Re: How do we hold each other accountable?
From: Racheli Gai (
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 13:23:45 -0700 (PDT)
I agree with David. I actually don't see how charging a fixed amount from households with highly divergent economic circumstances can be called "fair": Obviously the resulting burden on said households is anything but equal...

Racheli, Sonora Cohousing, Tucson.

On Jul 25, 2010, at 12:25 PM, David L. Mandel wrote:

No matter how you spin it -- penalty, fee, refund, consequence ... -- there's a problem with the "work or pay" model if you aspire to have a community that's seriously diverse in members' economic means. If I have a demanding but highly paid job, I may rationally decide that my time is more valuable than my money and therefore choose to pay, or not get the refund, or whatever, while letting others do the work. My low-paid neighbor may have job and/or family responsibilities that are at least as demanding, meanwhile, but she doesn't really have that choice if she needs every $ for necessities. Forget the word "fair." Is that the kind of dynamic you want in your community? Like everyone else, we have had great difficulties finding ways to get the work done without resentments. But while it has been proposed, we have so far refrained from institutionalizing "work or pay."
Southside Park, Sacramento.

--- On Sun, 7/25/10, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> wrote:

From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ How do we hold each other accountable?
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Date: Sunday, July 25, 2010, 9:17 AM

On Jul 25, 2010, at 11:33 AM, Elizabeth Magill wrote:

I've heard of having a fee everyone pays, and that fee is refunded if
they do a certain amount of work. That makes  sense to me.

I like this best -- its impersonal and equally applied.

A resident has to actively engage in order to be reimbursed. I also
think this amount added to the condo fee would be good so it doesn't
have to be collected as a separate fee. It's automatic.

And with a time limit for refunds.

Everyone pays. Passive, no refund. Active, refund.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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