|Gay & Lesbian Housing Communitie||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Jim Kingdon (kingdoncygnus.com)|
|Date: Sat, 22 Jan 94 06:57:46 PST|
For more detailed descriptions of current or planned co-housing system I know there is a national co-housing newsletter -- but I don't have details on how to obtain it. Perhaps someone else can post that information? Since you ask here is the FAQ for the alt.co-ops usenet newsgroup, which has this and other information (although much of it is not particularly relevant to co-housing). ------------------------------ The latest version of the FAQ for this and other newsgroups is available for anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu, in the directory pub/usenet. First, I have a small confession to make. Some of these are not "frequently asked questions" so much as "questions which *should* be frequently asked", or "questions which you *would* ask, if you knew enough to ask them." But that's OK. I, kingdon [at] cygnus.com, maintain this article. Please post corrections or suggestions to alt.co-ops or mail them to me. I have been posting it irregularly--for example after I've made a lot of changes, or when someone asks about it. As is probably obvious, there are a lot of gaps in this posting (many marked below with question marks). If anyone feels like doing some library research, making some phone calls, etc., feel free to get the information marked below and send it in. Also, the following is rather United States-centric, but the co-op movement is truly an international movement (Sweden, Canada, and Japan spring to mind), so more information about other countries would be welcome. * What are the Rochdale principles? In 1844 a co-op was founded in Rochdale, England which became the inspiration for the consumer co-op movement and the Rochdale principles. The principles as approved by the International Co-op Alliance are (? - is this the official text?): 1) _Open, Voluntary Membership_ -- Membership of a cooperative society should be voluntary and available without artificial restriction or any social, political, racial or religious discrimination, to all persons who can make use of its services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership. 2) _Democratic Control_ -- The affairs of a cooperative organization should be administered by persons elected or appointed in a manner agreed to by the members and accountable to those members. Members should enjoy equal rights of voting (one member, one vote) and participation in decisions affecting their societies. 3) _Limited Return, if any, On Share Equity Capital_ -- Share capital should only receive a strictly limited rate of interest. 4) _Net surplus belongs to user-owners_ 5) _Education_ -- All cooperatives should make provision for the education of their members, officers, and employees and of the general public in the principles of cooperation, both economic and democratic. 6) _Co-operation Among Co-operatives_ -- All cooperative organizations, in order to best serve the interest of their members and their communities, should actively cooperate in every practical way with other cooperatives at local, national, and international levels. * Where do I find our more about this illustrious co-op history? I know that Cole, GDH, and Postgate, Raymond, "The Common People 1746 - 1946", University Paperbacks (Methuen) London, 1968, SBN 416 67720 7, has at least a few paragraphs, but I don't know whether it focuses on co-ops. (? - can anybody suggest the best overviews? Especially surveys or reviews which cite other sources.). For an international (if dated) look at co-op history and organization, the book by the International Labor Office _Housing Co-operatives_ (International Labor Office, Geneva, Switzerland, pub. by La Tribune de Geneve, 1964, 154 pp) is decent. It provides a basic understanding of co-ops and some international histories for countries such as Sweden, Denmark, France, USA, Canada, Poland, Spain, Germany, India, United Arab Republic, Columbia and Norway, as well as a brief look at the characteristics and advantages of housing co-ops, and a look at adapting the co-op formula to developing countries. * How can I find a food co-op near me? There is a national listing of food coops published by Coop News Network (Box 583, Spencer, WV 25276). There is also a "Coop Directory Services" organization which "helps people locate food co-op stores or food buying clubs near them. To get this info., they should write and enclose a SASE to 919 21st. Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404". Also of interest is the book, "Cooperative/Credit Union Dictionary and Reference" published by the Cooperative Alumny Association (250 Rainbow Ln. Richmond, KY 40475 606-623-0695). Includes definitions, organizations, biograp hies, chronologies, resources... Since many food co-ops (particularly those founded in the 60s and 70s) have a good selection of vegetarian food, the World Vegetarian Guide (published as a FAQ for rec.food.veg) has many food co-ops in it. * What is NASCO? It is an organization which focuses on student housing co-ops (students owning and sharing a house, usually with common meals). For more information, contact North American Students of Co-operation, 530 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA, +1 313 663 0889. * What is the Institute for Community Economics? Their goal is to provide communities greater control over their institutions and their lives; they particularly specialize in affordable housing via community land trusts (but also deal with consumer co-ops, worker co-ops, non-profits, and other organizations). They provide below market-rate loans to groups which meet criteria such as affordability. Institute for Community Economics, 57 School Street, Springfield, MA 01105-1331, USA. +1 413 746 8660. A good book on community land trusts is the Community Land Trust Handbook, available from the Institute. * What is a producer or marketing co-op? This is a co-op which markets goods which are produced by its member-owners. For example, dairy farmers may sell their milk to a dairy marketing co-op, which then markets it to stores, wholesalers, etc. Some well-known marketing co-ops are Sunkist, Ocean Spray, and Land O' Lakes. For more information, see (? - what?). * What is the National Co-op Business Association (NCBA)? Formerly the Co-operative League of the USA (CLUSA), this is the leading USA co-op organization. They do things like lobby congress, have meetings of co-op leaders, etc. While many kinds of co-ops are members of the NCBA, if you want a rough generalization of what they are like, think mainstream (rural electrics, credit unions, co-operatively owned Ponderosa's, etc). 1100 New York Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., USA. * What is the National Co-op Bank? It was founded in 1980 to provide loans to co-ops. They focus on mainstream loans (i.e. risks similar to loans from commercial banks, market interest rates, etc.). They are in Washington, D.C. and the phone number is +1 800 955 9622. * What is the National Association of Housing Co-ops (NAHC)? An association whose members would tend to be co-ops which are divided into units which are each occupied by a household, rather than the more communal student co-ops. National Association of Housing Cooperatives, 1614 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. * What is co-housing? Co-housing refers to a residential development which combines individual households (including a kitchen, bathroom, etc.) with common facilities (kitchen, laundry, etc.). Other defining characteristics are design by the people who plan to live in the community and trying to encourage informal interractions between people more than in traditional neighborhoods. There are many regional or local co-housing organizations; a good source for up-to-date information would probably be the national co-housing newsletter, _CoHousing_, The CoHousing Network, 1620 Belvedere Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702, USA. $20.00 per year (3 issues). (I say "probably" only because it's new and I haven't seen a copy). A good book is Co-housing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett, ISBN 0-89815-306-9. Another, more recent, longer, book is Collaborative Communities--Cohousing, Central Living, and Other New Forms of Housing with Shared Facilities, by Dorit Fromm, ISBN 0-442-23785-5. There is an internet mailing list on co-housing; to subscribe send a message to listserv [at] uci.com saying "subscribe cohousing-l <your name>". * What about intentional communities? The term intentional community covers a wide range of groups, from student co-ops, to income-sharing communities with most facilities being communal, to co-housing-like communities. They may or may not have a religious or philosophical basis. Given this diversity, it's hard to generalize; the best way to get a feel for it is to look through the Directory of Intentional Communities, published by the Fellowship for Intentional Community. ISBN 0-9602714-1-4. Another good thing to know about is the Federation of Egalitarian Communities. This is an organization of income-sharing communities, more specifically, each community 1) Holds its land, labor, income, and other resources in common; 2) Assumes responsibility for the needs of its members, receiving the products of their labor and distributing these and all other goods equally, or according to need; 3) Practices nonviolence; 4) Uses a form of decision making in which members have an equal opportunity to participate, either through consensus, direct vote or right of appeal or overrule; 5) Works to establish the equality of all people and does not discriminate on the basis of race, class, creed, ethnic origin, age, sex, or sexual orientation; 6) Acts to conserve natural resources for present and future generations while striving to continually improve ecological awareness and practice; 7) Creates processes for group communication and participation and provides an environment which supports people's development. For a copy of their brochure (free, but $2 donation suggested), write Federation of Egalitarian Communities, Box UN1, Tecumseh, MO 65760, USA. * Yeah, but what information is available *on-line*? Seems like the best sources aren't, unfortunately. There is some stuff (mainly a fairly long book list) available via gopher to gopher.well.sf.ca.us.
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