Re: residents with financial problems
From: King Collins (
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 94 10:22 CDT
>Presumeably some communities have run into this problem (members with
>financial >problems), and we may, so we're looking for a little advice.
>Are there structures set up for dealing with a community member
>who has come up against financial difficulties, can't make the mortgage,
>missed a few assessment payments, etc.?

I don't know if there are appropriate strutures for dealing with this
problem. My feeling is that communities that come together solely around
housing are a contradiction, as are most other social structures in our

What I would like to see are co-housing groups that attemp to provide
gainful employment, as well as housing. Is this Utopian? Are there any
co-housing communities that have tried to do this.

>Some in the group say, "We can't go making exceptions for him,
>because then we'll need to make exceptions for others, and it could
>end up costing the others a lot of money."
>Others believe "We're a community and we need to look out for each other."

I hope that your group at least wants to find a solution other than the
bottom line.

>Any Ideas out there in cyberworld?

Following is a proposal that I put out a few weeks ago. I was surprised at
the positive response.  The idea of community discussed here is evidently
more inclusive than what is embraced by the typical co-housing community.

 I would like to discuss these ideas with a co-housing group.

Thoughts on an Anti-retirement Community
Draft 2: July 23, l994

For the last 10 years, I have lived with my wife and kids. I am in my
mid-fifties, self-employed most of that time. We haven't put away anything
for "retirement,"  although we do own about half of our house. My wife and
I have no financial plans to deal with the coming years. We expect to have
about 20 or 30 more productive working years. What will our life be like?
How should we prepare for "old age?"

The traditional approach presumes a lifetime at regular employment and a
pension plan. We have none of that. My family's chances for a good life in
our later years will depend on something other than a retirement package.

Planning and Sharing with Others.

I think the way to start is to contact the people I would like to share my
life with, or to make a community with. If a certain number of us can agree
on a plan for a "working anti-retirement community" perhaps we can deal
with our later years in a way that is better than any other model.

Pooling Resources

Some of us have substantial resources, inheritances, equity in houses we
own, etc. If we combine our resources, we should be able to create a better
life for ourselves.

Some of us also have tools and skills which can be used to construct
buildings and to establish businesses.

Community Vision

We want a healthy, simple living and working environment based on standards
of self-reliance and sustainability. It is presumed that everyone in the
community will continue to work as long as they are able. The work will
include gardening, construction, health care, and a thousand other
community and self-sustaining activities. In particular we want:

*       attractive living units of varying size designed to accommodate
individuals, families, extended families and community life.

*       fertile ground, water and climate for extensive gardening.

*       buildings and tools for various kinds of work- including money
making activities-for individual and community profit.

*       preventive health care: well equipped and trained
natural/alternative and traditional medical workers

*       library and computer facilities with telecommunications links to
the world

*       common spaces for group dining, music, dancing, and theater.

*       recreation: biking, volleyball, swimming, hiking, running,
gymnastics, rope-climbing, bear wrestling, chess, Go, bridge, sewing,
knitting, creative arts, singing...

If these ideas sound relevant to you please drop a line. Here on this
newsgroup, or e-mail:

King Collins,
greenmac [at]

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