Diversity in Cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 13:19:01 -0600 (MDT)
on 7/12/2002 11:07 AM, Chris ScottHanson at chris [at] cohousingresources.com

> 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.

We had a similar problem with a woman who came to three meetings where all
that was talked about was families with children and how good the community
would be for children. Since there were already several older single people
in the group, she also felt unwanted or at least not a wanted addition to
the group which appeared to unbalanced in a direction it didn't want to go.

In addition she did not want to live in a community where all the concerns
were about children. Child friendly was okay but child centered was not one
of her interests. It was really a shame because she had many assets, skills,
and information that would have been useful to a developing group. Some of
these were information sources and academic and government contacts in
affordable housing and green architecture -- all of which the group was
concerned with at a slightly later point in its development.

By the time these misperceptions were corrected, all the larger units she
would have been interested in were taken.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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