Re: Cohousing-L digest, Vol 1 #350 - 5 msgs
From: Susan Hope Dundas (
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 12:43:01 -0700 (MST)
On Thu, 17 Jan 2002 cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:14:57 -0800
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> From: Joani Blank <joani [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_Fine Article from Detroit Free Press and Chicago Tribune
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Howdy Cohousing Friends,
> I've been so tied up with Cohousing Network projects and commitments that I
> haven't read or contributed very much to this listserve in recent months.
> But I awoke this morning with plans to pass on two requests to you
> today.  First, however, I opened an email from fellow Board Member Dennis
> Jay and found this wonderful article from the Chicago Tribune, apparently
> originally published in the Detroit Free Press a couple of weeks ago.  [I
> don't believe this has appeared on coho-l previously, but if it has and
> you've already read it, just hit that delete key.]....Later for those two
> requests.....
> Joani Blank
> Swan's Market Cohousing
> Oakland, CA
> Nice positive article in Sunday's paper. This article previously appeared
> in the Detroit
> Free Press two weeks ago.

Hee, that's us. :) I've been surprised to see just how many articles have
been coming out in recent months about cohousing in our area. This is
probably the fourth or fifth.

Actually, that brings to mind another issue - marketing/advertising your
community.  We're reaching a point of having to more aggressively market
(though I dislike the term) our remaining units and also the units in the
community which will follow us (Honey Creek).  Does anyone have any tips &
techniques for getting the word out to interested people effectively?

> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 02 13:36:02 -0700
> From: Lynn Nadeau <welcome [at]>
> To: "cohousing L" <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_Re: sliding scale
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> At RoseWind Cohousing this year, we successfully used a sliding scale for
> assessments.

Wow, thanks. This sounds like a really good idea, and especially one that
would build trust among community members that we can use a sliding scale
*and* cover all our bases.

> >One of the concerns that has
> >>been raised is how we would handle someone who consistently "abuses" the
> >>policy.
> You have to really let go of this. By setting a minimum, you are saying
> it IS ok to contribute at that level. It is evident to everyone that if
> we don't contribute as much as we can, our budget will not be funded, and
> we won't get some of what we had decided we wanted. Those who offer
> amounts above the average also have to be trusted to stay within their
> comfort zone. It worked out well.

Thanks for saying that - I agree wholeheartedly about the 'needing to let
go of' it. It's something that we're all working on, but it helps to hear
it from experienced cohousers. :)

> From: "Rowena Conkling" <rowenahc [at]>
> To: <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: RE: [C-L]_Sliding Scale Association fees?
> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 17:01:45 -0000
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Do check out any ideas you have with your lawyer.  Some states have statutes

Yep, and that's one that may kill the whole sliding scale idea, but we
haven't delved deeply into it yet. If enough of the community members
think it merits further investigation, though, we will.

> then it attaches to the unit regardless of the individuals living there.  If
> you decide to go that way you may want to think about some kind of limited
> equity clause in the deed that limits the profit an owner can make upon sale
> and the income of the individuals moving in.

Hmm, that sounds potentially difficult - I guess I'm not understanding the
goals of using such a clause, maybe you could explain it more? (I'm still
quite new at this).

> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 17:27:03 -0500
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_Re: sliding scale
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> From: "Robert P. Arjet" <rarjet [at] LearnLink.Emory.Edu>
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> >You have to really let go of this.
> This reminds me of an earlier post that pointed out that "Most of us come
> from such a competitive and fear based western culture where
> rules/punishment/reward is the way that we are used to being controlled
> even when most are reasonably benign.  The fact that we aspire to live
> co-operatively is terrific but challenging."
> Four of us talked last night about the idea of having our meetings
> followed not by pot-lucks, but by common meals, cooked by a couple of
> members (we are waaay pre-construction).  Of course, the question arose of
> how to pay for it.  We discussed several options, and ended up deciding to
> propose one that was very vulnerable to abuse.  We decided that, in the
> absence of evidence to the contrary, we would assume the best about our
> fellow group members and take the risk that somebody might try to abuse
> the system.  I think cohousing fundamentally requires choosing to assume
> the best, rather than the worst, of people.  Yes, we will get burned from
> time to time, but the cost of being cheated is so very much less than the
> cost of continuing to live in our "competitive and fear based western
> culture."
> My $.02

Thanks, good illustration. Mind if I pass it along to the community?

Actually, do any of you mind if I forward this thread to them? It would
be very helpful.

> Message: 5
> From: "Cathy Angell" <CathyAngell [at]>
> To: <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_Re: sliding scale - sharing meals
> Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 13:19:07 +1300
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> >One of the concerns that has
> >been raised is how we would handle someone who consistently "abuses" the
> >policy.
> >You have to really let go of this.
> This is a first  - for me to contribute to the List.   I have been an avid
> reader for quite some time - thank you to all!
> One of the really important ways we have done this is to share a simple meal
> before or after our full group meetings, currently held usually every two
> weeks.   Our total membership is approximately 30 people, plus their

Thanks, again, that's a really good illustration of how to beat the
trust/abuse issues. Welcome, from another newbie poster. :)

Best wishes and thanks to all,

        Susan Hope

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