Re: Families interested in buying a Multi-unit residence in East Bay
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 20:56:49 -0800 (PST)
On 12/26/04 7:03 PM, ryoung [at] <ryoung [at]> wrote:

>This is not QUITE co-housing, but I'm kicking off an effort to form a 
>group of
>families with kids to buy a small multi-unit residence in the El Cerrito to
>Oakland area.  No Common House, no developement, as little organizational
>overhead as possible, but shared goals, shared childcare, shared meals in our
>own spaces.

Excellent, Ryan! I highly recommend hooking up with East Bay Cohousing ( , although the site doesn't reflect the true 
diversity of styles/current state of the group), as a significant people 
who joined the group to learn about cohousing and the development process 
look at the costs of Bay Area housing/land and their own resources and 
decide that a retrofit project, using existing structures, more like what 
you describe, is more up their alley - they've already looked at several 
sites/structures not unlike what you describe, and are focusing the 
overall group on acting as an umbrella to support efforts like yours and 
reduce your risks, start-up time, and costs by providing mutual education 
and an existing structure. Also, a good spot for recruiting is at 
Cohousing Co. slide shows (the next one is Jan. 19 in Berkeley).

>I doubt Raines or Joani will be interested, but perhaps there are some local
>lurkers on this list who might find this an attractive housing alternative.

I can't speak for Joani or the rest of the Coho/US board, but personally, 
I'm always happy to see "cohousing cousins" and organically retrofitted 
communities like the one you envision - the more people who adopt 
elements of the model we're creating, the more viable it proves the whole 
concept to be and the easier it is for subsequent projects, and the 
easier it is to build the movement and address the needs of more people 
at different times of life, in different economic situations, with 
different social preferences... right now, the inventory of cohousing is 
so limited that there's many times and many people who aren't well served 
by what's out there.

And just because you don't start with a CH (or even the intention of one) 
doesn't mean you can't eventually end up with one if that's what people 
in your community want. Temescal Creek came together as a cohousing 
community in just six months, but didn't get around to building a common 
house until several years later. Mariposa Grove, just down the street, 
had a very small unit in one building as a CH and just recently 
reconfigured to use a larger unit as a CH.

>If so, check it out here:

Look for me there, as I like to join accessible groups in order to be 
able to cross-pollinate useful news & info & connections between groups 
and stay up on what's going on to help with news reports for Cohousing 


Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com>

  Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <>
Looking ahead to a decision point on my unit in 2005 (to avoid or defer 
capital gains taxation and make real my paper gains): hold (rent) or sell?

  Secretary, Berkeley [CA] Cohousing
Where my neighbor just paid a year's HOA dues in advance for convenience.

  Supporter, East Bay Cohousing <>
Next meeting, Jan. 22 at Doyle Street cohousing in Emeryville.

  Boardmember, Coho/US <>
Currently visiting communities in the DC area while on vacation.

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