Re: CoHousing to Meet Needs of Disabled
From: Unnat (
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 09:06:43 -0600
Hi Everyone

> should cohousing have a specific emphasis or should it just be
> for anyone who cares to join? Under the current definition, a "cohousing
> community for people who want to live and work with people who have
> disabilities" would not be cohousing at all, it would be an intentional
> community.

Suddenly I feel confused.   I am a member of an intentional community.  We are
building co-housing style group housing (publicly funded rental and privately
owned housing co-op) complete with small private outdoor areas to maximise 
spaces, perimeter parking, a common house (kitchen and dining for regular shared
meals; wheelchair friendly bathroom facilities, meeting and office space, guest
room, laundry).  We will share tools and resources. We intend to hang out 
and respect the need for privacy and time out, etc.  One rental home has been
purpose built for Debbie, the profoundly and severely, physically and
intellectually disabled adult daughter of a founding member ( he will continue 
live elsewhere).  I am one member who will take on a 'guardian' role for Debbie,
to support/supervise her 'round-the-clock care.

I guess I'm one of those people who, if something good doesn't fit the 
I change the definition.  Maybe I just love breaking rules ; )

>  The type of cohousing arrangement I have
> in mind would be for entire families, not just the disabled family
> members.  Non-family members would also be welcome in the community if
> they have a desire to live & work with people who have disabilities.

Why not?  My caution would be:  consider the proportion of ablity:disablity 
(and I
don't just mean by clinical definition!).  Co-housing/int. community/shared
living/commune - call it what you will - requires time and effort to develop and
maintain, physically and emotionally.

Robyn Williams
Pinakarri Community
Fremantle, Western Australia

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