Now You can be Part of My Campaign

We're ready for you to get involved in my campaign. Here's how!

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Introduction to my Campaign

Fall, 2016 Update: We were surprised and delighted by the response we got to this, over 10,000 signatures in one weekend! It got the government's attention, and we ended up going to DC and meeting with HUD staff and shifting FHA policy. But since differences in city and federal guidelines around our unique community are keeping us from pursuing this path (for now), and I'd rather do this in a way that benefits my friends and neighbors rather than a big commercial bank, I'm making do with what I have for now, and continuing to work, and with my neighbor Raines and others we're researching and co-creating  community alternatives, like a Revolving Loan Fund and/or Permanent Real Estate Coop, perhaps in partnership with a Land Trust and Community Loan Fund. Read the recent articles in this section for more.

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Heroic Futures

A compelling mystery was solved as I attended a three evening talk, Heroic Futures, by futurist Alex Steffen, a TED Fellow who co-created the WorldChanging movement and book. As all of us more fully realize climate change, reversing it depends on all of us changing. The speaker gave us a way to realize hope: co-creating a culture of innovation as the Harlem Renaissance and Paris of the 1920’s did. It is developed by stories.

 

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Looking deeper with the Conscious Elders

Conscious Elders NetworkRaines invited me to talk to the Conscious Elders Network at its annual gathering held in nearby Burlingame.

This young organization of older people is planning to focus on Sustainable Community Living in the next year.

My cohousing neighbor Raines, a founder of the group, thought it wise that they hear from a community-founder Elder who is living in community and Aging in Community.

 

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Update on my progress on new paths

Dear Supporters,

Alice welcomes you back to her houseAgain it has been a long time since I have written you. While my progress toward obtaining a reverse mortgage without a bank is slow, it is exciting, too.

I'm in discussions with a group that I've been part of for decades about providing loan funding. My neighbors Raines, Betsy, and I are talking with land trusts about creating some type of revolving loan fund. We're excited by innovations like the Permanent Real Estate Co-op proposed by our legal beagle friends at the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC). My life continues to be abundantly rich and a surprisingly, integrated journey. 

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Thanks for your Support

Dear Supporters,

It has been too long since you have heard from me. Please forgive me.

Raines and I have been working with the City of Berkeley to comply with their new housing affordability requirements which must match those of HUD and thus enable them to offer reverse mortgages …very complex.

At the same time, we have been thinking of other ways to keep me in my home and invite you to help. 

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Viager: The French Connection

Viager is France's forerunner to a reverse mortgage.  

House rich/cash poor elders may sell their home and remain living in it until their death and receive payments from the buyer who gains title of the home upon the seller's death, in what is called buying "en viager." This transaction is most similar to Life Estates in the US; the seller becomes, the "life tenant" and the buyer becomes the "owner."
Viagers are not unheard of in the United States, but still quite rare, and professionals who can advise on them are few and far between. 
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New Directions:Community-Supported Crowdfunding

Thank you all so much for all your support over the last year. Your signatures on my petition to HUD brought about real change in the acceptance of cohousing by government, making it easier for many people living in community to stay in their homes as they age.

Based on our success and the possibilities that emerged during this journey, I'm now inspired to pursue a different path towards similar goals: building a community infrastructure that can help us help each other get our needs met, without having to engage the banking system and HUD-backed mortgage insurance.

But I most definitely can't do this alone -- your help, connections, ideas and inspiration will be critical as we co-create this new world, together.

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About the Campaign

I'm the organizer of the petition, so I can verify, on behalf of my 72-year-old neighbor Alice Green, after over two years working together on this, that the key issue preventing her from getting a reverse mortgage is that our condominium community is a cohousing neighborhood.

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Alice Goes to Washington

I'm going to Washington! On June 10 (2014), My cohousing neighbor Raines Cohen and I are bringing my petition to officials at the Federal Housing Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to tell them that more than 11,000 people (including you!) want reverse mortgages to be available to homeowners who live in cohousing like me.

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Cohousing

Cohousing neighborhoods are nearly all set up to be, legally speaking, condominiums. Members own their own private homes with separate titles, and share in a clubhouse "common house" and other shared amenities. We all have our own kitchens, but some of us voluntarily gather to share meals up to several times a week, which we believe is being misinterpreted by HUD as a "board-and-care" type assisted-living facility, or like a business.

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Cool Comments

Here's some of the coolest (in Alice's humble opinion) comments people signing the petition have made about why they support sustainable Aging in Community.

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Green Living


Alice lives super-efficiently, biking everywhere, buying locally at Farmer's Markets, and has gotten awards for low utility use and efficient transportation. She has served on the Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) board and works for a Berkeley salvage company that brings new lives to old stuff.

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Here's some of what people signing the petition have said about why they support living in greener, more sustainable ways:

 

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Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgages let seniors continue to live in their homes by providing them with an income based on equity in their home.

 

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The Original Petition

My name is Alice Green and I'm 72 years old. For more than 20 years, I've lived in a wonderful cohousing condominium community in Berkeley, California. But I'll lose my home in a few months - and with it, the community I consider my family - unless the government agrees to let me reverse mortgage my home.

(Fall, 2016 Update: We were surprised and delighted by the response we got to this, over 10,000 signatures in one weekend! It got the government's attention, and we ended up going to DC and meeting with HUD staff and shifting FHA policy. But since differences in city and federal guidelines around our unique community are keeping us from pursuing this path (for now), and I'd rather do this in a way that benefits my friends and neighbors rather than a big commercial bank, I'm making do with what I have for now, and continuing to work, and with my neighbor Raines and others we're researching and co-creating  community alternatives, like a Revolving Loan Fund and/or Permanent Real Estate Coop, perhaps in partnership with a Land Trust and Community Loan Fund. Read the recent articles in this section for more. )

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