Frequently Asked Questions

A. So...What is Dos Pinos and How Does It Work?

“A housing co-op is a corporation that exists … to provide housing … to its members.  In a housing cooperative, there is a two-tiered ownership structure: At the top is the cooperative corporation, and below that, the corporation’s owners, typically known as member-owners. The cooperative corporation owns … the housing stock, which includes all land, dwelling units and common areas.  Member-owners purchase stock—sometimes called shares or membership certificates—in the cooperative corporation.  Upon purchasing stock in the cooperative, the member-owner signs a perpetual lease, called a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement, giving the member-owner a legal and exclusive right to occupy a particular dwelling unit, on condition that all obligations to the cooperative are met.”

Excerpted  from Cooperative Housing Tool Box, A Practical Guide for Cooperative Success
Published by Northcountry Cooperative Foundation in partnership with Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, 2003

No. You own a share in the housing cooperative which gives you the right to a lease in perpetuity a specific unit and gives you exclusive use of the interior of the unit and courtyard, assuming you comply with the Occupancy Agreement and the Policies in the Members’ Handbook.

Dos Pinos is a limited equity housing cooperative. The price for which the Dos Pinos members can sell their share (their equity) is limited or restricted. (See Bylaws and Permanent Improvement Policy in Members’ Handbook.)

“Housing co-ops differ from condominiums in that [member] residents do not own…their individual dwelling units.  Instead, the cooperative corporation holds title to the property, and [member] residents own share(s) in the cooperative. See “Differences Among Co-op, Condo, Rental, and Single Family” in this section for a comparison of condominium, cooperative, single family and rental housing features and benefits.”

Excerpted  from Cooperative Housing Tool Box, A Practical Guide for Cooperative Success
Published by Northcountry Cooperative Foundation in partnership with Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, 2003

The corporation of Dos Pinos Housing Cooperative owns Dos Pinos. Each member owns one share of the 60 shares of the corporation; each share gives the member a legal and exclusive right to occupy a particular dwelling unit, on condition that all obligations to the cooperative are met. See #2 above.

Dos Pinos has a mortgage loan guaranteed by HUD which means we must abide by the HUD regulatory agreement.

No, Dos Pinos is not subsidized by HUD or any other source.

No, Dos Pinos does not have rental units.

Yes, Dos Pinos contracts with a property management company to provide specific services for our cooperative, e.g. staffing our onsite officer manager and maintenance staff, overseeing vendor contracts, keeping our financial records, paying our cooperative invoices, providing a monthly financial report, and other contracted services.

B. Making Decisions and Governance

Dos Pinos follows the representative democracy model of governance. Members elect a volunteer seven-member board of directors who are tasked with the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the cooperative. 

The usual board term is for three years, staggered so that there will be some continuity among board members to ensure institutional memory in terms of major decisions affecting the cooperative.

The consensus model is not used for making decisions at board meetings when conducting Dos Pinos business.  Committees may use the consensus model if it suits their purposes.

C. Places to Live and the People Who Live There

It depends on the kind of change. Any structural alteration or permanent improvement must be pre-approved by the Dos Pinos Board. (See Occupancy Agreement, Policies, and in particular the Permanent Improvement Policy in Members’ Handbook.)

There are 60 units at Dos Pinos:  6 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units, and 26 three-bedroom units. The floor plans for each type of unit are virtually identical in square footage. Units are all one story, except for the 3-bedroom units, which are two-story.

Dos Pinos has 60 units comprised of families with children, people sharing units, and single people, so there are approximately 100 people living here at any given time.

No. Dos Pinos is a multi-generational housing cooperative which includes people of all ages. 

Yes. Dos Pinos is a multi-generational housing cooperative that includes people of all ages.

Dos Pinos provides the stove, dishwasher, and heating and air conditioning for each unit.  The member provides the refrigerator, and washer and dryer if desired.

D. Dollars and Cents

Members pay a single monthly assessment to the cooperative, which covers ongoing operating expenses, maintenance, mortgage, taxes, insurance, and replacement reserves.

The monthly assessment is due on the first of the month, and accrues a late fee after the 15th of the month.

No, the assessment amount is determined solely on the size of the unit.

Yes; it depends on the cooperative’s financial needsThe Dos Pinos Board makes the decision about assessment increases depending on expected cost increases.

Gas and electric service, cable TV and internet, if any, and telephone.

No. A personal renter’s policy is not required for membership, but is highly recommended.

E. Becoming...and Being a Member of Dos Pinos

The basic requirements are to abide by the Dos Pinos governing documents, which include the Bylaws, the Membership Agreement, the Occupancy Agreement, the Community Rules, and Policies and Procedures found in the Members’ Handbook. Members must pay the monthly assessment and contribute 24 hours per year in Dos Pinos community service. Participating in community events is also encouraged.

After the first year of membership and residence you may apply to be put on the current member waiting list for a different unit. (See Member Selection Policy in Members’ Handbook.)

Historically it can take from a few months to several years.  There is no way to estimate the time. Flexibility is the key.

Members agree to 2 hours per month or 24 hours per year of community service (per member household) for the benefit of the cooperative. A Dos Pinos Member Contribution Coordinator works with members to match their interests with needs in the community.

The member is responsible for the acts of household members and guests.

F. Living at Dos Pinos

Yes. For a small fee the community room may be used for private events. (See Community Room Use Policy in Members’ Handbook.)

Yes, within certain provision. (See Pet Policy in Members’ Handbook.)

You may sublease the entire unit for a limited period of time. You may rent a room in the unit as long as you also reside in the unit. (See Sublease Policy and Room Rental Policy in Members’ Handbook. )

Yes, but not if such use will result in clients entering or exiting the property. (See Occupancy Agreement in Members’ Handbook.)

Yes, there are no restrictions for short- term guests. For long- term guests, see Long-Term Guest Policy in Members’ Handbook.

No. (See Parking Policy in Members’ Handbook.)

Only occasionally, but not on a regular basis. Potluck meals are shared on special occasions, e.g. Thanksgiving, or when a member or members organize a shared meal.

Book group, special interest groups, Pi Day, Easter egg hunt, 4th of July barbeque, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving meal, holiday caroling and party, movie nights, forums on topics of community interest, landscaping work parties, and other activities/events that members initiate.

Yes. Participation is encouraged.