re Formation meeting
From: Rod Lambert (
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 16:11:28 -0700 (PDT)
Alex and Felicia,
I hope that you find time to learn from other groups that have used a similar construction model. If possible, interview residents at places like Rosewind, Sharingwood and SoNG at EcoVillage at Ithaca. A gathering of facts, rhetoric and reality would be a great resource for those thinking of pushing the envelope of possibilities. The adaptation of Danish cohousing ideas, or more broadly, rebuilding community in America, is still a work in progress. Methods, designs, social structures, etc. are still evolving as the need arises.

Good luck,

Rod Lambert
Whole Community Design
SoNG at EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 14:14:12 +0000 (UTC)
From: alex.m.kent [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ Formation meeting
To: cohousing-L [at]
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A formation meeting for a small cohousing community in the Amherst, Massachusetts area is scheduled for Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:00-12:00 at the Jones Library in downtown Amherst.

While there are several thriving cohousing communities in the Amherst/Northampton area, we propose a smaller-scale community with around 8 units connected by covered walkways to a common house. In contrast to other communities, individual units in this community would be somewhat smaller, while the common house would serve more clearly defined roles as a common living room for all members.

We believe that one of the shortcomings of the cohousing communities with which we are familiar is their resemblance to intentional condominium communities. Although some communities are more communal than others, our goal is to create a place in which people spend a good deal more of their time living, studying, socializing, and eating in the common house than they do in their own individual homes.

Another problem with a good deal of cohousing is its lack of affordability. 3- 4-bedroom homes with price tags upward of $600,000 are not affordable by most people.

Yet another goal of the community we envision is to encourage to the greatest extent possible the owner/builder model. Clearly there are limits to the degree to which owners can build their own homes: Limitations in terms of time, skill, and the requirements of local building codes are some that come to mind. But we feel that a small community can be brought together and made stronger -- not to mention being built more economically -- when members wield saws and swing hammers on their own. This is a model that has been adopted very successfully by Habitat for Humanity, and we see no reason why it can't work in the cohousing movement.

We look forward to meeting interested people at the Jones Library in Amherst on November 7.

Alex Kent (alex.m.kent [at] Felicia Sevene

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