Sharing in Cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 06:56:48 -0600 (MDT)
I suspect that there is a lot of income sharing and helping out that goes on
behind the scenes--or is so customary that people aren't aware of it.

--Inviting a family to dinner because you know it is the end of the week and
they haven't gotten paid yet.

--long term "loans" of computers, furniture, bicycles, etc.

--passing along baby furniture and clothing

--monetary loans, co-signing loans

Just living closely enough that you know when someone needs something brings
a response. But it comes without being institutionalized. The
institutionalization brings with it a lot of baggage that most people do not
want and which cohousing has done a good job of avoiding.

This is really a different subject, but we are enormously culturally
diverse. Much more that one would think and that is one reason why we avoid

I'm on  a list where we do a lot of discussion of life in England--a small
country with one theater world, one film industry, one Queen. We tried to
play the Kevin Bacon game with Judi Dench and had to do it in reverse--It
was impossible to find any actor who was more than 3 degrees removed from
her--and there was only one of them. Everyone, young or old, had worked in a
production with her. That would never happen with an American actor.

I recently had the occasion to explain to "them" the differences between
life in California and life in Alabama. Santa Fe vs. Philadelphia or Cape
Cod. It was a very interesting discussion and one which pointed out how much
we believe that we are all alike because we watch the same TV stations. But
differ enormously.

Sharon Villines
MacGuffin Guide to Detective Fiction
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington, DC
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