|meat and potatoes||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Greg Lawless/UWCC (lawlessaae.wisc.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 13:11:21 -0600|
Hello. I'm new to this list, but I promise that I skimmed the archives before posting the question below! I thank you in advance for considering my (strange) request for information. Here at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, we're hosting a training conference April 2 and 3 that is presenting the various ways cooperatives and cooperative approaches can be applied to an assortment of rural Wisconsin needs. One such need is affordable home ownership for working families. My understanding of co-housing is that many established examples might be out of the price range of working (ie <$40,000/yr) families. However, I definitely DO realize that that's not always the case, and, in fact, we have a "self help" housing program in our state that could fit very naturally with co-housing, and could potentially reduce initial costs of developing new co-housing homes. What I am looking for is an example of co-housing that would appeal to average working families in rural Wisconsin. For instance, I'd like to highlight an example that involves single family homes, as opposed to contiguous (or townhouse-like) units. Even more to the point, I'm looking for an established community, and someone who could speak on behalf of that community, who share a kind of "meat and potatoes" culture or philosophy. Some of the co-housing folks I've met over the years fit my own profile too closely: excessively educated, predictably left-leaning, conscientious to a fault, etc etc. I can't think of any better way of saying that I'm looking for a speaker who comes from a co-housing community that might appeal to a Wisconsin deer hunter or average Jo-anne. I want to present the most practical aspects of co-housing, without a lot of emphasis on ideological underpinnings. I understand that many of the practical aspects (shared childcare, shared maintenance, economies of scale, etc) are intricately tied to ideology, but I'd rather let conference participants make those connections themselves. Put yet another way, I'd rather highlight "common sense" benefits, as opposed to "intentional community" motivations. Please understand my challenge. This conference is targeted to county-level extension agents, community development professionals, lenders, state agency representatives, and farm co-op leaders. This is a potentially conservative crowd. I want to be careful to present co-housing to them in a way that speaks to their own values, experiences and expectations, and to those of their rural constituents. I'm hoping there's someone out there, preferably in Wisconsin-Minnesota-Iowa, who understands what I'm looking for, is nevertheless not offended, and might consider speaking at our conference. Again, thanks for your time. By the way, a web page describing our conference can be found at http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/events/devconf.html I should emphasize that the conference is designed primarily for a Wisconsin/Minnesota/Iowa audience, particularly toward people professionally employed in some aspect of community/economic development. --Greg Greg Lawless, Outreach Specialist University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives 224 Taylor Hall, 427 Lorch Street, Madison, WI 53706 phone: (608)265-2903 fax: (608)262-3251 UWCC Home Page: http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/
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