This is one of a series of new articles on low cost housing which you can find on the build-online website. Register and take a look. http://www.build-online.com
As part of its contribution to the ongoing debate on the Irish housing crisis, Build on-line outlines the concept of cohousing and the U.S.â€™s Ginnie Mae mortgage securities
In the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and , to a lesser extent, the U.K., cohousing has been adopted as a solution to dramatic demographic and economic changes that have taken place in those societies, leaving a mismatch between todayâ€™s households and conventional housing. Cohousing communities combine the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of community living. With several dozen such communities now in existence in the U.S. alone, and many more in the planning stages, the cohousing idea is re-establishing numerous benefits of traditional villages within the context of late-20th century life.
Essentially, in a cohousing scheme, every household not only has a private residence but also shares extensive common facilities with the larger group, including a dining area, childrenâ€™s playrooms, workshops and guestrooms. Although units are designed to be self-sufficient and have their own kitchens, the shared facilities are important aspects of community life, both for social and practical reasons. Moreover, in these housing projects, residents help plan and design the developments to ensure that their needs are met.
In the U.S., these schemes have been introduced in response to households characterised by smaller families, women working outside the home, and increasing numbers of single parents, elderly, and singles living alone. Such households frequently face a child-care crisis, social isolation and an extreme time shortage because they are residing in housing developments that were designed for a family with " a bread-winning father and a full-time housewife".
As well as providing a contemporary model for recreating communities with that sense of place, cohousing projects also provide such societal benefits as greater resource efficiency â€“ in terms of both materials and energy â€“ and improved security for the community and surrounding area. In addition, by taking advantage of the benefits of clustering dwellings, these developments make higher densities more appealing, an essential element in reducing transportation requirements and urban sprawl. Finally, the scale of such projects makes them perfect for urban in-fill sites or conversions of existing buildings.
Operating within the U.S.â€™s Department of Housing and Urban Development, wholly owned government corporation Ginnie Mae works to provide affordable housing for all Americans by facilitating efficient secondary market activities for federally guaranteed mortgages.
Through its mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) programmes, Ginnie Mae helps to increase the supply of credit available for housing. This government corporation insures securities backed by pools of mortgages, or MBSs. Issued by Ginnie Mae-approved private institutions, these MBSs are insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration or the Rural Housing Service.
The Ginnie Mae guaranty promises to make payments to the holders of these securities in a timely manner under the terms of the MBSs even if the borrowers do not make their payments, there is a failure to perform or there is a default by an issuer in Ginnie Maeâ€™s MBS programme. The payments comprise principal and interest due on pooled mortgages that back the securities and prepayments and early recoveries of principal on the pooled mortgages.
Ginnie Mae securities offer lenders a vehicle for originating, funding and servicing mortgages in an extremely structured and liquid market. At the same time, the securities provide investors with an investment that offers safety of principal, liquidity and attractive yields. Currently, Ginnie Mae securities are one of the most widely held and traded mortgage-backed securities in the world.