Re: Not selecting members in a group
From: byron patterson (
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 18:38:24 -0800 (PST)
On 1/28/07, Byron Patterson^ byronpatterson [at]> wrote:

In response to the closing questions posed in effectiveness of cohousing.

If we can find a way to reduce the number of hoops, might not we find more
 people stepping up to live in a friendlier-than-random environment?

 Cohousing may be what is needed to cultivate and preserve the heritage of
 many families and groups within communities; but hoops or any other
 are created by the dynamics of the community. It would be hopeful that
 random housing selection is a friendly experience.

If we had more people stepping up, might not there be more cohousing slots
 than there are right now? If you mean stepping up in context of wealth or
 probably not, the factors of people chosing cohousing communities as
 to conventional housing is far to great.

On 1/27/07, David Heimann <heimann [at]> wrote:

Hi Robert,

       I would imagine buying into an existing cohousing group fits the
third way you describe.  In that way one can become a part of a cohousing
community without the years of meetings, works, financial dealings, etc.,
that forming a new group entails.

       Of course, one doesn't get to define the original culture and
original design of the community either, nor does one get to know one's
neighbors in that special way that being pioneers with them brings.

David Heimann
JP Cohousing

> Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 11:28:49 -0800
> From: Robert Moskowitz <robert [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_ Not selecting members in a group
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Message-ID: <45BBA7F1.5060007 [at]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> OK, I know some people are going to jump down my throat for saying this,
> but I've gotta say it:
> Have you ever noticed that there are 100 cohousing groups in the U.S.
> and 20 million or so non-cohousing groups? I'm talking about organic
> neighborhoods and developer-constructed neighborhoods and even whole
> communities (like Play Vista in L.A., near where I live).
> I've never been happy living among a bunch of strangers where
> relationships may or may not develop. But I'm thinking that the heavy
> "group" emphasis of current cohousing and the long-attention-span "group
> development process" that seems to be a part of cohousing may be more of
> a burden than:
> a) most people are willing to accept, and
> b) we need to create village/neighborhoods where we feel more
> comfortable than we do among total strangers.
> What I'm saying, and really asking, is: Isn't there a possibility of
> developing third way between the kind of random housing choices we have
> traditionally had and still have in most of America, on one hand, and on
> the other hand the kind of intensive group experience most cohousing
> seems to insist on? Shouldn't it be possible for me to find and move
> into a community, a village, a neighborhood, an apartment or condo
> building, or whatever, where most of the inhabitants subscribe to
> certain shared values (environmentalism, tolerance for others, sharing
> of some resources, sharing a meal once a week or so, helping each other
> when asked, and so forth) without the need for special architecture,
> special group processes, group meetings, educational requirements, and
> other burdensome elements of cohousing as it exists today?
> Not that I'm a big believer in markets, but clearly there are far more
> people today willing to live in random housing than are willing to jump
> through all the hoops to live in cohousing. From a purely practical
> perspective, if we can find a way to reduce the number of hoops,
> mightn't we find more people stepping up to live in a
> friendlier-than-random environment? And if we had more people stepping
> up, mightn't there be more cohousing slots than there are right now?
> Happy to hear all your thoughts on this....
> Robert Moskowitz
> Santa Monica, CA
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