RE: Consulting fee assessments
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 94 14:04:26 PST
One thing many groups who are just getting organized have started doing 
is to collect a small monthly assessment of $10 or $20 from "members". 
This creates a pool of cash that can be used for a number of things.
Most cohousing group "members" end up putting  up several thousands of 
dollars out of their own pockets to hire consultants and architects, 
etc. You will not be able to get a bank loan until you have an option 
on land, plans and permits, all of which cost a fair amount of money 
which will have to be raised by the membership.  Most groups set up a 
membership assessment which is likened to a downpayment.
    Once you start charging money it stops being a game and those who 
are less than serious usually fade once it starts costing real money.  
Of course the advantage of having people put in money is that is 
incentive for the project to actually happen. If people have a couple 
of grand "invested" they are much more likely to have a real interest 
in the project actually coming to completion.
    I have heard of a number of groups that have had several meetings 
to define their vison, etc. and then when it actually came time to put 
out money, they folded because no one was really all that committed.
    Most groups define membership in terms of some sort of financial 
commitment.  If you haven't got there yet it sounds like you are on 
that threshold.  Personally I would work on setting up your membership 
so it requires a $100 downpayment and then see if you really have any 
members before I would commit to hiring a consultant.
   All the groups in our area construe membership to be a household. 
Membership gets you 1 built unit whenever, if ever such a thing exists. 
 Cohousing is all built on faith and most investment banker types would 
think you soft in the head to invest in such a dubious project in the 
first place. There are no guarentees, only hope and faith.  Its like 
the pioneers in the covered wagons, the strong adventerous folks moved 
west, the weak and security minded stayed home.
   Good luck

Rob Sandelin
Puget Sound Cohousing Network
Sharingwood Cohousing
From:  <netmail!SMITHMCC [at]>
To: Rob Sandelin
Subject: Consulting fee assessments
Date: Tuesday, January 04, 1994 3:43PM

We at Tucson co-housing are having a rather rousing discussion 
concerning the assessment of fees for a consultant we are bring ing to 
town.  Does anyone have any experience in this.  Did you assess by 
household or by a per person basis?
what about future participoanyts

what about future houshold members?

It's a hot debate and we need some input.


Gregg (smithmcc [at]


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