Cohousing -- for whom?
From: Fred H Olson -- WB0YQM (FRED%JWHvx.cis.umn.edu)
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 15:13 CDT
What follows is a series of messages posted on the Usenet newsgroup
alt.co-ops recently. Of edited out some of the redundancy of quotes
and .sigs .  Fred
 
From: coop [at] panix.com (Robert Cooper)
Newsgroups: alt.co-ops,ny.general,nyc.announce,nyc.general
Subject: CoHousing Near NYC Into Meeting
Date: Thu Sep  9 11:20:03 1993
 
You've heard about Cohousing.  It's a new form of housing that's
designed to put community back in our lives.  By clustering
individual, self-sufficient dwellings around a common house with a
large kitchen and dining room, playrooms, workshops and laundry
facilities, Cohousing blends privacy and autonomy with the advantages
of cooperative living.  Cohousing developments are physically designed
to conserve the land, with parking concentrated on the outskirts of
the community, and to provide plenty of opportunity for interaction
between residents, forming a small-scale, pedestrian-oriented
neighborhood.  Each Cohousing community is organized, planned,
financed and managed by the residents themselves.  Cohousing is home
ownership, and participants must have a down payment and qualify for a
mortgage.
 
If you are in the New York city region, I would like to invite you to a
 
        Introductory Meeting for the Westchester CoHousing Group
        1PM, Sunday, Sept 12 @ 615 Broadway, Hastings, NY
        RSVP at 914 962-2620 Meeting will be 2 hours. $5 meeting
        fee. If you need childcare, call 914 962-2620 before 9/8.
 
We'll show you slides of CoHousing Communities in Europe and the US,
tell you about our experiences in working to build CoHousing in
Westchester, and give you a chance to meet people already involved.
 
Call the above number for more info/directions or just drop me a line.
 
-- 
Robert Cooper  Brooklyn, NY | "We don't know who discovered water, but
coop [at] panix.com              |  we're pretty sure it wasn't a fish..."
212 309-9600 (Work)         |           Attributed to Marshall McLuhan
 
 
From: dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu (daniel r. reitman, attorney to be)
Newsgroups: alt.co-ops,ny.general,nyc.announce,nyc.general
Subject: Re: CoHousing Near NYC Into Meeting
Reply-To: dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu
Date: Thu Sep  9 18:14:54 1993
 
In article <26nhj3$4et [at] panix.com>, coop [at] panix.com (Robert Cooper) 
writes:
...
What strikes me as the problem with cohousing -- and a large section of the
modern co-op movement -- is that we've lost sight of the social remedy aspect
of the movement.  By planning cohousing from the ground up, there's an inherent
expense that may restrict membership to those who already can afford a middle
class lifestyle.  I think we need to reconsider the self-help aspects of
Rochdale as at least part of where we want to take the movement.  It's already
problematic enough that the word "co-op" in some cities is usually prefixed
with "luxury", when we should, in my opinion, see more affordable co-ops.
 
                                                Daniel Reitman
 
>From a ruling denying a request for a private citizen's address under a public
records statute:
 
"We also reject plaintiff's remaining arguments.  None warrants comment, except 
to note that plaintiff's contention that he was entitled to obtain the address 
through discovery in this proceeding is preposterous."  Jordan v. Motor Vehicles
Division, 93 Or. App. 651, 655, 763 P.2d 420, 422 (1988), aff'd 308 Or. 433, 
781 P.2d 1203 (1989).
-------------------------------
 
 
From: coop [at] panix.com (Robert Cooper)
Newsgroups: alt.co-ops,ny.general,nyc.announce,nyc.general
Subject: Re: CoHousing Near NYC Into Meeting
Date: Fri Sep 10 10:58:37 1993
 
In <26o9su$l6p [at] pith.uoregon.edu> dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu (daniel 
r. reitman, attorney to be) writes:
 
>What strikes me as the problem with cohousing -- and a large section of the
>modern co-op movement -- is that we've lost sight of the social remedy aspect
                                        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>of the movement.  By planning cohousing from the ground up, there's an inherent
...
What is a Co-op? Its a group of people coming together for a common
cause and hopefully for a common/social good. How have we lost sight
of the social remedy aspects? A group of people want to develop a
social community. They don't wish for a better future, they are try to
create a better future. Who says the "middle-class" can't be a part of
the "Co-op movement"? Why am I different then the person making half
as much? Sure, the real estate people have "co-oped" the concept of
people owning their own apts, but so what. Is the concept of co-op
housing now bad because it's popular or its prefixed with the word
luxury?
 
Please explain yourself.
 
Followup to alt.co-ops
 
-- 
Robert Cooper  Brooklyn, NY | "We don't know who discovered water, but
coop [at] panix.com              |  we're pretty sure it wasn't a fish..."
212 309-9600 (Work)         |           Attributed to Marshall McLuhan
 
From: dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu (daniel r. reitman, attorney to be)
Newsgroups: alt.co-ops
Subject: Re: CoHousing Near NYC Into Meeting
Reply-To: dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu
Date: Tue Sep 14 00:25:36 1993
 
In article <26q4mt$il5 [at] panix.com>, coop [at] panix.com (Robert Cooper) 
writes:
>In <26o9su$l6p [at] pith.uoregon.edu>
> dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu (daniel r. reitman, attorney to be) writes:
 
>>What strikes me as the problem with cohousing -- and a large section of the
>>modern co-op movement -- is that we've lost sight of the social remedy aspect
>                                      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
....
>Please explain yourself.
 
What I was trying to say is not that middle-class can't be part of the
movement.  I question whether the movement has become so overwhelingly middle
class as to lose sight of its goals.  Rochdale, we must remember, was a fairly
utopian endeavor; they intended to develop semi-Owenite colonies.  I have
nothing against development of communities, but I think that reasonable
inclusiveness in fact should be considered.  There is something I don't like
about nearly all the food co-ops specializing in natural foods, for example.
 
                                                        In Cooperation,
                                                        Daniel Reitman
>From a ruling denying a request for a private citizen's address under a public
records statute:
 
Newsgroups: alt.co-ops
From: johne [at] vcd.hp.com (John Eaton)
Subject: Re: CoHousing Near NYC Into Meeting
Date: Wed Sep 15 19:38:38 1993
 
daniel r. reitman, attorney to be (dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu) wrote:
:
: There is something I don't like
: about nearly all the food co-ops specializing in natural foods, for example.
-------------------------
Coops require a very special set of market conditions in order to exist.
The market must be small enough so that it is ignored by mainstream
businessmen but large enough to benefit from volume purchases. Natural
foods is one of the few markets that fit that description. Smaller
markets such as ethnic foods have to low of a volume to justify coop's
and larger markets are already served by SafeWay's, Cub Foods etc.
 
John Eaton
!hp-vcd!johne
 
Newsgroups: alt.co-ops
From: peterh [at] netcom.com (Peter John Harrison)
Subject: Re: CoHousing Near NYC Into Meeting
Date: Wed Sep 15 19:27:34 1993
 
dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu (daniel r. reitman, attorney to be) writes:
 
>In article <26q4mt$il5 [at] panix.com>, coop [at] panix.com (Robert Cooper) 
>writes:
>>In <26o9su$l6p [at] pith.uoregon.edu>
>> dreitman [at] oregon.uoregon.edu (daniel r. reitman, attorney to be) writes:
 
>>>What strikes me as the problem with cohousing -- and a large section of the
>>>modern co-op movement -- is that we've lost sight of the social remedy aspect
>>                                        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>Please explain yourself.
 
>What I was trying to say is not that middle-class can't be part of the
 
Co-Housing is not a middle-class only club.  Habitat for Humanity and other
groups are building CoHousing developments for low-income households, and 
other groups, dominated by middle class members, often try to make their units
more affordable for lower-income people (not always sucessfully).
 
===========================================================================
Peter John Harrison              1522 Day Ave, #A, San Mateo, CA 94403  USA
peterh [at] netcom.com   
 
My (Fred Olson) response  just posted...
 
>Co-Housing is not a middle-class only club.  Habitat for Humanity
>and other groups are building CoHousing developments for
>low-income households, and other groups, dominated by middle
>Peter John Harrison peterh [at] netcom.com
 
Certainly some of us would like to find ways to make cohousing
affordable. Some of us want to do it in an urban (rather than a
suburban) setting. New construction makes both of these
difficult.  New construction is expensive and sites big enough
and suitable for cohousing (2-4 acres) are difficult to find in
cities.
 
We need more examples of doing cohousing thru renovation and
adaptation of existing housing.  It seeems like a much more
difficult design problem when the constraints of existing
stuctures have to be considered.  On the other hand the urban
site problem mentioned above is pushing some of us toward
renovation.
 
Peter, I'd be interested in the Habitat and other examples that
you mention. If you prefer email me details at fholson [at] uci.com
 
 
Also I have to plug the COHOUSING-L mailing list which has about
100 subscribers now: .........
 
Fred  Olson  (Internet: fred%jwh [at] vx.cis.umn.edu)
 

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