|Re: community in old-fashioned neighborlhoods||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rowena Conkling (rowenacworldnet.att.net)|
|Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 07:04:52 -0500|
> > the inability to make old neighborhoods attractive or "nice" is the > > > > cause of suburban sprawl. > What got me interested in cohousing was the experience I had moving into an old city neighborhood that had been slated for "urban renewal" until numbers of people protested and started moving into the townhouses slated for demolition. Because the banks originally wouldn't give decent mortgages people who moved in had to live there while they worked on the house themselves or paid to have owrk done in a piecemeal manner. As someone on the list said, having a common goal - in our case saving an old neighborhood - creates neighbors. We watched each others' kids, protested slumlords, lobbied for a library and new street lights, ate together, helped on building projects, etc. Because it was a city neighborhood people walked around, to the store, to the subway, to the schools, to each others' homes. The result was an amazing community where everyone looked out for each other and to which our children still return twenty years later to look up the old neighbors! Of course, once the area had been improved the devleopers moved in, banks started lending, houses were divided into condos and before you could turn around there was a trendy area full of chic restaruants and boutiques! Many of the original settlers moved on although some still remain. I had to move about ten years ago, and missed the community terribly. Cohousing provides the common goals missing in most neighborhoods and after a few weeks here, it is already starting to seem like a "real" neighborhood. Of course, we are an urban development with townhouses and flats and only a common veggie garden, lawn, etc., and a single garage! On another point, we've tried for diversity - two units sold to the local housing authority, one reserved for a limited equity program, an in-house affordability fund and our prices are a bit below market, But yes, we're basically a middle class group. >
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