Re: RE: RetroFit Cohousing
From: Sanda Everette (
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 09:13:01 -0600 (MDT)
I thought I should perhaps pipe up on this thread.  San Mateo retrofit
cohousing is continuing to grow with some delays and crises.  We have
been promised the building next door for a couple of years....and again
for this summer.  Hopefully this time it will really happen.  We are
actively seeking coowners for that building.  At this point, everyone in
our first building is a renter except my husband and myself.  That
creates its own set of problems.  There has been some work on
retrofitting the structure and lots on reetrofitting the social
relations. We have community meal and meeting weekly and lots of
informal meal sharing and social gathering.  We have incredible organic
gardens, a focus of the community, and I eat most of my produce from it.

 I have been frustrated that some folks do not seem as committed as
others.  It was good reading Rob Sandelin's description in the thread on
time expectations.
> In cohousing and many other communities for that matter the most common
> pattern looked like this:
> about 1/4th of the membership was most active
> about 1/4th was least active
> about 1/2 varied from active to inactive.
It seems that way here, too and I working on being less upset about it
so I can stop making myself unhappy and unsuccessfully guilt tripping
others.  The group convined me about a year ago to let go of hourly
expectations and just let things flow. We started monthly work parties
in April and that has been good. The difficulty is that since we are
such a small group, all the work does not always get done....and that is
hard in a garden.  We are 14 adults currently in five apartments (12
bedrooms)and when we get the second building, we will have 20 bedrooms
in 8 apartments....with some space devoted to common space.

There are lots of photos on line, particularly in Yahoo scrapbooks. 
Enough for now.  I just wanted to let you know that I am still out here.

Fred H Olson wrote:

> I have been an advocate of Retrofit Cohousing for some time.  I use that
> term (which I attribute to Kevin Wolf at N Street) to mean:
>  Retrofit Cohousing is developed in existing housing by changing the way
>  the occupants of that housing relate - usually with new occupants moving
>  in to participate in the community.  Retrofiting the social relations and
>  not necessarily the structures.
>  ( See my little Retrofit Cohousing web page at:  )
>  ( )
> But it has been somewhat discouraging.  There have been two promising
> Retrofit Cohousing communities that have apparently / effectively
> disbanded. In those, personal disagreements were major factors. The
> community we were trying to build here in North Minneapolis (sometimes
> called "Homewood Cohousing") has pretty much stalled. Factors in our case
> are rising housing prices, few houses available, resulting small numbers
> of people, busy schedules. Our efforts have resulted in some good things
> in our pleasant neighborhood so I dont consider it a failed effort - just
> not cohousing (yet).

Sanda and Brian Everette 

San Mateo Cooperative Community 
Toward a sustainable lifestyle: 
grow some of your own food and/or know the gardener who is growing it.
Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.