Re: Group control, members v investors
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 09:37:43 -0500
Peter Scott asked about investors and control and decision making.

Money issues have killed a couple of communities here in the NW. People with
lots of cash bailed when they couldn't get the kind of agreements about
repayment or interest that they wanted. When the folks with the cash pulled
out, the projects folded. People felt bad all around at least in the one
case I was familiar with personally. (I got to mediate their conflict)

So you need to walk extra carefully around this issue, it can be a community
breaker. One problem I have seen in some forming cohousing groups is that
there really isn't enough sense of togetherness to build the kind of trust
where people feel good about trusting largish sums of money. In groups that
have a high level of togetherness, this trust seems to come much  quicker
and less painfully and with much less fear and remorse.

Another factor is where the community vision is very strong. Really, if you
think about it, all you have, for months and months, is a vision, faith and
trust in people you hope someday to live with.

Although there are some who disagree, I think building your sense of
togetherness should come before trying to do building and all that stuff, or
at least given as much time. My experience is that a close, trusting group,
makes decisions easier, and willingly gives more to the group.

Where the trust and caring is, the money follows.

Rob Sandelin

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