Re: Low cost housing
From: John Faust (
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 20:26:09 -0700 (PDT)
If cohousing is about building community and community is about building
relationships as well as sharing things so we can reduce our planetary
impact, I'm having a bit of a problem developing much sympathy for the view
that our houses should be investments. I understand the reality. The
population is mobile and job opportunities and other life-altering events
can cause sudden relocations. But then why invest that much in a community?
Wouldn't the suburban norm be a better choice?

There was a time when houses weren't investments but places to live in.
Small towns had big houses adjacent to little houses and neighbors somehow
managed to live in community. It wasn't perfect but the frequent collisions
of differing views required civility and tolerance. Then we sprawled,
enshrined the automobile and sought a comfortable homogeneity. Community was
lost in the process and houses became things we temporarily occupied until
we could afford something "better". They became investments. Now, some of us
are beginning to realize what we have lost. We want to recover the sense of
community but still want a house that will appreciate faster than inflation.
For some, that has become the road to a comfortable retirement. Retirement
comes; we cash out of our community and then what?

I'm not sure we can have it both ways: real communities and investment
vehicles. Can those two mindsets coexist? Do they have to?

John Faust

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