The Future of Cohousing
From: Zev Paiss (
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2011 20:19:59 -0800 (PST)
Hello Again,

Very interesting. It seems that the idea that it is time for cohousing to seriously address the issues of affordable housing has touched a nerve. So far all the private and public responses support the need for cohousing to boldly go where it has rarely gone before. I want to be clear that this issue is not a new one for me. The cohousing community I have lived n for the past 14 years contains over 60% (7 of 11) permanently affordable homes.

If we can do that here in Boulder, Colorado I know we can do this and more throughout the rest of the country.

Since Boston in 2008, I have consciously chosen to not participate in the national conferences. This has been primarily because I felt it was somehow a bit dishonest to get folks excited about cohousing while the frozen financial system made developing these communities as we had been doing since 1991, virtually impossible.

It is not that the desire for a cohousing way of life was waning, only that the development methods we had relied upon for the previous 17 years were no longer viable. Now it is asked of us to take what we have learn and apply that knowledge to development models that can success in these times.

The Cohousing Association is in the early stages of looking for a new Executive Director. This is the perfect time to propose a necessary adjustment to the work of this organization to match the realities of 2011 and beyond. I firmly believe that the economic challenges we are experiencing today are not simply some deeper than usual recession but in hindsight reveal itself as the early stages of a societal transition to a more local, humane, and sustainable country.

Let's make sure that cohousing is front and center in this transition.

In Community,

Zev Paiss

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