|Re: Unpopularity of co-ops in USA||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Geri Weitzman (pyropanix.com)|
|Date: Thu, 26 May 94 13:14 CDT|
Hi Empathy, One of the reasons that co-ops are not so well received in the USA today is because of a backlash response to the hippie movement that cohousing is widely associated with. A lot of the zoning laws that prevent co-op formation were formulated in the 60's and 70's in direct response to hippie free-love co-habitation outside of marriage, and that is somethng that mainstream America doesn't exactly fancy. A threat to Traditional Family Values, that sort of thing... This problem has been encountered by student co-ops (we had a hard time finding a house that was zoned properly for us to move into, and failed to obtain a zoning variance for one house we had our eyes on) as well as co-ops by and for the elderly, which are becoming a way that older folks find community and togetherness in widowhood (I did a paper on alternatives to nursing homes and found neat stuff on elder co-ops! This is not to imply that nursing homes and co-ops serve the same functions - by a long shot! - but often elderly people who need only minimal assistance to care for themselves cannot afford to have help come in at home, so they get railroaded into nursing homes because that is what the govt will pay for. There is a lot of political resistance to less warehoused forms of care for older people. BTW - disclaimer on top of disclaimer - I believe that nursing homes are good places for some people who really need heavy levels of care. But when I worked in one there were a lot of people who could have functioned in a co-housing environment where they had more input into how things were run.) Whew... long winded of me. Cheers, Pyrophage pyro [at] panix.com
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