• We are forming a shared living / shared ownership household for people with a commitment to progressive social change.
• We envision creating an informal community, with a mix of shared and private spaces and some shared meals and other group activities.
• We operate from a base of values that include transparency, honesty, democracy, and respect for people and the planet.
• We are working to reduce buy-in costs and create an affordable alternative to renting and conventional home ownership.
• The house, located at 2839 Ashby Ave., Berkeley Elmwood, is half owned by the organizer, Jon Katz
We are working with the East Bay Co-Housing Network and Bay Area Community Land Trust to explore possible cooperative ownership structures, including Resident Operated Nonprofit, Limited Equity Housing Co-op, and Tenancy In Common models. The final choice will depend largely on the financial resources we can identify in the coming weeks. Berkeley Elmwood is a beautiful but already heavily gentrified (and expensive) neighbourhood, and developing a viable financial plan <link> has been a real challenge. It is unlikely that we will be able to reduce monthly payments below the current market value for Elmwood shared housing, which is around $1500 for a large room with private bath, and $1100 for a medium room with shared bath. We are operating on a very tight time frame, so please contact us soon if you’re interested
coach Raines Cohen:
“We call this ‘cohouseholding’ but it could take the form of a co-op or Tenants in Common (TIC) co-ownership or something more creative. Since Jon owns half of this beautiful, spacious house, and both he and it have a long history of cooperative community living, this has the potential to be much easier and more affordable than starting from scratch and buying a whole home on the open market. This will still come down to collective purchase of a half share of a Berkeley home, at market prices. But with the right group splitting it up in the right way, it may be more accessible than most area home ownership opportunities.”
- August 16 (Sunday), 2:00 - 4:00pm : General Meeting at 2839 Ashby
- September 1: Residents core group identified
- September 15: Ownership structure decided
- October 1: Detailed financial plan in place
Jon Katz, organizer:
Jon spends most of his time in El Limon, Dominican Republic: a village of 85 hardscrabble farm families, a community-based non-profit, and him at the end of a dirt road. He works with many villages on participatory technology projects, particularly micro-hydro electrification, wireless internet access, and soon tele-health. His housing experience includes the New York squatter movement of the 1970’s, various cooperative housing ventures, and a stint as a rather unconventional plumbing contractor. For Jon, the co-op would be a US fallback base and a way to maintain his sentimental, political, and artistic family connections with the house.