Re:Rejecting Prospective Member/Neighbors
From: Steve Farley (
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 11:15:32 -0500
When it comes to rejecting people who have the desire and money to be a
part of our cohousing project, I personally cannot see any reason for
rejecting, or even any justification for giving ourselves the ability to
reject anyone.

With issues such as this, I often find it helpful to ask myself, how would
this work in a traditional neighborhood?

Would any of us support banding together and going to court to evict a
potential homeowner from moving into our non-cohousing neighborhood,
especially if the only problem is they don't share our values? Sounds like
what happened a couple of years ago in Texas to that African American
family who tried to move into a white suburb. Bad news. And a blatant
violation of the Fair Housing Act to boot.

As a worst-case, people often ask at our slideshows: What if a convicted
child molester wanted to be a member? I always say, a) it would be unlikely
that anyone like that would want to live in a community where everyone knew
each other--these folks like to work in anonymity, I would think--, and b)
the state already has laws to inform neighbors of the whereabouts of
convicted child molesters, and we would be fall under the same protections.

Getting back to basic principles here, cohousing is not about rejection, it
is about inclusion. We are trying to work out differences between people,
not use those differences to pigeonhole and reject. This is not a gated
community seeking exclusivity and purity. This is a model for how people
can get along despite our inevitable differences.

Steve Farley
Tucson Neighborhood Development Corporation

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