Shelf Life of Decisions
From: Barbara Lynch (
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 12:21:55 -0700 (PDT)

Karen Scheer writes:

I would be interested in hearing which policies established groups think are
most important to get settled before move in.

I believe that whatever your group at this time believes is important should
be put in policy.  For example, our group took for granted that common meals
would occur at least 3 times per week and that every able adult would
participate.  We were astonished to learn after move-in that some people who
joined the group later did not even believe in the centrality of eating
together in cohousing, much less being expected to participate.  We did a
fair job of communicating our policies to new folks, but we hadn't
formalized the common meals.  Please, let me be clear.  I don't believe that
creating the exact system is so important because we've changed ours several
times in four-and-a-half years of living together.  But, I do think that
setting the policy is beneficial.  Three other issues that have been
challenging here are pets, hiring a resident, and children's behavior,
especially during common meals.


Barbara Lynch
Pleasant Hill Cohousing in Pleasant Hill, CA
Cohousing/US Board member


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