Re: Cohousing Communities after move-in: A "honeymoon" phase?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 07:20:11 -0700 (PDT)

On Aug 15, 2008, at 10:45 PM, balaji [at] wrote:

The first obvious symptom is a deteriorating website that is infrequently updated or poorly designed.

But as has been often noted on this list, new websites and posts from forming groups routinely forget to mention what state they are in. If people who are seeking new members so they can even get built have no more awareness of the larger world than understanding that there is more than one Mayberry out there, why would they have any more interest once they are built?

I've seen websites that give street addresses and directions but NO CITY. That isn't even enough information for MapQuest to find them. For example, "Go north on Route 1, turn left at Main Street and go 3 miles past Fisherman's Pond. We are the second white house after the stop sign."

Right. Is that Australia? Mississippi? New Brunswick? Fisherman's Pond returns 421,000 addresses on Google. (A fictional example because I can't think of a real one and wouldn't want to embarrass anyone anyway, but I have gnashed my teeth many times over this.)

I once tried to drive to a community and after 3 attempts to follow their directions had to stop and call because they said to turn right on a road that had no street sign. When I remarked on this, they said, "Oh, that sign has been missing for years." No one who lives further perhaps than maybe 30 miles away would know which road that was. After more than two years in development, they hadn't fixed their directions.

How can we accurately measure whether this perceived inwardness is an effect of cohousing or a preexisting condition?

We would have to examine this in the context of life before and after, rather than comparing it with our own ideal of wanting cohousing to be a force for social change. Is social change beyond creating a better neighborhood a reasonable measure of a good cohousing community?

It may be that people who want to turn inward are the people who are attracted to cohousing. They just want that inwardness be richer and to be shared with 50-100 other people. Short of cultishness, that something to worry about?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.