re: Work Requirements
From: Stephanie Fassnacht (
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 13:58:08 -0600 (MDT)
Sharon Villines asked how much work it takes to keep things running.
Village Cohousing is far from a mature community; we aren't yet quite
a year old.  So I'm hoping that the amount of work required will be
less at *some* point in the future.  I truly didn't expect the work
requirements to be so great after move-in as they have been this year.

We have a business meeting once a month, but are considering having
two a month for a while because there's too much business to process
in the two hours we've alloted per month.  We've had two
full-community work days so far, and commonhouse cleaning, which takes
about 4 hours for a team of two, only requires participation once
every 6 weeks / team.  This stuff isn't bad.  It's the committee work
that's the real killer right now.  Most of the committee work thus far
has been involved in getting things up and running: meal prep, kitchen
finances, initial budgets, getting the common areas furnished and
supplied on a regular basis, working out guest room policy, and
policies for commonhouse use by large or outside groups, working out a
snow removal and grass mowing schedule, creating and training a group
of mediators, fine-tuning our communications and consensus practices,
developing a waiting list procedure and materials/packets to hand out
to interested parties, getting the sandbox, clotheslines and compost
bins located to everyone's satisfaction, figuring out who's
responsible for maintenance problems in common areas, etc.

I should have also said that most of us moved in before construction
was completed, so that probably set us back a bit as far as getting
our management up and running.

It will be interesting for me, too, to hear from mature communities
and to learn how this pattern of work might change over time.

Stephanie Fassnacht
Village Cohousing
Madison, Wisconsin

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