IT’S HARD TO PICTURE YOURSELF LIVING IN COHOUSING UNTIL YOU KNOW WHERE EXACTLY THAT WILL BE We have a way to focus that picture for you! Our plan has two objectives: Our primary objective is to convince you that enough other people have a serious interest in cohousing on a particular site in the urban core, and the financial ability to join a project now, so that you’ll believe it can happen. To do that, we’ll need to accomplish our second objective, which is to convince an insider in the Twin Cities real estate market- whether that’s a commercial real estate broker, developer or owner of property suitable for a multi-unit residential project- to help us find a site. And that means being able to show enough people committed to our search, and who have the financial ability to purchase homes in the community we want to build, so we’ll be credible. Strength in numbers. Many hands make light work. Money talks. These and other well-worn sayings all apply to the process. The point is to get over that big hurdle of finding a potential site that prospective members of our community can believe has a real possibility for development. That’s the point at which cohousing history tells us people will begin to make serious financial commitments to a venture. But let’s add one more important element to the picture: standard-setting green design! Cohousing involves cooperation in the use of resources that naturally reduces the carbon footprint and other waste production of all residents, but Cedar has made a commitment to go even further. Cedar’s goal is to design every structure in the community to be compliant with the most recent Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) standards for energy efficiency! PHIUS is a nonprofit organization that sets the bar for climate-specific passive design. The website has an exciting story to tell: https://www.phius.org/ Picture living in a community where cohousing and passive house principles work together! How does it work? We’re asking you to make a deposit, and at least nineteen others to make the same deposit, into a separate fund that Cedar will set up for our plan. The amount we’re asking from each person is $300. If, at any time after you make the deposit, but before we reach that goal, you decide for any reason that you don’t want to participate, you’ll receive a full refund of your deposit immediately.
Everyone will receive a full refund on September 30, 2019 if we can’t convince nineteen others to join with you in making deposits by then. If we don’t get there, nothing is at risk and there’s no binding commitment of any kind. But if we do reach our goal on or before September 30, then a contract among Cedar and all the depositors goes into effect, and the fund of deposits will be used for our plan.
The contract will be for just one purpose: to hire services. Because the Twin Cities, like other major urban areas, is a competitive real estate market, we need a representative who understands both cohousing principles and residential development in our area. We’ll engage a firm or individual who has this experience, to contact and negotiate with the insiders in this market who can identify properties that might be right for our community.
To give our representative added credibility, we’ll also ask each of the depositors to be ready to document financial ability to purchase a home for what we think is a realistic minimum price for any community we can build in the Twin Cities. The people who can offer potential sites for our consideration will want to know there is at least a core group of people ready to move quickly. Remember, good properties won’t stay on the market long here.
What we’re hoping for, is to identify a site and learn enough about it to conclude that no obvious roadblocks are in sight- and the next phases of investigation, design, and the hunt for financing- have a realistic chance of success. We’re hoping that will convince you and others, that it’s time to get serious about building the first energy efficient cohousing community in the Twin Cities! But it’s worth repeating: until we reach our goal for sign-ups, you can withdraw at any time and receive a full refund of your deposit. And if we don’t reach our goal by September 30, everyone will receive a full refund. Want to learn more? We’re having presentations about our plan at The First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve, Minneapolis, Sundays from 7 to 8pm on: June 9, June 16, July 14, August 18, September 8 and September 22. Many events will include a speaker (architects, mechanical engineers among others) who will discuss topics relevant to energy efficient design/systems such as: (PHIUS) standards for energy efficiency in a cohousing environment; photovoltaic systems; how healthier homes improve quality of life/health and add energy/financial savings; home performance audits; clean transportation; regenerative agriculture; xeriscape landscaping, etc. You can sign up on MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/Twin-Cities-Urban-Site-Search-Cohousing-Meetup/events/ We’ve reserved space for a table at these Open Streets events: Lake at Minnehaha July 21, Northeast (Central at 22nd) August 4, and U of MN (14 Avenue SE at 5th Street SE) September 8. See https://www.openstreetsmpls.org/ for more information. Sign up on MeetUp. Additional speaker presentations will be held around town, so watch for postings on MeetUp.
If you can’t get to one of these events, please contact Becca Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a time to talk one to one. But try to make one or more- to meet people who may become your neighbors, learn more about energy efficiency, and hear questions (and answers) that you hadn’t considered!