developers/costs/motivation
From: Judy (BAXTER%55317VX.CIS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 93 14:10 CST
This list is getting fascinating.  It helps keep me awake at work, tho I have
to discipline myself not to read stuff as it comes in.  Who knows - if this
keeps up, I may have to "set digest"  (as you can guess, I would be working on
a career change if I weren't so busy with coHousing).

re: developers.  Some very interesting points have been made.  I noticed the
other night that the last issue of CoHousing - the national newsletter,
(summer, 93) has an article by Don Lindemann  called " if we build it, will
they come? Developer-Driven  CoHousing.  He goes through the experiences so far
in several places - Muir Commons at Davis, Calif - Green Walk in Berkely - Eno
Commons in North Carolina - and The Commons on the alameda Site in Sate Fe, New
Mexico.  The verdict isn't in, but it is very interesting reading. 

available from : 
The Cohousing Network, 
Rocky Mountain CoHousing Association
1705 14th Street #317
Boulder, CO 80302,                      $20 for a one year subscription, 
including, in 
some areas, an insert with more details for a region
It really is good.

re: costs.  Seems to me that one of the problems is that the model we follow
says that "intentional neighborhood design" is very important, and that means
major new construction or remodeling, which means $$$.  As one living in a
cohousing community that will never have some of those elements, but will have
some others, I have some concerns about how much difference that makes.  We
have been persuaded that in Minnesota climate people are unlikely to be willing
to walk a long way from car to house, but we will have covered walkways from
townhouses to apt-house and commons.  We won't know the effects, till the town
houses get built.  
        On the other hand, my experience  (8 households of a planned 24 are now 
in
the "being-remodeled" commons building with apartments) says that common
dinners are the glue that holds the community together, and it should certainly
be better than my old neighborhood, where I knew 2/3 of the households on the
block and socialized with several, but only a few times a year.  You CAN build
community in existing neighborhoods, IF that is what your neighbors are looking
for.  And thats what you get in cohousing. And then the question is how much
that is worth to you.  It's worth a LOT to me.
        Which brings up motivations.  I think the dialog on why cohousing is not
cheaper covered most of the essential points.  The draw needs to be
neighborhood/community/connections, not costs.  At least until we get enough
cohousing going to convince funders that this is workable and appealing to low
income communities.  The Natl newsletter reports on several cohousing
communities that Are affordable - one in Pacific ,Calif that is teamed up with
Habitat for Humanity, and one in Scramento, Calif, inner city.  The challenge
that I see with the latter is that mixed income is one of the common ideals in
cohousing, and the bureaucracies aren't geared up for that, tho we did get some
expressions of interests.  
judy

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, Twin Cities Area, Mpls/St.Paul MN
        (Mococo)                baxter%epivax [at] vx.cis.umn.edu
Twin Cities CoHousing Network Voice Mail  612-930-7580
 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 612-930-7554

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