Re: Developers
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 19:09:19 -0500
In response to Buzz's response to the Grell folks:

Although I am a fan of the Danish model, I applaud your speaking out so
clearly in favor of an alternatives. Goodness knows there is plenty of room
for all kinds of models. I say, whatever works.  I have the privilege of
living with Katie and Chuck so we "discuss" these things a lot--usually in
the hot tub. They are not at all as dogmatic as a few folks make them out to

There is no question in my mind but that the community building that
presumably happens when a group struggles for years without a site, or
spends several years after site control getting ready to build is not worth
the pain, agony and burnout that it inevitably enagenders. Enough already
with the martyrdom. On the other hand, I have some reservations about a
cookie cutter project (no matter how much it looks physically like
cohousing)  where the group has zero involvement in the design nor any
experience being a group and arrive at some consensus about about how they
are going to live there together. How long should a core group spend doing
this ideally? I dunno, but I expect that 6 months is too short and three
years is too long. 

The model that Katie proposed at last fall's conference--you can read an
edited version of her talk in the winter, '96 issue of CoHousing Journal,
the orange one--works for me.  Perhaps I'll just exerpt a few short
paragraphs: Says Katie:

"1. A developer finds and ties up a site, confirms the feasiblity of the
site for cohousing, and determines how much it will cost to build the community.

"2. A cohousing consultant organizes a group arond the site. If interest
cannot be developed within a short time, the developer drops the idea.

"3. The group focuses on building community, recruitment and design of the
site and common house. If a goal is to keep the project affordable, the
group is less involved with the design of the indivdual residences.

"4. The developer puts together project financing.

"5. Group members have to put up money in specified amounts at various
milestones in the development process."

Could the word "group" be substituted for the word "developer" in some of
the above statements? Sure it could. Could step two be done by some burning
soul (s) without a consultant? Certainly as time goes on this will become
more feasible. 

There are many paths to cohousing. It is fervently to be hoped that we all
find one (or more, that would be good) that works for us available in the
just the right place and at just the right time. 


  • Re: Developers Joani Blank, May 14 1996
    • Re: Developers Joani Blank, May 14 1996

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