Re: Unsucessful coho groups
From: Joani Blank (jeblankhooked.net)
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 22:54:51 -0600
Kevin,

I've never been a cohousing group that "failed" or tried unsuccessfully to
to get  one together, so I'm not eligible to answer your questionnaire, but
I think the reasons that such attempts fail are the same reasons that most
groups have a hard time recruiting new members beyond their core group. Look
at it from the point of view of a potential new group member (or initiator).
Putting myself in that position I have to ask the following questions:

1. Do I AND all the other members of my household AND enough other
households to make up a viable group have enough money to buy a new home,
not just the down payment, but enough income to support a mortgage, pay
condo fees, and invest up front.

2. Can I/we make this kind of commitment knowing we may never get this new home?

3. Do I/we want to live in the same locale/setting
(rural/urban/suburban/city/county/ state) as enough others to make a group?

4. Do I/we really want to be that close to people who do not necessarily
share with us any ideology other than the desire to have more of a sense of
community with neighbors. 

5. Is there a reasonable possibility we can find an appropriate buildable site?

I thought your were going to ask about existing groups that fail after they
have gotten a good start. When that happens it is virtually always for the
same single reason. They can't find a site, they can't get control over a
site they find, they can't keep site control once they've gotten it, or they
cannot get planning approvals to build cohousing on that site. 

I will be interested to hsee what others on this list have to say about this
subject.

Joani Blank
Doyle Street CoHousing and Old Oakland/Swan's Market CoHousing (actively
seeking new member households for what will be "the most urban cohousing
community in North America," just minutes away from San Francisco.


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