Re: Renter Involvement / Renters in cohousing
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 23:50:10 -0600
This message is being cross posted to the Cohousing-L mailing list
and the Nbhd-tc -- Twin Cities Neighborhood issues list.  This 
message is a general reply to a series of messages on Nbhd-tc about 
getting greater involvement by renters in block clubs.

Regarding the comments about block club leaders not doing as much 
outreach as would be desireable...

To be realistic getting anyone to be a block club leader at all
is a challenge in my experience.  I guess this is based on not having 
ever had anyone express interest in taking over for me.  Hmmm, maybe I 
should TRY to pass the job on and see what happens.  I can certainly imagine
a hypothetical someone doing a better job than I get around to...
(In cohousing circles such a person is called a "burning soul" and is
key to getting a community organized.  Regretably my flame does not burn
consistantly as much as would be desireable.)

BTW, block club leaders are volunteers ya know... :)

There are only 2 rental households (out of 40) in my block club and I've
met them when we did a welcome visit but since then I just flyer them 
like everyone else.  A long time ago a tenant from one of those units
(long since moved) came to block club meetings.

An interesting observation this summer while visiting the N Street 
Cohousing Community in Davis California (a college town) is related to 
the rental topic somewhat.  N Street has a number of units that are 
rental as well as a number of people who rent rooms in member households.
Over the years N Street has become more family oriented and more
owner occupied (as student members aged ?).  The group has decided that
they want to preserve rental opportunities because they find that some of 
the most enthusiastic members are (young idealistic ?) folks for whom
home ownership is not a real option at the time.  Grad students for example.

A cohousing community is significantly different than a block club - 
primarily in that cohousing communities have a self selected membership 
of people that want a very high degree of "sense of community", interaction
with other members and shared activities and resources etc.  Resulting in 
kind of a block club on steroids :)  But still the observation is interesting
given the way Minneapolis neighborhood activist types and planning types 
tend to equate rental with less desireable.

BTW I've recently updated my web page about our proposed retrofit cohousing
community on our block here in the Homewood neighborhood:


Fred H. Olson  fholson [at]  (612)588-9532  Amateur radio: WB0YQM 
List manager of  
Nbhd-tc (Twin Cities Neighborhood issues - see  and
Cohousing-L (see )

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