RE: Cohousing and car sharing
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 08:44:59 -0600 (MDT)
I doubt cohousing will ever evolve much in the way of car ownership sharing.
The private property ownership model of cohousing is very intrenched in the
Cohousing definition and Americans in general,and  this is one of the hidden
filters of cohousing.  Next to a house, a car is the next most expensive
property and status that Americans own. Since you filter in people who find
home ownership important, then sharing car ownership is not likely to find
much interest. I would suspect that in communities that do not have home
ownership as a central tenet, that sharing ownership of cars would be
easier. For example, I know of 4 income sharing communities that share
ownership of their fleet.

The private ownership boundaries of cohousing set some clear limitations in
most groups. For instance, I have not heard of cohousing groups sharing
income or doing income support when a member loses their job. In the condo
model that most groups adopt, each individual is responsible for their own
mortgage and if you can't cut it economically, well, see you later. So large
economic support is not typically part of cohousing, and sharing a car is a
large economic issue.

At Sharingwood ownership of a truck is shared amoung several people who own
"shares" in the truck. This is very handy because you mostly only need a
truck occiasionally. We own a small sail boat the same way. If you want to
use the truck but do not own a share, then you pay a user fee.

Rob Sandelin
Northwest Intentional Communties Association
Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

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