Re: COHOUSING-L digest 286
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 94 18:12 CDT
Shelly Fox asked folks to describe a bit about how they made they 
original decision, how groups are formed,  what they feel future 
prospects for this
sort of community arrangement might be, positives and negatives, etc.

I joined Sharingwood after forming a cohousing group with some friends. 
The friends wanted urban, I wanted rural so I found out about this 
rural place called Sharingwood, visited, fell in love with the woods 
and the people and joined.

Groups form by advertising their interest and holding meetings.

Future prospects?  Cohousing seems to be very popular along the coasts, 
east and west, less so in the midwest.  Needs more mainstream coverage 
(like a cohousing TV sitcom or something) in order to get into larger 
society awareness. Cohousing is a small movement which has big 
potential for changing how people develop neighborhoods.  In the first 
five years since the concept hit America  there are (by my count) 15 
groups living together and another  25 groups who have secured sites 
and are seriously working on projects. A whole bunch more (like 60?) 
talking about it.  The watershed event which separates out groups who 
are talking about it from those who are doing it is acquiring a site; a 
huge step and commitment which some groups never achieve.

Positives include: great for kids, nice for elders, safe place, know 
and like your neighbors, self growth opportunities abound, can get by 
with less consumerism by sharing more things, happier for social 
people, learn a great deal about meetings and being effective in a 
group, have access to lots of neighbors skills and help when you need it.

Negatives include: Takes enormous commitment of time and energy, have 
to endure long, sometimes painful meetings, have to give up some 
control of ownership to others, have to be accountable for your actions 
and relationships with the neighbors.

So folks, Cohousing in a nutshell? Surely I've missed something.....

Rob Sandelin

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