Wednesday, June 20, 2007
"Pick the low hanging fruit"
Such an abundant yield from our visit with permie Kevin Bayuk! Not the least of which is the growing awareness in Michelle and Garry that this whole permie thing creates real solutions at the the most sustainable levels for the issues we currently face.
And for me, the realization that there is much low-hanging fruit we can pick and receive a favorable ROI earlier rather than later.
Of course, I want to redevelop properties so they have ALL the bells and whistles; common spaces, on-site energy generation, vermiculture... but Kevin wisely pointed out that aiming for the things that don't require civic engagement and getting those handled in the first project (or two) means that revenues are coming in, and we can later go back and implement the parts as guerilla systems, or choose civic integrity and acquire those expensive permits for rain harvesting and gray water and solar power panels.
What low hanging fruit? Energy efficiency and toxin elimination, creating common areas and planting polyculture perennial food forests. I can sell this project using this language. These are the "slow, small steps" advocated by permaculture design. The other bits will come as the model matures.
I've also been working on the idea about how to use Fractionalized TIC loan products to create affordable units. One idea that has been fuzzy and is now clearer is to have one owner-tenant hold the lion's share of the property's value. Others own shares that reflect their ability to pay. This accomplishes a goal of mingling people from different economic strata, while also releasing the original group of investors from the property.
In my own property, this could look like me holding 40% to 50% of the value, and my two or three TIC-mates holding 15% to 20%. They get housing at $200/square foot, and I'm the primary contact in terms of insurance and other legalities.
The model here is that each property would have an "anchor tenant," someone self-selected to be involved from the beginning, acting as a property manager until the project was completed. They'd buy in at the start, live on-site through the improvements, see their initial investment increase so that they would hold at least 20% equity in the property at project completion, and then leverage that into the down payment banks want to see when they finance a TIC.