Re: Membershhip
From: Becky Weaver (
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 10:19:03 -0700 (PDT)
I'm with Kaleidoscope Village in Austin, Texas, also with developers & land but 
no site work done yet. At this stage in our development, we charge membership 
fees by household; one household = one house = one fee. It is simpler. 
  Crafting a system for "fair" allocation of fees would be messy. Houshold size 
bears no relationship to household wealth or a household's ability/wilingness 
to do lots of community work. One flat fee per household is certainly more of a 
burden to some people than others, but it has the benefit of being easy to 
explain and implement. It also filters out people who have an strong need for 
everything to be perfectly "fair." Living in cohousing would drive such a 
person 'round the bend; it's merciful to screen them at the door, so to speak. 
  Once you know, generally, what the price difference is between different home 
sizes, it makes sense to charge certain fees relative to home price/size. By 
the way, home size/price tends to be totally unrelated to family size and 
sometimes only vaguely related to income. Be careful about making any 
assumptions in this area. Try to keep fees related to costs unless there is a 
clear benefit to the community in doing otherwise. 
  We have not addressed meal expenses yet, but it makes sense to charge those 
by individual eating the meal, since, again, it's simpler. You'll probably want 
to charge less for children than for teens & adults. 
  Becky Weaver
  Central Austin Cohousing/Kaleidoscope Village
  Austin, Texas
  Where we're getting our first peek at architectural plans tomorrow! 

Nikki Sachs <nikkisachs [at]> wrote:
  ...We are
wondering how other cohousing communities determine what categories to
charge for as individuals and what by household. Is membership by household
and do you charge differently for single households vs couple or family
households? What about meal expenses? ...

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