective permanent residential/commercial space and another that helps people buy their own home (which is more transient, people can sell their home to the highest bidder if they want... or it seems there's a mix of equity/keeping homes affordable with this project in Seattle).

I guess I think that stable shelter is fundamental to people being able to care for themselves and their community, and living in a non-profit space would be way better than the average landlord. Also, I'm thinking that I want to live in a collectively owned space... and one that is going to stick around, no matter who moves out.

Other questions include:
1. Start up capital: My/collective's own and/or is there funding to be had (SEED?).
2. Rent: I am assuming would include mortgage/insurance/property tax/repair fund. Would it still be cheap enough? Rent could go down as the mortgage is paid off...
3. Repairs: do the tenants make them with their own money? do they make them with the repair fund money? does the collective make them with the repair fund money? does the collective give back projected excess repair fund money annually?
4. Collective membership: would tenants automatically be a part of the collective? how do you maintain a healthy collective? is it open to anyone?
5. Expansion: can built equity (as mortgage is paid off) be used to purchase more spaces? can money be built into rent to fund buying new spaces (unlikely)? funding?
6. Repairs vs. renovations: repairs need to be done, but renovations make a place feel like home... are house renos either not done or done badly/cheaply (not necessarily the same, I know) because people don't 'own' the house?


Elizabeth Barrette [userpic]
Yardsharing for Hyperlocavores
by Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith)
at April 28th, 2009 (10:37 pm)
current mood: busy

While researching yardshare resources for a Gaiatribe post, "The Sharing Garden," I found the Hyperlocavore site on Ning.

A "hyperlocavore" is someone who eats as much locally grown food as possible, preferably growing some of their own. This is related to the "eat local" and "100 mile diet" movements that are beginning to compete with "organic" foods for being the greenest sustainance option.

The "yardshare" movement is a branch of community building. It connects people who have yards with people who have gardening ability. This allows more people to grow at least some of their own food. This is something I've been doing very casually for some time -- we have friends in the area who sometimes swap or share yard/garden work, supplies, and harvests.

The Hyperlocavore network is a place for people to discuss yardshare ideas, opportunities, and resources. The forums provide a place to find other people who are seeking a yard to garden in, or who have a yard and need gardeners, in your area. The network itself is new but shows promise. You can read my profile page there, and if you wish, Friend me.

bipobitch [userpic]
Mad-Friendly Egalitarian Communites?
by bipobitch (bipobitch)
at November 6th, 2008 (05:44 pm)

This is my first thread and a bit of a long shot...but does anyone here know of/belong to an egalitarian community that welcomes mad people (even if it's not specifically focused on them)?  Or even ones that wouldn't freak out if I applied and require I stop seeing a psych doc (that I'd pay for on my own) and start taking St. John's Wort instead?  I've had no luck sorting through the Intentional Communities directory, as I'm afraid to be up front with the communities that are most awesome to me.  (X-posted for moar responses)

ETA: Does anyone know if any of the FEC communities would consider taking mad folks who are not violent and are able to work (with the aid of Rx drugs)?

Edit 2 (for future reference): Twin Oaks is not a mad-friendly community.  They require that you be on medication, have it control all symptoms for at least a year, and not have had any episodes for a year - so people with chronic or treatment resistant conditions are not welcome.

nico [userpic]
Questions (again) about income sharing
by nico (v3g4n)
at October 28th, 2008 (03:37 pm)

In the last 2 years or so, I seem to have lost my interest in income sharing community. Even when I was interested, I kind of hesitated to say so. Discussions (or just me ranting?) with a potential third roommate totally renewed my enthusiasm.

I want more everyday community in my life. I want to rotate breakfast/lunch/dinner making. I want those that work to have lunches made for them, without having to spend their non-working evenings fretting about preparations for the next day. I want the energies of many individuals to make for a more efficient and healthy collective. I want to live in community with multiple age groups, not just be surrounded by my same aged peers.

I want for people to work part-time and rotate different work. I want to encourage and facilitate career obtainment for others (as a friend and also in an annoying but loving family kind of way).

I think my mind has changed about where I want to do this. I'm more interested in an urban environment in some ways, at least for now.

1. What if you work a job that you think is kind of brutal/hard, and someone else works some kind of totally rad job but makes way less money? Do you feel okay making the same wage overall if you feel like your job is harder or less desirable?

2. What about debt? Do you take on people's debt when they are in the community? Is this part of where the money goes? Minimum payments, or more aggressive payments? Would people stay in the community due to finances? If someone's debt is part of the reason they make more, isn't it fair to take that on? Wouldn't you want to take on debt (after school completion/career beginning) if it meant increasing someone wages? Isn't that a net gain for the community?

If I make $19/hr with $300 loan payments, I make $17/hr. This versus someone making $9/hr. If they took on loans with repayments of even $600/month but made $19/hr, they'd be making $15/hr, which is a significant pay increase. So it makes sense for the community to pay the loans, since it's a net gain anyways.

3. If someone is going to school, how does that work? You don't know if they'll be with you after they finish, so do you take on someone who isn't contributing money? Would student loans be any kind of income contribution (unlikely)?

4. How do you find out what is a minimum overall income to support everyone? People have different ideas of suitable lifestyle, how is that reconciled? What if you decide you need more money? I'm assuming a lot would be avoided by the sharing of resources so that money would stretch much farther.

nico [userpic]
buying a home.
by nico (v3g4n)
at April 26th, 2008 (12:16 pm)

Same question as always: how to own something with people?

If I buy a home with others, it doesn't make sense to say we'll only guarantee to live there for a year as the cost of selling the home and moving would be ridiculous.

We've talked about not being in it for the money, in which case those who left the home could just be paid back their rent money (which would be covered by an inflated monthly rent).

However, there are only certain people who can get a mortgage. Me and possibly others. And do we want numerous people on the mortgage or does that confuse things? Yet if there's only one person with the mortgage, what kind of power dynamic is that?

If the house was sold at some point, you could divide investment gain among people according to how many months they lived there.

Can it be held under some kind of co-operative structure, and those who live in it are the board members? I'd love to have a co-operative structure that could buy up homes in Winnipeg, making them sustainable and affordable. If income was generated, it could go to all members. If you can always get your rent money back, you'd have enough to put a down payment somewhere on your own possibly? Then you have that opt-out option. Maybe it could work somehow, I don't know.

Why is it always so complicated? Trying to be a communitarian in an individualized world. Trying to have the best of both worlds?

nico [userpic]
conflict resolution and land prices
by nico (v3g4n)
at April 21st, 2008 (07:45 pm)

[1] Who takes part in different conflict resolution techniques? Who participates in co-counseling?

[2] How much does land (houses, etc.) cost where you live or where you plan to live? A boarded up home costs over $500K here. A livable home costs $80,000 where I plan on living.

nico [userpic]
by nico (v3g4n)
at December 3rd, 2007 (06:42 pm)

What about 10 people going in on land together (would cost $150/month). Then we could slowly build on it. We could either live there or rent somewhere else. If we wanted out of it, we could re-mortgage or find new people or whatever. Eventually we'd live on it. 80 acres just outside a hippy town.

Is there something I'm missing out on?

nico [userpic]
community housing (income-sharing?) versus departing member individual equity
by nico (v3g4n)
at September 3rd, 2007 (12:46 am)
current song: souls of mischief

"it says they included a non-profit dissolution clause so if they dissolve and sell everything then the money doesn't go to the people involved...it instead goes to a like-minded organization. interestingly, this leads to something i hadn't thought of, which is that they don't care how long it takes to pay off the mortgage. they could decide to pay it off over a longer period of time, which would reduce the monthly payments."

Woah, this is a lot to process. So, if they dissolve, it goes to someone else. Now in the sense of the individual-departing-member's-equity this doesn't seem like a great idea. However, I'm intrigued by the idea of a reaaaally longterm mortgage. This means that the bank will make more money (possibly a contributor to the evil forces of the world - aka the overly rich class). But it makes you wonder if the monthly payments would be extremely small... if they were, it would make sense (even outside a non-profit context) to extend the mortgage while you invest your saved monthly capital into some other kind of equity (another property or RRSPs or something?). In this case, you have your individual equity outside of this primary residence. Then a departing member isn't such a traumatic experience... as members have outside equity to tap into in order to cover that departing member's monthly payment (supposing no one else wants to buy in - which they would if the monthly payment was low).Read more...Collapse )

nico [userpic]
Community housing - how do we get it?
by nico (v3g4n)
at August 28th, 2007 (04:19 pm)

How do we buy communal property with the intention of taking the housing off the market (to become a permanent community owned building) without sacrificing too much in the way of personal finance?

Sentence too complicated.

Say you are going to rent for the next 3 years. In that case, putting that rent towards a mortgage on a house to be owned by an intentional communities association would be better. That house could become a place where people are only paying monthly fees towards the living expenses (including house repair, or property taxes). Great. But what if you have the money to stop renting and pay into your own personal mortgage, in order to increase your money on the housing market? If you pay into this community house, you're giving your money to an association, not to yourself. I recognize that greed is an idea that arises here, but I'm trying to figure out how to fund community housing without sacrificing myself to an economic standard I am not comfortable with. I feel weird saying that, but I have no intentions of being 'rich' (which I recognize is a subjective adjective). I just want to be financially stable. If I were to be in an income-sharing community, I would want everyone to be financially stable (in that they are saving for retirement, in that they have a some connections to the outside workforce, and in that they can afford to live somewhere else if they were to leave). We've grown up as individualists, and we're aiming for something communal. It's a great transition, and a difficult one. I don't assume that the community I belong too will work out for me. I hope I want to stay with them for the rest of my life, but who am I to say? Thus, I want a stable exit plan for people. It's this idea of what you would have garnered for yourself (owned housing, stable job, retirement savings) if you weren't in the community versus being in it.

I hope I got my point across, it seems a bit of a ramble.

postethotic [userpic]
wind generator
by postethotic (postethotic)
at August 20th, 2007 (02:23 pm)

Did anyone catch this via boingboing recently?

With sticks lashed together, a bicycle wheel, a bike generator and rudimentary information gleaned from a primary school text, a Malawian teenager built a wind power system for his house. As others heard of his work, they and his family members chipped in to improve his system. He now provides lighting for his parents' home, and battery charging for his neighbors.

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