Re: Re: [C-L] Diversity in Cohousing
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 09:35:01 -0600 (MDT)
> on 6/28/02 6:37 PM, Grace Horowitz at grace [at] wrote:
>> This thread is hilarious. But what does it have to do with real issues in
>> cohousing? And we have plenty of them! I would suggest that people relate
>> actual experiences in building a diverse cohousing community rather than
>> these very imaginative hypothetical cases. Then we might have a very
>> interesting and relevant discussion and might not even have that much
>> argument.
> We had a problem, we found, when a person came to one of our intro meetings,
> listened to the goings on and the talk about making everything affordable,
> and left feeling excluded. She had money and she felt that she wasn¹t being
> welcomed. She said nothing at the time, and simply listened to what was
> being said at our intro meeting.
> We accidentally learned of this several months later and talked to her at
> length about the experience for her.  She would have been a valuable
> participant in our community, in many ways.

Would she? I think this is a red herring. She went to one meeting, said
nothing, and went away feeling unwelcome. Later, she complained. If you had
said at that meeting that you were looking for people with money, she
probably would have gone away, without saying anything, feeling bad that you
only wanted her for her money. I realize I don't have the whole story, but
it seems to me that someone like this would be a pain in the butt to have as
a member, money or no. What is stopping her from joining now? I don't care
what her pluses are, she doesn't really want to live in cohousing, so what's
the point? 

> Ironically, she could have helped make the entire community more affordable
> by having/allowing us create a larger, more expensive home for her within
> our diverse community which has the effect of reducing the prices on the
> other homes in the community. Now we are looking for some folks to buy some
> of the larger units as this will make the economics more desirable for the
> whole community, especially in our effort to provide the subsidies necessary
> to create the mandated 10% affordable housing units. (Municipal mandate.)

It seems to me that the only reason you want her, in retrospect, is that you
found out how much money she has! It's easy to look back at things and wish
you had done something differently. But I think if she had just been someone
whining about not feeling welcome and the issue of money never came up, that
you would have been counting your blessings right now.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California
tamgoddess [at]

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