Who are We?
PFAC is a 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and establishing affordable cohousing—an innovative, efficient, and satisfying way to live in our increasingly complicated world. Because we are committed to the value of cohousing, we want to help provide opportunities to live in cohousing with as many households as possible, regardless of their income. The purpose of PFAC is to create partnerships between cohousing and affordable housing advocates to further affordable cohousing in mixed-income cohousing communities.
Affordable Cohousing are homes that are part of a cohousing community and are structured and designated as income-restricted for occupancy for low and moderate-income households and rent/price-restricted to be affordable for those households. We create Affordable Cohousing so that the resident pays no more than 30-35% of a household’s annual income on housing and utility payments. Through Affordable Cohousing we help provide opportunities to live in cohousing with as many households as possible, regardless of income.
Partnerships For Affordable Cohousing, Inc. (PFAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working with local cohousing groups and affordable housing organizations around the country to provide and develop affordable cohousing. PFAC serves as a bridge between the traditional affordable housing infrastructure and the cohousing communities of today and tomorrow.
PFAC is specifically focused on creating working partnerships with local cohousing groups and affordable housing organizations that seek to support affordable cohousing for low and moderate-income households. These partnerships promote, purchase, develop, finance, own and manage affordable cohousing. PFAC partners with banks, credit unions, and private investors to finance affordable cohousing housing. It also develops working relationships with other non-profits, foundations, and groups that share this general understanding: many problems facing us today can be addressed--and solved--in a community setting.
PFAC also provides technical assistance to existing and forming cohousing groups committed to including affordable cohousing for low and moderate-income households. PFAC assists groups by creating strategies to purchase and own affordable rental and homeownership units in cohousing communities. PFAC also seeks ways in which public and private financing can increase the number of rental, rent-to-own, and low-cost homeownership units in cohousing communities.
Welcome from the new Executive Director!
PFAC started out four years ago as an organization dedicated to bringing financial expertise, resources, and methods from the multifamily housing industry into cohousing. Special focus was placed upon affordability for three reasons: 1) affordability gives us a way to capture, measure and communicate the social, political, and economic contributions of cohousing; 2) affordability is an issue in nearly all markets where cohousing is prevalent; and 3) affordability took on new meaning and importance for both individuals and communities after the financial crisis of 2008.
Since its founding, developing affordability strategies for communities has been the most important work of PFAC. Executing these strategies requires forging partnerships with private, public and other non-profit entities on both a local and national level, and this is where PFAC finds itself today.
Up to this point, a board of PFAC experts has done this work, in a way that very much mirrors the cohousing communities that PFAC aspires to serve. With significant progress has come opportunity, and fully capitalizing upon it requires that the organization structure itself accordingly. This includes appointing an Executive Director, as well as making room for additional staff members and consultants who can support communities, funders, investors, municipalities and housing-related entities on a local level.
As we embark on this new and important phase in the development of the organization--knowing that the work we do is in service of communities and the individuals within them--we'd like to get your feedback. As a community or community member, what are your needs and values around affordability? To what extent is affordability a problem in your town or city? Do you envision that your community can be part of a bigger solution to the problem? How would you envision supporting PFAC's work--during your project's planning phase, upon a project's execution? Through charitable contribution? Something else?
Thank you for your input and your support of PFAC as it builds a bridge between cohousing and the conventional housing and finance world. This bridge is what will make it possible for more people to live in cohousing and reap its benefits, as well as for more communities that take human well-being seriously to emerge.
Welcome to Partnerships For Affordable Cohousing (PFAC)!