Re: Achieving age diversity
From: Becky Weaver (
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 07:46:47 -0800 (PST)
Hi Barbara,
  How close are you to move-in? We (Austin, Texas) were not able to keep many 
members with children until we had a site, fairly believable prices, a fairly 
clear timeline, and a very low risk that the project would dry up & blow away. 
  Because parenting occupies so many of a person's resources, many families who 
would love to actually live in a cohousing community just can't put a whole lot 
of energy into developing one. After all, the homes may or may not be built, 
three to nine years from now, at prices the family may or may not be able to 
afford. It takes a certain kind of person to put very scarce energy into 
something that feels so uncertain. 
  Thus, it seems like a high percentage of families with young children either 
join at the last minute, when you have firm pricing and low risk, or buy units 
that come up for sale after a community is built. 
  So, if you're worried about selling out to one predominant age bracket before 
you reach the nearly-ready-for-move-in stage, then a quota could be the way to 
go. It would certainly demonstrate to families that your community really 
values them. I imagine that your families-with-young-children quota will be the 
last one to fill; not because cohousing doesn't attract families, but for the 
reasons I mentioned earlier. 
  If selling out early seems unlikely, you could build in as many 
child-friendly features into your policies & design as you can, and otherwise 
not worry a whole lot about acquiring the actual children until you're close to 
starting construction. 
  Becky Weaver
  Kaleidoscope Village, Austin, TX

Barbara Sarah <bsarah [at]> wrote:
  We are now recruiting new prospective residents for our 30-36 unit project in 
Rosendale, NY. We'd like to know how other communities have been able to 
achieve an equitable mix of ages - families and older people without children. 
We are doing outreach to schools. pediatricians, etc., yet still are finding it 
much easier to attract people over 55 years to our meetings. Have any of you 
designed quotas? If so, what kind? Do they work? All suggestions appreciated.
Barbara Sarah
Ulster County (Rosendale, NY) Cohousing
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