Affordability Club Proposal

Membership: Affordability 2005-01-05

Summary:

A proposal to address the financial stress on individual households caused by association fee increases.

Background:

According to mortgage lenders, the first 5 years of a mortgage are the most difficult. Often folks stretch financially to get into their homes. Because incomes often go up, over time the mortgage payment no longer feels stressful. Great Oak association fees will increase for 2005, causing some households increased financial stress.

Based on feedback we received from some of the "stressed" households, we felt it was important to create a "win - win" solution for a redistribution of time/money within the community.

Proposal:

An Affordability Club will be created. Members will include those who are willing & able to voluntarily contribute money into the Club, and those households who request a monthly stipend to offset their association fee increase. As a way to offer something back, and, in order for this transaction to not seem like charity, we are asking that receivers volunteer some time helping out in the community. We recognize that it is because of all of our efforts that we can keep costs down. And we recognize that the act of giving is as much a blessing as the gift of receiving.

This exchange must be entirely outside of the Great Oak work system for legal reasons. A list of projects will be started by Affordability for suggestion purposes only. The list will be posted on the WIKI and can be added to by any member of the community. The scope and duration of the work will be on the honor system with a suggested trade value of 1 hour for every $20.

Membership in the Club is confidential. As a member, households would have a credit or debit appear on their monthly association invoice.

Affordability will make calls at the 6 month & 1 year marks to gather information anonymously about community hours/projects completed. The results of the Affordability Club will be presented at a community meeting as a way of honoring our diversity in this exchange of money & volunteer time.


Mechanism:

The Affordability Committee will call EVERY household in Great Oak to both assess needs (which households need how much assistance) and willingness to contribute (which households can contribute and how much each month).

Based on our initial assessment, the Affordability Committee has determined that we have the resources to meet the needs in the community.

The bookkeeper (under the direction of F&L) will set up accounting procedures to ensure proper assignment of "club dues."


Pros:

* Allows the community to raise fees enough to cover needed increases in operating expenses without unintentionally creating hardship for members.

* Provides a "win-win" exchange of money & volunteer time instead of "charity".

* Allows flexibility in determining the rate & details of the exchange.

* Honors the financial diversity within our community.

* Provides a reporting mechanism for the community to determine if this was a successful solution.


Cons:

* May not be able to meet all needs.

* Will not be completely confidential (those on a need-to-know basis will be: bookkeepers, check logger, Affordability Committee [Elph, Mary King, Melisa], perhaps some members of F&L, & any accountant hired for an audit).

Process Comments:

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