Re: Taxe Exempt Expenses & the Idea of Cohousing Expenses
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 11:05:23 -0800 (PST)

Just as in the last conversation on affordable and low cost housing and in the current conversation on how we conceptualize budget categories, some people/communities seem to be taking this personally. I am not an accusing anyone of violating cohousing standards or the law, or being negligent or short sighted.

Although one community or another might be a good example for examining how the state, city, and bank requirements place limits on communities, the issue is how these requirements affect the concept of cohousing, and thus all cohousing communities.

A drift in conceptualizing cohousing finances is emerging that I believe is not good for cohousing. Questions about budgeting and accounting in established communities are increasing on the list and come from many communities. Previously only forming communities were posting questions about financing.

Government and financial institution requirements rarely support the underlying principles of cohousing generally or the values of your community specifically. I think it makes perfect sense to go the bank and speak in the bank's terms. They loan to condominium developments, so don't confuse them with the rest of your operations if all you want is a loan for a condominium development. Think linearly because they do too.

But when you come home, ditch it. If you bring their language home, you will be influenced, overtly or covertly. There is research on this. I couldn't make this stuff up.

The oppositions people raise here and in my community are:

-- "Necessary" vs "Community" (A short walk to Necessary and Unnecessary)

-- "Normal" vs "Cohousing" (A short walk to Normal vs Abnormal)

-- "Maintenance" vs "Community" (A short walk to community is about person to person relationships. Why is it in the budget?)

-- "Required" vs "Community" (A short walk to Required and Optional.)

The subject is language and how it influences our definition of ourselves -- and how that definition drifts without our awareness.

Sharon Villines

Who is old enough to remember when people said "Man" means women.

Or that distinguishing between women as Miss or Mrs was no different than calling men Mr.

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