Re: Subsidized housing and residents selecting out of cohousing model
From: MelaSilva (
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 08:56:57 -0600
For many years I have been part of organizations that required
participation." Parent participation preschool" (where the parents provide
the majority of the daily care, usually by being part of a parent team that
does everything from snacks to blocks to clean up 1 day per week) and "magnet
schools" (these are designed to attract a racially ballanced student
population and require about 40 hours of work per year by the parents). By
enrolling my kids in these classes, they had access to environments almost on
par with very good private schools, but at little or no cost to me. Since at
the time I was VERY low income, this made me very happy. Imagine my surprise
when most of the people I told about these wonderful opportunities weren't
interested. Why? Because they didn't want to have to deal with groups, had
difficulty with the level of cooperaton required, or just felt it was too
much trouble. When I joined cohousing the same thing happened.No one I told
about it was interested.
   It isn't because we are presenting it wrong. It isn't because they don't
want to have dinner prepared for them. It is because they have had such bad
experiences with meetings, with groups of people, with cooperating. And
because they see it as being a never ending meeting, imagine their surprise
when they find out that (in our group at least) almost everyone is  a
teacher, a lawyer, or works for the government!!! The ultimate American
nightmare, being surrounded by bureaucrats!! No one can do ANYTHING without
approval by a COMMITTEE !!
    In a previous message I spoke about the value of having good meetings.
For the first 2 years in cohousing meetings, I brought quilting, sewing,
crochet, anything I could think of to keep my hands busy and my tongue still.
After 5 years, I can tolerate them. But I still think they are a necessary
evil, and we have to keep working to improve them, shorten them, make them
more productive, fun, warm, responsive.
>>>We have to make sure that the people who can best tolerate long meetings
don't devour this great notion called cohousing and force the rest of us to
do what they want simply because we can't stomach another meeting to debate
another issue.<<<

Mela Silva
Southside Park    

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