Re: I'm frustrated- diverse finances
From: Matt Lawrence (
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 10:59:49 -0500
On Thu, 9 Jul 1998 cynthia.e.carpenter [at] wrote:

> I think you need to decide what's most important to you: to have expensive
> amenities that are paid for equally by the whole community; or to be a
> member of an income-diverse community which will, of necessity, have less
> amenities and/or unequal financial contributions.  If the former, you have
> to find a cohousing group where the members are more homogenous in their
> incomes and financial values and closer to yours.  If the latter, you have
> to reconcile yourself to having amenities well below what you could afford
> and/or gifting some amenities to the community.

This is actually a very good intro to a couple of questions I've been
wrestling with.  I haven't been able to build a good mental model for how
to build a community where people have radically different ideas about the
"value of a dollar".  Most other types of diversity that people talk about
won't have a direct impact on my life, but the whole community is involved
in the finances of the community.

Also, how much diversity of income?  I have some (low income) friends who
have been living in a tent (G.P. Medium) for the last few years so they
can save up the money to build a house.

Another issue that I've thought of and I'd like other folks opinions on is
that I don't think radical variations in cost per square foot are a good
idea.  My gut feeling is that the variations should generally be less that
> One other note: I suspect that one source of this conflict is a difference
> of views between those who have children and those who don't.  If you have
> children someday, you may find yourself on the other side of the fence:
> with much less available income, and needing to prioritize children's play
> equipment over an Olympic pool.  If you want to live in a community that
> has children, you will need to support those priorities to at least some
> extent.  If you find yourself using children's needs as a "bargaining
> chip," you're in the wrong place.

I think you are doing a good job of twisting what I said.  Yes, I'd like
to see a good pool for swimming laps.  I'd also like to see a pool that
the children can play in, I'm in Texas, an unheated pool is usable 9
months out of the year and a (solar) heated pool is usable at least 11
months out of the year.  And I'm really offended by your assertion that I
want to use children's "needs" as a barganing chip.  I don't and I won't,
I'll vote with my feet first.

-- Matt

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