affordable urban cohousing for artists?
From: Ed Stauff (
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 18:28:23 -0700 (PDT)
My family is most likely returning to eastern Massachusetts next year, where we hope to be able to join Mosaic Commons, but we'll probably end up being just a little too late. As plan "B", I'm considering the possibility of starting a new cohousing group.

This new coho development would target artists (both performing and fine arts) and craftspeople, either part-time amateurs or full-time professionals. A primary goal would be to make it truly affordable for people trying to survive on an artist's income. My site concept is to refurbish something like an old mill building, within walking distance of public transit that could get a person to Boston and/or Worcester, thereby reducing the need for residents to own cars. The rest of the details would follow the usual cohousing model: multi-age, pedestrian-centered, designed & managed by the residents, consensus, etc. I would be looking primarily in Worcester, Fitchburg, Leominster, Ayer, Berlin, Clinton, and the towns in between. I would think (hope?) that town planners would look on this as an opportunity to revitalize a part of their towns.

Right now I'm looking for information regarding the following issues:

1. Has anyone tried this sort of thing, either successfully or unsuccessfully?

2. Does anyone know of funding sources for removal of toxic waste? I see this as the problem most likely to kill a prospective site.

Now I'll introduce myself, or re-introduce myself. I've been inactive on this list for several years, and was active for a while before that. Married with two young boys, we've been deeply involved in two different coho groups. One, now called Champlain Valley Cohousing, is under construction and has people living there. We left that group after a tiff with the founder (who is no longer with the group) over management style, which is probably just as well, because in the wake of the Second Great Depression, we couldn't afford to live there anyway. The other, Wild Onion Cohousing, disbanded amicably (though sadly) last year after deciding that we didn't have the energy to keep looking for affordable land that would suit all of us.

Yours in Community,

-- Ed

| Edward L. Stauff                |
| Musician, software guru, author, bibliophile, cohouser, aikidoka, |
| husband, dad, microferroequinologist, woodworker, (order varies). |
| "Specialization is for insects." -- Lazarus Long (R. A. Heinlein) |

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