Re: House location selection
From: Susan Paris (
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 94 11:33 CDT
At Puget Ridge we also used the 'first come first served' method--the 
reasoning was that the earlier someone made their 10% investment, the 
more risk they were taking with their money, and we wanted to honor 
that.  We also did LOTS of talking, formally and informally, about what 
was important to whom and why.  Every so often as we worked on our site 
plan, we would do 'mock' unit selection, with each household putting a 
sticker on the unit they wanted, regardless of priority number, so we 
could get a sense of whether all the units were meeting the needs of 
someone.  When 8 stickers ended up on one unit (for example) we could 
talk about what made this unit so attractive, and incorporate that in our 

Because the priority number system was well defined during most or our 
recruitment phase, and because we talked frequently about who wanted 
what, new members usually joined with some understanding of what would be 
available to them.  There was still conflict, though, and we did have 
some members who felt that priority numbers were not in keeping with our 
values.  We spent lots of time thinking about alternate systems 
(including the 'annonymous matchmaker' system described by the person who 
began thak discussion) but in the end we stuck with priority numbers.  
One household did in fact leave the group, because there was only one 
unit on the site they wanted, and a household with a lower priority 
number did choose that unit.  This was disappoinnting, but not a crisis 
for the group, because we had spent so much time talking about the 
process.  This was the first issue for which we hired an outside 
facilitator, and the result of that meeting was that we all agreed to 
live with the results of unit selection by priority number.

Not an easy issue.  Good luck!

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