Re: Elevators and exclusions
From: Matthew Whiting (mewhitinggmail.com)
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 13:09:02 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you Tricia for your comments and Rob for further clarification and
thought on this.

I currently live in neighborhood that was built in the 20-40's and I don't
think a single house is accessible to today's standards.  I would consider
myself lower middle-class (still in the lowest income tax bracket) and my
guess is that if I ever end up living in cohousing it will be with a group
that is very cost conscience.  Maybe that means we have a pavilon instead of
a common house. It will likely mean townhouse design with stairs to an upper
floor in the residences.  Certainly in the area we're looking we can not
afford enough land to build everything on one level and have much land left
over.

When my grandparents got to the point they couldn't use the stairs safely,
they rented the rooms out upstairs to a granddaughter who was going to
college, helping her and them.  They moved into a small room downstairs and
became very close to my cousin.  As Rob pointed out, service to each other
is another way around issues of disability.  Accessibility is an
"indepedence" solution, service is an "interdependence" solution.  We all
jealously guard our independence, but all of us need the interdependence as
well.  To me that is the largest draw of cohousing.  Talking with my cousin,
that was a challenging but wonderful time of her life as she helped our
grandparents through the last year or so of their lives.

My point in sharing these thoughts is not to convince anyone that they
should *not* make an effort to make things accessible, but to realize that
it simply will not be an option for lots people to go very far down that
path.  Where we can't go because of finances, we can work to make up in
other ways.

-Matt Whiting
Utah Valley Commons - forming
Provo, Utah

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