Re: Re: Agreements in Cohousing and what happens when they are ignored?
From: Bonnie Fergusson (
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 13:46:43 -0700 (PDT)
   I personally have not seen anyone defiantly
ignoring an agreement and refusing to discuss why (3
years living in a community that is 6 years old).  But
certainly there have been challanging instances of
agreements not kept.  Usually this results in lots of
either under the breath muttering and then open
discussion or goes straight into open discussion after
which we either recommit to the original agreement or
change it in some way which seems to us likely to work
better.  This seems like the way it should work to me.
 It does mean revisiting stuff periodically and
requires a high tolerance for meetings, and "process"
but the alternative is unhappy neighbors and that's
what would really ruin a cohousing community.  If we
can't figure out how to live happily with each other
it all falls apart.  The nice thing about cohousing
communities is that this expectation is built in or
should be; and generally the totally uncooperative
types get weeded out by all the work requirements and
meetings requiring agreement in the design process and
run up to being built and moved in.  If somehow you
end up with a totally oppositional member then your
meetings expectations weren't high enough during that
earlier phase.  Communities with no rules/ or
enforcable expectations don't work or survive--too
many drones move in and the workers leave in
frustration.  What you want are onerous enough
expectations that the drones are the ones to leave,
and preferably sooner rather than later.
That's my take on the subject anyway.
                   Bonnie Fergusson
                   Swan's Market Cohousing
                    Oakland, CA

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