With the lack of affordable housing it’s refreshing to read about the C Street Co-op in Springfield (“A Home of One’s Own” EW 2/3). Like Dylan Lamar I like to think of the spectrum of housing options. But I don’t fully agree with his statement that renting is a form of wealth extraction.
During the two years I lived in cooperatively-owned housing I learned that some people enjoy the responsibilities of home ownership, but many people don’t have the time, desire and/or skills to own a home. Cleaning gutters, comparing insurance policies and budgeting to replace the roof isn’t everyone’s idea of a good weekend.
What people desire is comfort, stability and affordability. Traditional home ownership and cooperatives are great for those who choose that path, but we need more choices on the housing spectrum.
While the American dream of home ownership can provide financial stability, it has also been mythologized to stoke the economy by encouraging ever-increasing consumer demand. Sinking every paycheck into a home without the ability to readily access the home’s equity isn’t the right financial strategy for everyone.
In the last 10 years I’ve been providing affordable housing using a different model. By sharing an existing home and using the space more efficiently people can create community and enjoy a better quality of life at a reasonable price without the burden of home ownership. You can learn more about this vision at an open house on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 4 pm at 547 W. 12th Avenue.