Work v. Pay
From: DCS (
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 21:07:04 -0600 (MDT)
As an exercise, I started tallying according to Catya's formula (I am at at-home
mom) and realized that if I was being paid for all the various stuff I do in a
month, we could double our family income! Then I realized that if I were to be
paid for my family work, then I'd have to stop working because we wouldn't have
any money left after paying my wages :-)

Seriously, though, I'd guess something else (bad) is going on in your
neighborhood if you find you can't even clean the CH or mow the grass because of
a lack of time and money support.

Maybe a fresh approach to find out why people aren't in support of the status
quo could be helpful. If people just don't have enough money, and they just
don't have enough time, you can't squeeze anymore out of them, and you need to
be realistic about that. If other people have time to spare, or money to share,
then you can come up with an agreement within your group that accepting "extras"
is o.k. and/or appreciated.

If your expenses are outstripping your homeowner's association dues, then you
either have to cut back the amount of work you are doing around the neighborhood
or you up people's dues. If people can't or don't want to afford the dues, then
you scale back your projects, your plans. If people aren't in support of the
general budget, then no amount of adjusting the dues scale is going to inspire
them to like it anymore.

I like the idea of each neighbor gives according to his means (with a minimum
level of participation that's expected), and I believe it works if there's a
general enthusiasm for what's going on in the neighborhood.

Christine Della Maggiora
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham NC

> ---------------------
> Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 15:47:44 -0600
> From: "Kay Argyle" <argyle [at]>

> How about, anybody can buy out of community work for the price that their
> employer has set on their time?  That takes the question of affordability
> off the table.
> I don't know if this is a brilliant notion or an "equal-opportunity
> offender" (that is, it offends everybody for different reasons) ....
> Kay
> Wasatch Commons
> ------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 18:43:31 -0400
> From: "Catya Belfer-Shevett" <catya [at]>
> To: "Multiple recipients of list" <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: RE: Work vs Pay
> Hi hi,
> > I've been in groups that have tried this. How do you value the time of
> > people who do not technically have an annual income? Minimum
> > wage? Split the
> > income of a one-wage family amongst the adults?
> One way to do this is to price what it would cost to replace the person's
> work, even if they are not paid for it.
> So, for example, a stay-at-home mom of 3 kids can figure out what it would
> cost to have a qualified professional take care of, cook for, clean up after
> her kids, and base her "hourly rate" on that.  (An enlightening exercise for
> other reasons, too)
>         - catya

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