Re: The "Next Home"
From: Gilles Leclair (
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 17:52:33 -0600
We have a lot in common, I am also coordinating a barter group here in BC,
we are called NanaimoLETS and we too have a local currency. It's called
Implementing a system using local currency would be very similar to using
fed dollars since both are exchangeable for goods and services. The fact
that local currency will stay local is definitely a plus, however the group
would still have to earn HourNotes just as it would have to earn fed
dollars, before it could disburse them to it's members. 

Another form of self-contracting that might just work involves credits as
they can be applied to the cost of one's unit within the cohousing. First
your group needs to assess how much it is willing to pay someone to do the
duties you are setting out to do yourselves. This total amount cannot be
paid out until the end of the project, when all of the units are sold. At
that point, the money will be available to pay members according to the time
that they put into the development, whether as plumbers, painters or cost
>I am interested to know if anyone has tried using a labour credit system in
>trying to equalize the work and responsibilities of daily maintainance.  I
>know that some of the more 'traditional' intentional communities (is that an
>oxymoron?) like Twin Oaks use something like that,but I don't know much about
>In my non-cohousing life I co-ordinate The Bow Chinook Barter Community, a
>non-profit community economic development project that helps people use their
>skills to meet thier needs.  We have printed a local currency and publish a
>bulliten that lists (classified style) the goods and services that members
>are offering or requesting. There is a similar system in Ithaca and I wonder
>is anyone there has made the connection between the two ideas? 
>I wouldn't think it would be that much of a stretch to use a 'local currency'
>concept to manage the contributions people make around a cohousing community.
> Maybe the group could come to an agreement on how many credit units each
>family must contribute each month, and also calculate what various jobs are
>worth and then track how much each family "earns".  I'm sure it would be more
>complicated than that,but it seems like there should be some way to do it. We
>at Wholelife Housing are nowhere near even being built, but we hope to use
>such a system eventually. Has anyone tried anything like it? 
>Wholelife Housing in Calgary, Alberta
>..where we are very excited about trying to purchase an empty 2 acre lot on
>the recently closed 500 acre military base close to downtown.  The army is
>under pressure not to demolish the old (but well maintained) houses, and so
>we are considering the price and possiblity of moving the existing military
>houses onto this land in a configuration we like.  It might make things very
>recycled, affordable and relatively fast, but we would sacrifice energy
>efficiency and 90's design know-how.  We are also considering building from
>the ground up and using th eNext Hme design.
Gilles Leclair...gleclair [at]
We're so new we don't even have a name yet...but we do have land picked out
and we are in negotiations. 

  • The "Next Home" Sarah Kerr, January 16 1998
    • Re: The "Next Home" Gilles Leclair, January 17 1998

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