Re: Disengaged households
From: Laura Fitch (
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 08:10:29 -0800 (PST)

We have different levels of engagement in our community, but have always
managed to get the work done.  

Some of our strategies include:
- we have an "affinity team" work systems, that allows members to really
pick the type of work they like.  I have a slide show that describes this in
some detail (which I will send anyone who requests it)
- we have a "hub" of 4 who each represent 8 households each in our voluntary
work system.  They touch base with members who are not participating at the
recommended work level (6.5 hours / month) to ask why, and to see if they
can help them find some way to participate.  Not all participation is
- we have a lot of associate members.  Friends and neighbors who don't live
in community, but like having dinner with us.
- we have several long term rentals - add to the number of people who work.

Some of the strategies that I've heard other communities use:
- require paying $75 per workday NOT attended.  They schedule about 6
workdays a year, and members are required to help on 4 of them, or pay their
way out.  I don't remember which community this is, nor the specifics, but I
think it is a possible solution for some.

Laura Fitch, AIA, LEED
Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc
110 Pulpit Hill Rd.
Amherst, MA  01002
lfitch [at]
-----Original Message-----
From: Fred H Olson [mailto:fholson [at]] 
Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2009 9:48 PM
To: -cohousing-L mailing list
Subject: [C-L]_ Disengaged households

David Entin <davidentin [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by Fred, the Cohousing-L
list manager <fholson [at]> after deleting quoted digest and
supplying subject line.
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Our community is wrestling with the problem of four disengaged households
who have said they want to leave and put their houses up for sale.  But some
of these are doing little to market their units and seem slow to move on, a
problem compounded by a poor real estate market..  Their disengagement means
the loss of active members for a sustained a period of time.  We were
wondering if other communities faced this problem and found any creative
solutions?  If so, we'd love to hear about it.

David Entin,
Rocky Hill Cohousing, Northampton, MA.

Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.