Re: Failure of Cohousing as Community
From: Bitner/Stevenson (
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 06:59:24 -0600 (MDT)
There are a few flaws in the argument of the original post. Cohousing is not
cheaper than other housing, as those of us with limited means and/or a
desire to help those who can't afford it can attest.

 A woman who got in just to get the low income unit (we're fairly sure-she
never professed that out loud) left about a year ago, and the people who
bought her flat are enthusiastic members of the community. In fact, of the
people who have left, all but one have been replaced by more
community-minded people, and that one has been a pretty much equal trade.

I think there will be a certain number of communities that fade away, but
that is not a reason to despair. I mean, is there anybody who has never
heard of a commune breaking up? Hello? Talk about living in glass houses.

By the way, this brings up a pet peeve of mine-lot development models that
have the houses really far apart. I think those will be very vulnerable to
the dissolution of the group. The architecture should reflect the intentions
of the community, so it's not so easy to opt out.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California

>From: "Victoria" <victoria [at]>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
>Subject: Failure of Cohousing as Community
>Date: Tue, Aug 24, 1999, 6:32 AM

> Dear All,
> I found Rob's message about the erosion of community in cohousing pretty
> scary.  The <soft selling> he is talking about is happening here already.
> One of our neighbors, in his concern to reach a wider market, has advertised
> his place simply as a condo, no mention of community at all, and hired a
> conventional realtor.  I would be interested to hear from other cohousing
> groups about the strength of their communities, possible signs of this kind
> of erosion, and what can be done to avoid it.  Thanks for this thread Rob.

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