Re: Examiner article/Fairfax "cohousing
From: MartyR707 (
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 13:17:14 -0500

Just a quick reply to Rachel's post on a couple of points.

first, we're probably very sensitive to "perception" here since we're just
about to start the public hearing process in Sebastopol.  One of the biggest
"awful rumors" that was going around during our last try was that the houses
had no kitchens!  and therefore we were a bunch of hippies.  Like it or not,
"image" may have a lot to do with whether we get to build our project or not.
 The article referred to was about the *10 YEAR* battle with the neighbors to
be allowed to build their project.

Second, I thought part of the definition of cohousing was that it was
designed and built by the residents and owned by them.  This project is
developer designed and built and I think the units are rentals.  I have no
problem with this whatsoever, just wasn't so sure it was cohousing.

Lastly, in reference to Rachel's statement:

<<Why assume that adults, single mothers or otherwise,who live 
cooperatively are "homeless people getting on their feet"?  To be sure this 
may be true of some of these projects but not all.  This phrasing implies
the cooperative situation is not intended to be a permanent home but 
merely a transitional state preceding something more respectable, such as 
separate housing.  God forbid adults would choose to share a kitchen for any 
reason other than financial need.>>

I *NEVER* said that people living cooperatively are homeless... etc.  I
referred to the particular program - Innovative Housing - which is based here
and is used for that purpose at least in some cases.  In fact, a friend of
mine here on the Homeless Task Force, bought one of the houses for IH to use
for homeless mothers.  There is NOTHING negative intended in that statement -
I think it's a great program.

I have lived cooperatively for a good part of my life, shared many kitchens,
and have no problem whatsoever with the lifestyle.

My earlier post was just a casual response to the earlier question about the
news article.  I had not heard that there was cohousing in Fairfax, they have
had no connection to our loose regional meetings and communications, I've not
seen them on any lists of cohousing communities - forming, built, or
otherwise - and was just surprised, that's all.

Marty Roberts, Santa Rosa

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