Re: Waiting Lists and Approval of New Owners
From: Rowena Conkling (
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 17:20:57 -0600

PattyMara [at] wrote:

> In a message dated 98-12-29 00:16:59 EST, SharonVillines [at] 
> writes:
> << We are working on condo docs and need some input on how others handle this.
>  We seem to be leaning toward no approval of buyers but favor some process
>  for letting people know what they are getting into. How do you do this?

Patt replied

> At Tierra Nueva (central CA coast) any qualified buyer bought a home.  There
> was no screening or preapproval because we believe it is illegal to do so.

It is not illegal to have a preapproval process unless it is used to exclude
"protected" classes such as minorities or, in Massachusetts, families with
children.   However, most groups find that members are self-selecting in that
after attending a number of meetings and struggling with the trials of getting 
project off the ground only those who are somewhat committed to the concept stay
around.   Trying to pick people with whom you feel totally compatible is 
useless - there's no way to tell early on - and would defeat the idea of a 
community.  Unless you are a group with a particular philosophical bent - vegan,
Buddhist, socialist, etc. - it's probably best to trust the process.   After 
cohousers are neighbors, not co-religionists!  You don't have to love them all,
just respect them all, like most of them and love a few!

I suppose if you have a very small project getting to know people well ahead of
time may be more important.   And if you take years to get going that will 
anyway.  Cambridge Coho is large,  so some groups of people will naturually be
closer than others - you can't have 60 best friends!

Cambridge Cohousing

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