Students and Post-teens as Renters
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 15:34:32 -0500
One of the housing needs in our society is that of young people 16-25 who
need semi-supervised housing to help them transition into independence.
College dorms do this job for the college bound but that is a diminishing
part of the population since many colleges are now non-residential. Those
who don't go to college have nothing.

In old Dutch houses, this age group used to build lofts in the attic rafters
or in the barn which served as private living space. During the Sixties and
Seventies build your own house movement, families found that 16 was the age
when young people went out and built their own houses, returning to the
family house for some meals and a bath. By 21-24 they were ready to build
more independent houses with friends but still returned home frequently.

The building I would like to see designed as a adjunct to cohousing would be
a dorm-like unit for young people. It would have self-government but with
requirements set by the cohousing community just as we set behavior codes
for other residents--no barking dogs, no nude swimming before 10:00, no
marching band practice at 7 am, etc. 

Otherwise, we will have communities with no one in this age group because
they can't afford to buy and want--or need--to live independently from their
parents. On a larger social level, many teenagers who live on the streets
are "throw-aways"--the parents had the problem, not the kids. And the kids
have no alternatives.

Sharon Villines, Who has moved from Manhattan the movie set to Florida the
Archives of Detective Fiction,
The MacGuffin Mystery Guide is on its way!
Synergy Cohousing, Delray Beach, FL

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