Alternative forms of cohousing
From: Joani Blank (jeblankic.org)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 12:08:44 -0600
Miles' question last week about an organic (he called it virtual) form of
cohousing intrigued me a lot. Yes, people have talked before about turning
existing blocks of single family houses [a la N Street] or converting
apartment or condo buildings or complexes into cohousing. But I don't think
it ever occurred to me that a group of households living fairly close
together might actually buy or build a house that was jointly owned by all
of them to be used as common house. I can imagine that in some areas, there
might be a zoning problems, but if the neighborhood was close enough to a
downtown (even a very small town) a building or area zoned commercial might
work just fine.  It's an interesting idea in my mind, and a lot of
community building could take place especially if the common house needed
to built from scratch or completely renovated for it to work as a CH.
Allso, building the group would be a different sort of proposition than for
new-built communities.

Rob's suggestions about getting a neighborhood together are groovy, but I
think apply a little better the few dozen households who presumably live
within a couple of blocks  of the "organizing" household. But one might
want to cast a somewhat broader net to find 20 or so like-minded households
among a couple hundred who live "within walking distance," perhaps some
modifications of Rob's ideas meeting for the first few times in a community
center, church or library--or even a park if it  is summertime. 

Joani Blank

Doyle Street (where I live now) and Old Oakland CoHousing (where I will
live after February, 1999)
SF Bay Area, California


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