An update from OUR Ecovillage Cooperative – Fall 2013
While the last two years have seen continued infrastructure development and increase in the program and event hosting capacity of OUR Ecovillage, OUR Coop has been challenged to maintain momentum and make progress toward fulfilling its mandate.
Since March 2009 O.U.R. Coop has been trying to obtain a conventional mortgage through any bank, credit union, or private mortgage which could be secured at current market rates (not the typical extreme interest rates which are quoted by financiers who are mostly risk averse in relation to Coops). We have had a comprehensive Business Plan fully completed for new owners, business partners, and/or investors to have a look at. Servicing the debt ratio is not in the slightest a challenge (obviously we have been doing this since 1999 already!) and we have had many, many folks over the years who wish to obtain financing to become shared owners. It has been a major setback to the unfolding of OUR ECOVILLAGE that no family or individual could apply for a mortgage…and likewise that OUR ECOVILLAGE Coop could not either. No real next stage of ownership is possible with this major stumbling block.
The last step…. and greatest challenge has always been the ability to obtain full financing in order to move the ownership on from the current privately held, in-trust, title (with no interest or personal gain being taken).
2013 marks the next stage of a new possibility for the financing of OUR ECOVILLAGE. Finally the legal process is completed for the registration of the new “Community Trust for Ethical Investment” Mortgage (link). OUR ECOVILLAGE can actually offer investors and new owners the opportunity to bring forward the Community Trust for Ethical Investment” by being paid 3% interest with annual payments and all service charges are paid for you (considering a base level of investment). Talk to us about more details: protect@
This “Interim Landshare Option” that OUR ECOVILLAGE is offering is an way to finance the ownership and development through a community vehicle that allows for a smooth transition of investments into the Coop when appropriate. Potential new HearthKeepers complete a LEASE AGREEMENT which provides Landshare Options. This will convert to OUR ECOVILLAGE shares at the time when the Coop can obtain its own financing or has populated the “Community Trust for Ethical Investment”. OUR Landshare Options would at that time simply roll over into the new ownership structure/financing as part of the Agreement.
Once again – gratitude for the persistence and vision of the current land stewards, the Board members of O.U.R. Ecovillage Cooperative and all the others who have carried some part of the vision and operations of OUR Ecovillage through the years to allow us to reach this point. OUR Ecovillage continues to represent a beacon of hope and learning for thousands of visitors and students annually from all over the world.
Warmly, Patrick Jackson
President, O.U.R. Ecovillage Cooperative.