The Future of Cohousing
From: Zev Paiss (
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 10:23:46 -0800 (PST)
Hello Again,

The 6 Tenants of cohousing described on the Coho US website include:

• Participatory process
• Neighborhood design
• Common facilities
• Resident management
• Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making
• No shared community economy

In this list, there is not one peep about ownership structure or cost issues. That is and has always been an option if we chose to include it. As a matter of fact, cohousing in Denmark include a number of communities which are either all rental or part renter and part owner. Now I will be the first to admit that the economic reality and governmental support in Denmark is far different than it is here in the US. But it is also becoming increasingly obvious that we will not be able to continue "business as usual" given the economic changes underfoot.

It seems fairly straightforward to take what we have gained from our past cohousing experiences and make whatever minor adaptions necessary to make cohousing easier, faster and more accessible to the tens of thousands of people who are interested but are unable to get involved in its current form.

I am in the early stages of speaking with my contacts at HUD, AARP to see what collaborative efforts can be brought together to make something wonderful happen.

I also want to state that I have never felt that conferences are a waste of time. Far from it. But it is critical that the focus of the event not offer hope and encouragement for opportunities that are almost impossible in today economic realities. Let make sure that the content of the event supports the generation of new and creative concepts and alliances that can move us and many other forward.

Thank you for all the positive comments and support so far.

Zev Paiss
Nomad Cohousing, Boulder, CO

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