RE: Waiting Lists and Approval of New Owners
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:44:26 -0600
The lack of ability to pick members is a potential weak link in the
cohousing concept. Thus far only one cohousing group has been so dilluted
with non-community people that it is reverting to a non-community state.
Most groups so far have been able to find people who are attracted to the
community aspects, not just the real estate. But this is something, as a
whole, to watch out for in the movement.

The banks screen people for economic fitness, but economic fitness is only
aspect of cohousing. It just takes one really dysfunctional person in a
group to wound it seriously. Communities that screen their members
carefully, usually with some sort of trial member process, do so because
they know how fragile community can be, and how easy it is to break.

One example of a problem cohousing groups may face in the future is when
cohousing is built exclusively as low income housing. If the folks come
because its affordable, not because it is cohousing or community, that lack
of interest in the community will end up killing it. Common Ground Cohousing
in Aspen is apparently having this problem. And cohousing without any sense
of community is just a condo with an oversized meeting room. It's the
community that separates Cohousing from the condos down the street.

Rob Sandelin

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