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Continued from notes compiled by another person for the first half. Note taker: Todd Gage

Issue building a cohousing group:

  • Could form a company to buy a property for the community
  • If you have multiple units, for Fair Housing Act concerns, there can be a challenge in blocking someone from purchasing one of the for sale units, even if you don’t want the person to be part of your community
  • Housing laws are adversarial: if someone has bad intentions, and is a motivated attacker they can cause you a LOT of problems - force you to rent to them, sell to them, and pose you challenges in getting them out.
    • Best solution is to try and have every interaction around you be positive so that you never get to where you have a motivated attacker.

To strike the balance between landlording and community can require compromise, and sometimes mutually beneficial compromise can lead to long-term happiness on both sides.

In Kevin’s cohousing experience

  • His group was focused on long-term living. E.g. some folks were looking to raise their kids there.
  • For a lot of people, ownership was a big drive and motivation
  • If someone is a direct property owner, this gives them a built-in incentive to take care of the place.
  • How do you do this with tenants?
  • Mission 20 is currently populated with people who feel a sense of ownership, by being bought into the vision, are looking to build something together. This is generally leading to cohesive community behavior.
  • This will require cultural transmission over time.

Had one person who felt very entitled, wanted to do things that were contrary to community interest. Leveraged one person in the community who had a close relationship with him to help work things out and convince the person that it wasn’t the best place for them.

“Voice of authority” isn’t a good enforcement tool, only community pressure. The voice of authority is only truly effective if/when you have to take direct action.

David has both a housing solution and a farm. For some of his tenants, he has found a way to have them help out in other ways, like working on the farm or doing carpentry, instead of paying rent.

If someone in 20 Mission had a job interruption, Ryan anticipates the community would try to find a way to alternately pay the rent: work on the building, working for another startup represented in the building, etc.

Mission 20 is starting to get interest from companies who are looking for temporary office space and/or living space. May start getting some equity paid into the community, which will be a new wrinkle.

Setting up a co-working space downstairs with desk rentals, giving people a place to have an onsite office.

Comment: In some ways, this isn’t too different than a company town.

At 20 Mission currently, out of the 24, 9 of them have a professional relationship with the master tenant.


Resources: In-cloud counsel - on-demand legal services InDinero - on-demand corporate accountancy, including CPA services, payroll, etc.

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