Synthesizing existing model solutions into a single hybrid entity — a limited-equity housing co-op*, sharing its common space with a co-maker / co-worker space, retail venue, and café / grill — Boomers Collaborative Foundation intends to change the nature of retirement and has adopted the following approach to create a mixed-income community that:

  • Satisfies the wants and needs of middle-income earners.

  • Includes provisions to accommodate the needs of some lower-income earners who qualify for Affordable Housing subsidies from the City of Austin. (Our target is to participate with 50 percent of our units at affordable rates, but the final decision will depend upon the availability of subsidies and project finances.)

  • Appeals to higher-income earners.

Borrowing from hotel and motel design efficiencies and to take advantage of economies of scale, we plan to adopt a modular template for our residential units, a practice of increasing interest to developers elsewhere to help control costs for enhanced affordability.

By locating in a viable urban-village setting, sharing common space in public ways, and engaging in commerce with our neighbors, we have conceptualized and designed our Baby Boomer housing co-op model to help ease the stress experienced by many economically-fragile Baby Boomers, their families, and the wider community.

The Benefits

Members benefit from shared housing (member residents), entrepreneurial space, equipment, and resources. The wider community benefits because they have a physically- and socially-healthy and resilient group of seniors capable of contributing. Partners also receive important recognition.

Specifically, members will enjoy

  • A sense of community and communal support.

  • Affordable housing eligibility for 50 percent of the project and market-rate affordable housing (missing middle) for the remaining 50 percent.

  • Sustainable, and innovative LEED design.

  • Small business and entrepreneurial supports for the following:

    • Shared office / co-working space.

    • Shared studio for arts, music, and artisanal / maker ventures.

    • Shared retail, recording, and gallery space.

    • Shared event space.

  • On-site commercial kitchen for commercial food / café / grill ventures, as well as communal or hospitality cooking, baking, catering, and event planning.

  • Participation in a variety of transportation solutions (shared and independent), either on or near bus and rail systems

  • Peace of mind knowing their enhanced security presents fewer problems for their families.

As suggested, the wider community gains

  • An economically viable and mentally and physically healthier aging group in less need of community support.

  • A social (and business) unit in a position to contribute and provide support (training and mentoring) to others.

  • A complex that will generate far less traffic since

    • Senior housing in general has a much lower car-ownership rate than other types of housing.

    • It is a live-work model.

In addition, Boomers Collaborative is likely to spur economic development and job growth, especially for youth and recent high school and college graduates. Younger workers will increasingly be needed to manage newer technologies, work as interns and aides, and handle café / grill and delivery kinds of services.

The developer and partners are no less important because they influence trends and future development. 

*It is possible we may need to adopt a condominium legal structure with an HOA (homeowners association) under a cooperative organizing agreement so that we may operate as a cooperative.