Re: Questions about co-housing from a new list member
From: Caren Albercook (
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 05:21:37 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Laura, 
    I live in a 40 unit 60 person cohousing community
in the midwest.  We are 6 years old and have, I'm
told, the expected amount of turnover: roughly 25%
over 5 years.  Approximately a quarter of our families
have youngish kids and about half of those families
home school.  
  So....I've watched people come and go.  I've watched
people move through the first flush of the dream to
the disappointment that its not how they hoped, to
acceptance and even revelry in our juicy, fractious
   In my opinion, it works the best if you are NOT
certain you know the right way to handle any problem. 
It also works best if you are not trying to get away
from some particular aspect of society.  Be assured,
you will meet in up front, personal technicolor the
behavior/attitude/values you have the most difficulty
with. And in my community, at least, we are expected
to engage that person, not retreat from and vilify
them.  That is community's most precious gift and its
greatest frustration.  But Laura, it's the greatest
adventure I've ever undertaken, and I'm glad I did. 

--- Laura Jones <peverilj [at]> wrote:

> Hi. I'm Laura and I live in metro Atlanta with my
> husband and 3 kids (13, 9, and 4). There are two
> co-housing communities in Atlanta. We are interested
> in both. However, we don't know anyone who lives in
> either community.
> What is the best way to get a feel for how a
> particular co-housing community works on a
> day-to-day level as an outsider looking in?
> Co-housing is different from subdivision living, in
> that there will be much more interaction with our
> neighbors. That's great because that's one of the
> things that attracted me to co-housing in the first
> place - a sense of community that we don't have in
> our current location.
> As a general question, what is the best way to
> determine how our family would fit into a particular
> co-housing community?
> I am most concerned with how our kids would fit in,
> and whether our parenting styles would clash with
> those of the other families. Questions that are
> tough to answer in just a short visit to a
> community. 
> If you moved into an established co-housing
> development, can you please share how you got a feel
> for the place prior to making the commitment to live
> there? I've considered renting for a year, but
> that's probably not feasible because we don't want
> the headache of renting out current place....
> Thanks-
> Laura Jones
> ---------------------------------
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