Re: affordable cohousing, not "gated"
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 16:14:44 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 21, 2010, at 2:13 PM, cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org wrote:

Sometimes it seems to me that co-housing is often just another form of gated community. In addition to cost, which prevents non- homogeneous people from buying into regular gated communities, co- housing has the vetting process. ... [for] people with lower incomes, for disabled people, for minorities, or for people from Africa or China...

This perception has been addressed on the list numerous times before, but I can't resist comment. Our cohousing has no "vetting" process, though we do our best to provide hospitality and information to interested parties, in the hope that they will use that info to decide if they would like it here. We have members with fixed incomes, elders, single parents, a midwife, a waitress, a coffee roaster, artists; we have had members in wheelchairs and with hearing disabilities. Our common house is ADA compliant with ramps, grab bars, etc.

Are we "homogeneous"? We include a variety of family types, orientations gay-hetero-&bi, assorted religions and political affiliations. We welcome equally any race or nationality. Hair ranges from bald to dreadlocks. Cars from rusty old Volvos to shiny Prius's. Some of our homes also have ADU apartments in them, accomodating additional residents, who rent rather than own. The apartment in my home is rented at about half market rate to a "starving artist" who mostly makes her living walking dogs and cleaning houses around town. She's well integrated in our social life here. Another home's renter is a quirky academic who has been writing a book for a long long time, and put in myriad months of work to help build our common house and the Habitat for Humanity houses here. Another resident is a young pony- tailed fellow who rents in trade for nannying the waitress's kids.

And yes, of necessity membership entails affording a home and about $1000 a year in assessments. Still, many of us are hardly rich by local standards. And our attitude is definitely not "gated", as nearly all of us are busily involved in many local nonprofit and civic projects, and frequently host events for the larger community.

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA
www.rosewind.org


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