FAQ - Perguntas Frequentes

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Our relationship to the Bay Area Community Land Trust (BACLT)


We have been consulting with the Bay Area Community Land Trust since our inception. We share the land trust’s goal of providing permanently affordable and resident-controlled cooperative housing to benefit low and middle income seniors from diverse backgrounds, now and forever. We became the first elder cooperative project of the Bay Area Community Land Trust in 2016. We draw technical, financial, and managerial support from the Bay Area Community Land Trust. The Bay Area Community Land Trust will own the land where our residences are located and will have a 99-year ground lease with Hibiscus Commons that restricts increases in the monthly assessments of residents and addresses financial management requirements of the cooperative.




Who will own the Hibiscus Commons property?


Hibiscus Commons is considering three ownership models: a limited equity housing cooperative (LEHC) and a resident owned or managed nonprofit (RON or RMN). Learn about these models described by the Bay Area Community Land Trust BY CLICKING HERE. Under each model, the Bay Area Community Land Trust will own the property. Under an LEHC, the members would own the building. Members would make an initial investment and would have some limited equity. When a member moves out, a new member would have to pay that equity to the old member, plus an agreed upon interest rate. Under a RON, the members would own the building as a nonprofit organization. Under an RMN, the Bay Area Community Land Trust would own the building. In both cases, the members would have no equity. There would be no move in costs for new members beyond the type of expenses a renter would commonly pay, such as a security deposit. It is easier to get funding as a nonprofit organization using one of these ownership models and these models have the lowest set up cost.




What is the plan to draw in financial support?


Because purchasing a property at today’s market value would preclude maintaining monthly assessments (similar to rent) at an affordable level, we will seek financial support such as public funding or acquiring a donated or below market value property.




Will I get my money back if I leave before we have a property?


During this planning stage of the project, aspiring members pay dues of $5 per month and full members pay dues of $10 per month to cover general expenses. These dues are not refundable if you leave Hibiscus Commons before we have a property. Any major expenses during the planning stages of the project will be approved by consensus. When approving the expense, the group will decide if it is reimbursable upon a member leaving the group. Because this decision is made by consensus, you will not be required to make any expenditures you do not approve of.




How much do I need to invest to become a resident member?


An initial investment by residents would only be required if Hibiscus Commons chooses to become a limited equity cooperative (LEHC). In this case, members would need to invest on the order of $10,000 to $15,000 for their share in the cooperative. If Hibiscus Commons chooses to become a Resident-Owned Nonprofit (RON) or a Resident-Managed Nonprofit (RMN), no initial investment is required. The resident would only be responsible for monthly assessments (similar to rent) and a security deposit in accordance the Hibiscus Commons Occupancy Agreement. Under any ownership model, members may also loan the nonprofit money. Any money that a member invests in the property would be a loan to the nonprofit and would not be payable if a member moves out, although Hibiscus Commons would continue to make payments in accordance with the original terms of the loan agreement. Refer to above answer to FAQ "Who will own the Hibiscus Commons property" for a brief description of these ownership models.




What if I become a resident member and later want to move?


This will depend on the type of ownership structure Hibiscus Commons selects. For example, if Hibiscus Commons chooses a to be a Limited Equity Housing Cooperative (LEHC), any departing member would be returned the full value of their original share investment (equity), plus interest when they move out. If Hibiscus Commons chooses to be a Resident Owned Nonprofit or Resident Managed Nonprofit, leaving Hibiscus Commons would be very similar to moving out of a rental unit, and the security deposit would be returned.




How will Hibiscus Commons remain permanently affordable?


Annual increases in monthly assessments (similar to rent) will be limited by the ground lease with the Bay Area Community Land Trust which will insure that housing costs remain affordable as members age and will also become even more affordable over time for future residents compared to market rents. We intend to provide many of the benefits of assisted living through mutual support and exchange of services, avoiding the financial burden of typical assisted living facilities.





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