Re: first meeting
From: Stephan Wik (stephanwiks.net)
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 01:04:35 -0800 (PST)

On 9 Dec 2004, at 07:49, Rob Sandelin wrote:

Cohousing is highly screened. The screening however is done
by the banks.

Indeed. In the community we lived in for 10 years (Findhorn) it's fascinating to compare the sociological make up of the people who have bought (expensive) houses on the 'Field of Dreams' to members of the Findhorn Foundation. Foundation membership has no requirement to invest large sums of money or be credit worthy. There is other screening for Foundation membership however. There is quite a difference.

In the other community we lived in recently (Lebensgarten in Germany) the same difference could be seen between the 'renters' and the 'owners'. In Lebensgarten the community was recently embroiled in a major process when the chance arose to buy all the existing rented accommodation. A few people told me (privately) that they hoped it would happen as they thought the community would benefit from less 'flaky renter types'. Others told me (also privately) that they hoped it wouldn't happen because all the 'colour and life' would disappear. As far as I am aware none of this was ever voiced publicly.

In the end they couldn't agree and the sale offer was withdrawn.

In fact the differences are, in some ways, remarkably similar to what can be seen in Britain between occupiers of what is called 'council housing' (i.e. houses owned and rented out by the local government authority) and privately owned housing. BTW this is the (unproved but quite plausible) reason Maggie Thatcher forced councils to sell their housing stock to their tenants. Owners tended to vote Tory.

So yes, just because the screening is not happening directly within the community process does not mean that other screening is not taking place.

Stephan Wik

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