Re: Article in American Airlines magazine (fwd)
From: Fred H. Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 18:59:38 -0600
Scott Crowley  scowley [at] alex.lib.utah.edu
is the author of the message below but due to a problem it was posted
by the Fred the list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Hello, Sophia,

I appreciate the attention cohousing is getting lately.  It is unique in
that we need the p.r. upfront before things are built to get it to happen. 
However, it is easy to trivialize the movement.  Cohousing could easily
turn into another gated "golf-course" housing movement. 

  Cohousing has traditionally held the following values:

 - seek diversity of people and income.  This has only marginally been
accomplished due to the generally high cost of housing construction.  We
have 5 of 26 homes at an "affordable" level (50% of area median income) on
a tax credit-financed "rent-to-own" program.. 

 - use democratic decision-making for self-governance.  Pretty common.

 - concern for the local environment and energy use.  Limited by practical
costs, but incorporated in most projects.  Ours has high insulation
construction, and clustered site design so that our 4.5 acres has 60% left
in greenspace. 

 - architectural design to foster interaction.
 - design input by the future residents.

 - shared common facilities.  A "commonhouse" is typical.  We also have
a workshop, a large garden, and shared yard equipment.

Our "mission statment" says that we seek to "share more and waste less."

I see cohousing as a package.  Remove any of these elements and you lose a
leg which supports the continued functioning of the community.  This is
much in variance with other contemporary concepts such as
"Neo-traditional" architecture. 

Good luck on the article.  You could do us a great service by getting past
the sensational "hippy commune" tack and present the reading public with a
modern alternative for gaining a caring neighborhood. 

- Scott
Wasatch Commons, SLC, UT 

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