|Re: Community opportunity - Treehouse||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raines Cohen (rc2-coho-Lraines.com)|
|Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 16:15:02 -0600 (MDT)|
On 5/20/03 4:21 PM, Johanna Halbeisen <johanna.newsong [at] rcn.com> wrote: > It is a little >backwards to the way co-housing communities usually develop, but I'm >hoping it will spark interest. Do you have any suggestions about >ways to find people who might be interested? Well, posting here on Coho-L is a great start - people do pass along messages and others come back later to search the archives for exactly such things, and we're working on ways to make them even more accessible. You can search them yourself for keywords like "marketing", "outreach", "recruitment", "recruiting", "finding new members", "advertising", and the like. Your next stop might be with Coho/US, which has a database of people interested in Cohousing, including several hundred in MA, and thousands from across the country. We can get the word out through our e-newsletter, classified ads and community listings on our website (http://www.cohousing.org/ ), Cohousing magazine, the upcoming national conference in Boulder (highly recommended ESPECIALLY for folks at your stage in the process -- you can save months and thousands of dollars with what you can learn in a few days, the best practices and failure/success stories from hundreds of groups and professionals), through our contacts with other communities in your area and around the country (as anyone living in cohousing will tell you, there's never a shortage of interested people making inquiries!). One of our board members, John Fabel, lives at Pioneer Valley over in Amherst, just a stone's throw away. It just so happens that I'll be "back East" (Unlike native Californians, I can get away with saying this, as I grew up near Boston) visiting communities in that area in a couple of weeks, while attending my partner Betsy's reunion at Northfield Mt. Hermon, and we might be able to meet up; she's an urban planner and community developer by profession, and quite interested in these things as well. Certainly, make sure that communities in the area know about your plans and have a point of contact. You're blessed with not only being in one of America's "cohousing clusters" with multiple communities within a small area making it easier to market, get approvals, and make projects happen, but you have a number of great professionals like Laura that have worked on coho projects (and in many cases, live in cohousing), who can help you through the necessary steps of group formation, visioning, project approval and development. Because of the existing base of cohousing communities around you, I'd bet that doing local marketing efforts, through local papers, flyering at places where prospective buyers frequent, using church, school, parents' and professional networks, all leading people to a website and regular meetings, will flush out plenty of interested potential neighbors. Just as most cohousing groups have found the building process greatly simplified and accelerated by partnering with professionals, don't hesitate to turn to experienced community builders and marketing specialists as well - you'll find several through our website. Don't let the nontraditional path deter you! Quite a few cohousing communities have started with models other than the "locate site, option, permit, buy, build, sell" conventional practice, driven by necessity or intent - just look at all the "retrofit"/"organic" projects out there, in which development and Common House construction typically comes long AFTER move-in; even built projects like Berkeley cohousing started out in this fashion. The concept is adaptable enough to accomodate many different forms of development and partnerships with existing projects. If you can show a developer or property owner that the market is there, you will rapidly find them willing to accomodate whatever quirks the group may bring. Good luck, and please do keep us informed of your progress! Raines Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com> Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <http://www.swansway.com/> Where the guest room is finally done with construction - only 3 years late! (don't ask how many dollars over budget) Member, Berkeley [CA] Cohousing (elected Secretary! oh, fun.) Where some members are participating in a citywide "cash for trash" waste reduction contest. Facilitator, East Bay Cohousing [on hiatus] <http://www.ebcoho.org/> Where the next communities tour will be in July. Boardmember, Coho/US <http://www.cohousing.org/> The Cohousing Association of the United States, serving on the Communications and Membership teams. _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L
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