Re: why people leave cohousing
From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 10:22:16 -0700 (PDT)
 Over a ten year period I interviewed about 60 people who had left or were
leaving cohousing, some from my own community, others from places where I
was doing workshops. Here is a simple list from those interviews in order of
frequency:

Change in job requires move
Out of state family crisis
Control issues (parenting issues are part of this)
Bad relationships with neighbors
Privacy issues 
Cost, personal finance, issues
Location issues

Often it is a combination of more than one thing. For example a bad
relationship and the community is too far from work. It took on average
about two years for someone dissatisfied with their situation to actually
move, sometimes this time was spent trying to rectify privacy, control or
relationship issues. The lack of success in doing so was a common thread in
why people left. 

It was surprising to me how bitter some people were upon leaving cohousing,
it reminded me of how people in divorce talk about their ex. I took away
from this the impression that some people place a huge emotional attachment
to their community fantasies and when reality does not match they blame the
community for somehow failing them. The people with no bitterness in the
parting were mostly very clear that they did not match the kind of people
that would be happy living in community, that it was an experiment that did
not work out for them. 

In my own community all of the above issues have been cause for people to
move on. Location is probably one of the largest, followed by control
issues, especially parenting control. 




Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing, Snohomish County, WA
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School
http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm
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